All good things must come to an end, but what should you do when the good times with a client end earlier than expected?
Regardless of how perfect you run your business, it’s possible that you’ll have a client that simply doesn’t work out as time goes on.
Reasons for this may be:
The workload for the client grows past your scope or capacity
The client doesn’t want to sign with your business at a new rate
You’re completing work for them that you no longer provide for other clients, or completing work you no longer enjoy
Communication becomes an issue to the point where completing work is next to impossible
… and so on.
If you have a major problem that’s making the working relationship turn sour, it’s best to cut ties amicably -- before you get to a point where referrals & friendly conversation cease to exist.
Here are three ways to break up with a client and not burn a bridge…
1 | Take Note of Your Client’s Needs
Once you internally decide to no longer work with your client, you should take a look at what your client has coming up in the next 30-60 days. The absolute worst thing to do would be to stop working with them ahead of a campaign/product launch, their busy season, or the holiday shopping season.
2 | Give the Client a Formal Notice
Breaking up is hard to do, but giving the client a formal written notice ahead of the day you’ll stop working on their accounts is key. Thirty days notice to terminate is fairly typical in the service world, but be sure to also let them know the last day you will post for them and the last day you will be available for questions and assistance, so there’s no confusion.
Before you send your notice in, be sure to check your original contract to ensure you’re following all of the rules that you & your client have agreed on. You don’t want to put yourself in a situation where you’re breaching your own contract terms.
3 | Refer Another Professional
Always avoid leaving a client high and dry. When you decide to part ways, be sure to refer, or introduce, your client to another reputable social media manager, consultant, or agency so they don’t feel as if you’re abandoning them without giving them a lifeline to the help they need. Your clients came to you because they had a pain point, so be sure to point them in the direction of another qualified professional.
The truth is, outgrowing a client is normal (even if it is a little scary!), so never feel as if you’re not making the right decision for you and your business. Future you will be thankful for the change!