Just say no! That’s something easier said than done when it comes to turning down a job when you work in content services. After all, if you are a freelancer, you know that you have to “make hay while the sun is shining,” so to speak. This means that you generally want to say YES when a client or potential client comes to you with a job. However, sometimes “real life” calls, you are currently overwhelmed with other work, or the job just isn’t about a category in which you want to write. If you need to say no, you want to do it in a way that will not cause animosity between you and your client. Keep these tips in mind and you will find it a bit easier to say that ever-so-difficult two-letter word.
- Consider saying, “How about later?” – If the situation is that you are currently too busy for the project, you may simply want to let the client know this bit of information. Tell him that you would like to work with him in the future but now is a bad time. That way, he will keep you in mind in the future.
- Sometimes no means never – If you are convinced that you just don’t want to work with this client again, you want to let him know not to send you future work, but not offend him. After all, there is no need to burn bridges. In this case, you may just let him know that you have taken your writing in a different direction. Whatever you do, make sure you don’t leave him hanging.
- Consider asking for more – In some cases, you may not mind doing the job, but the price is a bit low. It never hurts to ask for more. Phrase it in a very inoffensive way, but let the client know that your rates are a bit higher and what you would expect for the job. Then you put the ball in his court and leave the decision up to him.
- Help him find alternative content services – If you aren’t the right writer for the job, help him find someone who is a better fit. Perhaps you could suggest another writer or send him to a content writing firm that has many writers available. That way, you are doing a service to the client and he will be willing to come back to you if he winds up with a project that is more your style.
Saying no may never be easy, but it doesn’t have to mean you completely cut ties with the client, either. Even if you don’t want to write for him again, it doesn’t hurt to have a reference for your resume! In freelance writing, it is very important to always maintain a good relationship with clients—you never know when you may need to call on these connections in the future.
Tracy S is a freelance writer available on WriterAccess, a marketplace where clients and expert writers connect for assignments.