Reasons Why I Lost a Potential Client

3 min read

If you’re a new freelancer, you’ve probably heard no far more times than you would like to admit. A lot of people take no personally, but there are dozens of reasons someone won’t work with you. For me, “No” has never been something that stopped me. Sure, for a minute, I’ll be a bit disappointed, but then I move on.

The longer I dwell on something negative the less time I’m spending on projects that actually expand my knowledge and further my career. Accepting rejection is an important part of freelancing and if you can do that, you’ll eventually find your way.

Now let’s talk about the clients I lost, and why it’s important to never take it personally.

“We’re going with someone cheaper”

This has happened to me a lot. It stinks, but I refuse to compromise on my rates unless there is a good reason. There are plenty of people out there who will pay for high-quality content with a larger budget. I’m willing to wait for those opportunities.

Often people find me on Upwork and send their job description to me. For some reason, they don’t always check my rates. Then we’ve both wasted each other’s time, but that’s how it goes on the internet.

If a client wants to work with me, they’ll recognize my hard work and expertise is worth it. Just the other day I had a new client reach out asking how much I charge and they told me to “be generous” to myself because the writing will involve a lot of research and work beyond simply writing the articles. I could have charged more than I normally do, but I like to prove myself first.

“I found someone local to work with”

While working with clients, sometimes they end their contract with me because they found someone in the same city. I don’t blame them at all. I’m working for people around the world in different timezones and currencies. Our relationship is vastly more complicated so that local writer is going to be a lot more convenient.

When this happens I completely understand and I let my client know that I am always happy to help if any opportunities come up again in the future. If their other writer needs time off or falls through, I’m still around.

“You took too long to reply”

This one is totally on me, but I was working on a film set and had turned off my data. The internet moves quickly. As a freelancer, I’m always keeping tabs on my phone. Sure, it sucks sometimes, but I like to be available for my clients especially when something urgent comes up.

When you can save your client’s bacon, they really appreciate it and this has helped me maintain great long-term client relationships. Also, let’s face it: I’m on my phone all the time anyway… but that’s also because all my regular hobbies are on hold because of Covid.

We all want to hear “Yes,” but as I’m sure you’ve experienced “No” far more frequently. When I notice I’m low on work, I send a lot of pitches to land new gigs and still get declined even though I have a decent portfolio now.

While freelancing is definitely full of perks like working from home and choosing my own schedule, it can still be a tough gig emotionally.

As a freelancer, you’re going to hear no and that is completely normal. It’s important to see those moments as a learning opportunity if you can and to learn how to accept them when you can’t.

This article was first published on Medium.

Published by Victoria A. Fraser

Freelance writer, podcast producer, and comic artist.

2 thoughts on “Reasons Why I Lost a Potential Client

  1. Oh yeah, the price thing is real. People will definitely pay the prices we seek, but there will also be more who’d only hire with the mentality of looking for a bargain. I’ve been fortunate that I don’t need to scrape the bottom of the barrel, so it’s always good if a client wants to go with someone cheaper—it saves both our time. Thanks for sharing!

    Liked by 1 person

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