When a normal relationship goes sour, you start to feel guilt and resentment. And often you leave it too long before taking action for fear of hurting the other person.

Guess what?

Client relationship work exactly the same way.

So I think James’ advice in this video on firing clients is spot on.

You have to respect your client by being honest, and trust that it will lead to better things.

 I’ve only once ‘fired’ a client myself, when I moved to London and had to scale down my freelance operations. The email went a little like this:

Dear Bob,

As you may have noticed from my slow response times and inability to commit to a meeting, I’m struggling to service my freelance clients in Scotland at the moment due to other commitments, and so with regret have decided to shut down my freelance operation.

I’d be more than happy to continue with quarterly maintenance procedures for the remainder of this year, should they occur before you can transition to another design agency.

The site refresh/update that’s in progress will be the last project I can undertake for you. It’s a sad decision for me as you were my first clients out of art school and have always been a pleasure to work with.

With best regards,


I was sure to outline the problem as clearly as possible, but also to offer a transition period (where I would continue with site maintenance whilst the client found a new web designer). 

My ex-client still emails me from time to time about other things (including bikes), so I like to thing everything panned out ok.

Posted to graphic-design in 2014.

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