When to Say No To a Client

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When to Say No To a Client

Finding a client is a very challenging task for every freelancer. You’d also have to worry about making ends meet and establishing a freelance career–so losing a client is such a big no-no. However there are circumstances wherein you do have to say no.

“When to say NO to a client?”

This is the most confusing question you may ever encounterknowing that when you decline a client’s request they may: 1, no longer contact and provide you tasks to do. 2, decrease your rate. Or 3, move forward and find someone else to do the task you declined.

To simplify your life and put your worries to an end, here are some tips for you to know when it is the right time to say “No.” to a client.

Underpaid but your job duties has increased

If the client requires you to do tons of workload, asks you to do the job that are not part of your duties. And if he’s not open for the idea of giving you a salary increase, then you might want to think things over. You are investing your time and great effort to the wrong client.

You are stuck in the middle of nowhere

If you feel that you are just doing the same tasks over and over again and there are no chances for a career growth talk to your client and plan to eradicate those files at your laptop. You should respectfully inform them that you are no longer interested it’s just not working for you anymore.

Your ideas are always rejected

Have you ever imagined yourself becoming a robot? Having ideas that you think will improve the project further is good; a client who is not professionally willing to listen is bad. The only way to keep things smooth is to have an open communication and you can’t have either of that if you’re not being heard. You’re a person that has the right to be heard and to be understood and should not be underestimated.

Friends and family keep on sending you messages that they miss you.

As a freelancer it is quite true that you have the freedom to choose the schedule that works best for you; however, there are clients that provide non-disclosure agreement including the fixed schedule you should work for them––and that’s fine as long as it stays reasonable. Freelancing should give you ample time for both work and family. And if the latter is being compromised, then it’s okay to start thinking twice.  

Remember: You have the right to decline a client if he is not willing to pay you accordingly. As it is true that your client could easily replace you if wanted, it is also true that you can replace your client if you need to. Finding a client can be a challenge. Losing one can be devastating. But neither should let you settle for a client that does not deserve you. No one can replicate your skills and effort.  You deserve to be appreciated and well-compensated, just remember to not burn any bridges; there might come a time that that client would finally be capable to afford your rate and would want to hire you again for your skills––opportunities  like that shouldn’t be missed.

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As an online professional, Marilyn transitioned her way up to success by investing in the field of virtual assistance and web design. Networking with esteemed colleagues in the field, she co-founded Philippine Virtual Assistant Network (PVAN) , Philippines largest online virtual assistant community with over 20,000+ members and counting.




Marilyn is the Project Manager of Remote Virtual Assistant Agency, a virtual staffing agency based in New York, USA, as well as the trainer for Virtual Assistant Guide and Web Internship Program which helps aspiring work from home professionals.




As a serial entrepreneur, she’s one of the managing partner of New York Sari-Sari Store Inc.- an eCommerce platform serving clients both in US & Philippines, St. Jeanne Beverly Learning Center & JM Property Rentals – a Pre-school Institution and a growing fleet of rental apartments together with her loving and very supportive husband.

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