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What Each Freelancer Must Know

If you’re a freelancer, it may be troublesome to say no to shoppers. You don’t need to lose enterprise, and also you’re afraid of coming off as unprofessional. However in case you’re not cautious, you possibly can simply end up working extreme hours or being contacted at evening and on weekends with an expectation that emails and calls shall be returned exterior of standard enterprise hours. This could rapidly result in a lack of work-life steadiness, and nobody desires that.

So how can a freelancer say no with out dropping shoppers? It’s not at all times simple, however it’s doable. Learn on for ideas for setting boundaries with shoppers and managing their expectations in addition to suggestions on what to do if you end up in a scenario the place you possibly can’t say no.

The Significance of Setting Boundaries with Shoppers

It’s possible you’ll be a freelancer who’s at all times keen to go the additional mile on your shoppers, and that’s nice. However there comes a time when it’s worthwhile to set boundaries and say no.

Why is it so essential to set boundaries? For one, it’s worthwhile to defend your personal time and make sure that you’re caring for your self. For those who don’t set boundaries, you’ll rapidly end up working extreme hours or being contacted at evening and on weekends with the expectation that emails and calls shall be returned exterior of standard enterprise hours. And that’s not wholesome for you or what you are promoting.

Another excuse to set boundaries is so you possibly can give attention to the work that you just actually need to do. If you’re consistently placing out fires since you’ve stated sure to too many tasks, it’s powerful to give attention to the duties which can be most essential to you and what you are promoting.

So how can a freelancer say no with out dropping shoppers? It’s not at all times simple, however there are some things you are able to do. Begin by making an attempt to clarify why it’s worthwhile to set boundaries (e.g., you want time on your personal tasks, you want time for networking or household, and so forth.) and see in the event that they’re keen to work with you. If all else fails, you possibly can merely inform them no and hope they perceive.

Set Boundaries with Shoppers with out Offending Them

It may be troublesome to say no to shoppers, particularly while you’re simply beginning out and also you’re afraid of dropping them. However in case you don’t set boundaries, you’ll rapidly end up working on a regular basis and never having any time for your self.

Fortuitously, you possibly can set boundaries with out offending your shoppers. The secret is to be clear and trustworthy about what you possibly can and might’t do. Allow them to know your hours of operation, and be agency about not being accessible exterior of these instances. In the event that they e mail or name exterior of these hours, allow them to know that you just’ll get again to them as quickly as doable throughout your common enterprise hours.

By setting clear boundaries, you’re letting your shoppers know that you just gained’t be accessible 24/7 up entrance and setting clear expectations for the connection from the very starting.

What to Do if a Shopper Oversteps Your Boundaries

If a shopper is pushing your boundaries, it’s essential to be assertive and remind them concerning the boundaries you set while you began working with them. Clarify to the shopper that you just’re not accessible at evening and on weekends (or at any time when your nonworking hours are).

If the shopper doesn’t appear to be taking your considerations severely, it is likely to be time to finish the connection. Keep in mind, it’s essential to guard your personal well-being. Additionally, you don’t need to find yourself resenting your shoppers.

The Advantages of Setting Work Boundaries

If you set boundaries together with your shoppers, you’re truly doing your self and them a favor. Right here’s why:

Create a Skilled Fame

You’re establishing your self as an expert. If you say no to weekend work or answering emails at evening, you’re letting your shoppers know that you’ve got a set schedule while you focus 100% on work however you additionally worth your time. You’re an expert who has an everyday work schedule and also you count on to be handled professionally.

Stopping Burnout

It’s really easy to get overwhelmed while you’re at all times working and by no means taking a break. If you set boundaries, you’re ensuring that you just don’t overwork your self and that you just nonetheless have time for different issues in life, like household, buddies, and hobbies.

Set up Belief

By setting expectations and bounds, you’re proving to your shoppers that you just’re dependable and reliable. You gained’t allow them to down, and so they can depend on you to be there for them after they want you – throughout working hours.

Say No to a Shopper With out Shedding Them

In the case of saying “no” to shoppers, you must do it in a method that doesn’t make them really feel such as you’re rejecting them or their enterprise. You need them to really feel such as you’re nonetheless accessible and open to working with them, however that there are just a few issues you possibly can’t do or gained’t do.

Listed here are a number of tips about easy methods to say no with out dropping shoppers:

1. Be Clear

If you say no, be clear about why you’re saying no. This fashion, the shopper is aware of precisely what’s occurring and there gained’t be any misunderstandings.

2. Don’t Over-Clarify

You don’t want to provide an extended clarification as to why you possibly can’t do one thing or why you don’t need to do one thing. Maintain it quick and candy, and reply questions succinctly.

3. Say No Properly

You don’t need to sound harsh or abrupt while you say no, so be well mannered. Thank them for contemplating you, and allow them to know that you just’re nonetheless open to working with them sooner or later. For those who can refer them to another person whom you assume may assist them, make the referral. This can be a nice approach to finish the dialog on a optimistic be aware.

FAQs About Setting Work Boundaries as a Freelancer

Freelancers are sometimes requested to work additional time, throughout weekends, and out of doors of regular enterprise hours. It may be troublesome to say no, particularly in case you’re afraid of dropping shoppers. But it surely’s essential to set boundaries so you possibly can preserve a wholesome work-life steadiness.

Listed here are some frequent questions freelancers have about setting boundaries:

Query: How can I say no with out dropping shoppers?

Reply: You don’t must be blunt or impolite when refusing to work additional time or on weekends. Merely clarify that it’s worthwhile to follow your common hours as a way to preserve your work-life steadiness. You can additionally supply an alternate resolution. For instance, in case you work for the shopper onsite, you can supply to come back in for an additional hour throughout the workday or to work on the undertaking remotely so as to add some additional hours.

Query: What if my shopper contacts me exterior of standard enterprise hours?

Reply: If a shopper contacts you exterior of standard enterprise hours, remind them that you just’re not accessible at the moment and ask them to contact you throughout regular enterprise hours. You can additionally arrange an automatic e mail or voicemail reply together with your response you could activate throughout non-work hours.

Key Takeaways for Freelancers about Setting Boundaries and Saying No

It’s onerous for all freelancers to say no to shoppers, particularly when your earnings depends on them and also you don’t need to lose them. Nonetheless, in case you don’t set boundaries, you’ll rapidly end up working on a regular basis and having no time for your self.

Keep in mind the following pointers for setting boundaries with shoppers:

  • Set up what hours you’re accessible to work, and let your shoppers know earlier than you begin working with them.
  • Don’t be afraid to show down a undertaking that’s too time-consuming or exterior your scope of labor.
  • Let shoppers know while you’ll be accessible to reply emails and return calls, which could possibly be completely different out of your common working hours – it’s as much as you to set the schedules that work finest for you.
  • If a shopper contacts you exterior of your regular working hours, allow them to know you could’t reply till the following day.

It may be onerous to say no to shoppers, however typically it’s important to. Observe the following pointers and also you’ll have the ability to maintain your shoppers completely happy and nonetheless preserve your sanity.

Susan Gunelius

Susan Gunelius is the Founder and Editor-in-Chief of Girls on Enterprise. She is a 25-year veteran of the advertising discipline and has authored ten books about advertising, branding, and social media, together with the extremely common Final Information to E mail Advertising and marketing, 30-Minute Social Media Advertising and marketing, Content material Advertising and marketing for Dummies, Running a blog All-in-One for Dummies and Kick-ass Copywriting in 10 Straightforward Steps. Susan’s marketing-related content material could be discovered on,,,, and extra. Susan is President & CEO of KeySplash Artistic, Inc., a advertising communications firm. She has labored in company advertising roles and thru shopper relationships with AT&T, HSBC, Citibank, Intuit, The New York Occasions, Cox Communications, and lots of extra giant and small corporations all over the world. Susan additionally speaks about advertising, branding and social media at occasions all over the world and is regularly interviewed by tv, on-line, radio, and print media organizations about these subjects. She holds an MBA in Administration and Technique and a Bachelor of Science diploma in Advertising and marketing and is a Licensed Skilled Profession Coach (CPCC).

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