What to do as a freelancer when a client stops giving you work

If you have been working online for awhile now offering freelance services, you already know that there are different kinds of clients that you will meet. There will be clients that will hire you for just one task then part ways with you.

There are clients that will hire you once and then a second time, only if you ask. Then there are some that will hire you on multiple projects and keep sending work to you until they are either done with a project or don’t want to work with you anymore (because of your increased rates, you missing deadlines or just not following their instructions).

Freelancers and clients meet all the time, and there comes a time when they have to part ways. Most freelancers don’t take this all too well but it is how things are. Even shoppers going to physical stores sometimes just buy once or twice then switch to another store.

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Or they may relocate to another part of the city and not be able to visit the store as frequently as they used to (and gradually move to another store closer to where they live).

So, I will share some tips with you today that you can use when you find yourself in a situation where a client stops giving you work.

Understand why a freelance client may stop sending you work

The top reasons why a client may drop you / stop giving you work are usually related to these things:

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They don’t like the quality of your work. If you promise them heaven and can’t deliver, most clients will simply stop working with you. If the quality of your work is subpar, a client may ask you to do some revisions, pay you and then never send you any work. So, if you are interested in getting more repeat work from clients, the cure is to keep learning new skills that will make you more effective at your job.

You miss deadlines. If you miss a deadline by a few minutes or hours, some clients may try to understand. But if you keep missing deadlines by days, most will grow tired of this behaviour and part ways with you – especially when you make it worse with excuses that are not believable.

They are not comfortable paying your new rates. Freelancers are often told to determine what they are worth and to gradually increase their rates to a level where they feel like they are charging what they are worth. If you already have clients supplying you with a steady if stream of work, they can take their business elsewhere if you raise your rates to a level where they can’t afford to pay for your services.

There are many small business owners and individuals that sometimes can’t afford to pay a freelancer once they increase their rates – genuine people just strapped for cash that would be willing to continue working with you but can’t.

They are moving to a phase of the project where you help is not needed. If you offer your web design services to a client for example, they will move on once you are done designing their website. Any money they have they will likely spend on other things such as hiring freelancer writers to create blog posts, or an outreach expert to get links for them from high domain authority sites.

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So, it is very important to understand why someone who enjoyed working with you the first few times may decide to drop you. The lessons you gain can help you:

  • Figure out areas you need to learn more about to become a more skilled service provider
  • Figure out the things you do that waste a lot of your time causing you to miss deadlines
  • Align yourself more with the needs of the clients so that even if they stop working with you now, you can reach out to them later down the road and still get new work
  • Come up with simple strategies to attract your ideal clients, weeding out people you might not want to spend your time working with

Once you understand why someone has stopped giving you more work, you can…

Go out there and look for new clients (more work)

On Niabusiness.com for example, you can place an ad listing on the site for free in one of the categories on the classifieds page so potential clients interested in working with you can reach out to you any time.

On freelance marketplaces like Freelancer or UpWork, you can bid on more jobs, ask for reviews – basically try to get your hands on the jobs outsourced by clients in the categories you are skilled in.

If you use cold pitching to get work, you can find new businesses to send emails telling them about the results you can get them.

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If you use your own blog to attract clients (turning visitors to your blog from search engines into clients), you can focus on creating more calls to action, so a larger percentage of your readers get to know about the other things you do besides writing your blog (so mentioning the freelance service you offer in your posts whenever appropriate).

Work on your own projects when not handling any freelance work from clients

Another thing you can do instead of just staying idle when a client drops you, is to spend the free time to work on your projects.

If you are a web developer, you might focus on building your own web tools, web browser extensions or even create add-ons / plugins for popular content management systems like WordPress. You can distribute whatever you create for free and use it as an example when showcasing your expertise to potential clients in the future.

If you are a freelance writer, you can use your skill to create content for your own niche blog / niche site or write guest posts for other sites (using the guest posts to build new relationships / acquire links). Or you can write an ebook / guide or create an online course for your audience.

If you are an app developer, you can mobile apps that you can publish to Google Play Store or Apple App Store. You can sell the apps or distribute them for free and.monetize them with ads.

So, just find something you can do for yourself when not working on client projects and take it seriously. Work hard at growing it. You never know what your hard work might result into in a few months. You might create another source of income to supplement what you already make freelancing.

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