Freelance : How to bounce back when you lose a client

Let’s be honest, losing a client can be discouraging, especially if they were a bit part of your earnings. Freelance life is all about balance, and losing a client may make you feel like everything is going to collapse. Unfortunately, this is something you will have to face at some point, and probably more than once. So how do we bounce back after that ? Let me share a few steps/tips with you.

#1. Understand why it didn’t work.

No matter the reason behind the end of your collaboration, take the time to fully understand why this client decided to stop working with you. This is not to make you feel bad, this is just to understand the situation better and see if there are things that you can improve.

There a million reasons that can lead to this professional break up so I won’t be able to list all of them, but please try to look at your situation in the most objective way, and list the reasons why your client made this decision, and when possible, how you can improve. I’m not saying it has to be your fault of course, it can be something completely unrelated to you (lack of budget, change of strategy or direction in their company, maybe they just don’t need your services anymore because they’re going to do something else, etc), but if there’s something that you can improve (communication, skill set, details in the contracts you provide), make sure to write it down.

#2. Ask yourself if they need to be replaced.

Every freelance manage their time and their work according to their needs, so now that you’ve lost a client, you have to ask yourself if you need to replace them or not. Do you still have enough work to live, even without them ? Or do they leave a huge gap in your schedule (and income) ? Could you maybe increase the amount of work you do for another client on a long-term basis or just during the time where you’ll be looking for another client ? These are questions you have to ask yourself and answer carefully. If it was a minor client with whom you only worked a few hours per month with, maybe you will welcome the little extra free time, for example.

#3. If they need to be replaced… let’s go !

It’s the perfect time to think about what kind of client you’d like to work with. I mean, you should already know what’s your target and what are your criterias for a good client, but if you didn’t know yet, well maybe this experience taught you what kind of client you don’t want to have ? We don’t have all the answers right from the start of course, so it also depends of your level of experience as a freelancer, but now that you’re going to look for a new client, please make sure that you know what you’re looking for, and what’s good for you.

Once you’re confident about this, it’s time to hunt. I’d advise you to always keep a few websites and places where you can find freelance offers tucked into a favorites file somewhere, so you can easily check that first. Always keep the name of places where you found good clients, even if it’s a simple Facebook group. Scroll, find a few things that look interesting, and apply. You can also use your network and post on Linkedin or other social media, saying that you have some availabilities for this or that kind of project etc. How you’re going to find a new client is a kind of routine/system that you have to design yourself, based on your activity and your personality. These are examples of how you can do it, but of course if we’re talking about how to find a client, a whole post could be dedicated to that.

This is how I bounce back when I lose a client. I have to admit that most of the time, when I lose a client, the dislike is quite mutual so it doesn’t bother me that much. Of course, I pray that I never lose my main and favorite client, but honestly, we never know, right ? So it’s better to always be prepared !

What about you ? Did you ever lose a client ? Was it an important one ? Tell me about it in the comments below !

I hope you all have a lovely day. See you next Wednesday !


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