3 Tips To Let Clients Go (The Non-Awkward Way)

Sep 22, 2021

I know that this isn’t the easiest topic to cover.

Firing a client is definitely not a decision to take lightly as a business owner.

For whatever reason, it might just be time to let that client go.

Maybe they aren’t the right fit, or they need more services than you can provide.

Maybe you are transitioning some part of your business and can no longer provide whatever services they need.

Or, maybe you just don’t vibe anymore!

All of the above reasons are perfectly normal.

Whatever the reasons are, DON’T freak out. Letting a client go is part of life as a business owner, and I have some tips to make that happen easily and efficiently.

If it is time to go your separate ways, here are three things to focus on before you decide to fire your client. 

1. Determine when you need to fire them

This will vary from business owner to business owner, but you do need to decide the timeline for letting them go before you actually go ahead and do it.

Before you do anything, go back and look at your contract. Check if you included a clause regarding termination, and what that time frame looks like.

For me and my clients, I always include a 30-day notice for ending services. This way, if either myself OR the client wants to cancel, we need to notify the other at least a month in advance.

Giving as much lead time as possible is a great idea so that both of you can find other work, adjust schedules, and change any type of payments or subscriptions directly related to the contract.

For me and my team, It also gives us time to make sure that we are fulfilling our end of the contract in terms of services, as well as time to offboard the client.

Referencing your contract when ending services is key so that you can avoid both legal trouble AND burning bridges with your clients! This way, you’ll keep your reputation intact and end your relationship on good terms. 💪🏼

2. How you should fire them 

This is where it’s gonna feel a little icky - depending on the rapport you have with your client.

My suggestion is that you get on a call with them ASAP, whether that’s Zoom or on the phone, and give them the news and your perspective.

You never want to blindside someone, or sever a working relationship without at least an explanation.

By being on a call, the tone of your voice can be heard - whereas over email or text that emotion can get lost and maybe misconstrued in regards to intention.

For me, I often give them the news on the last monthly strategy call we have scheduled. Or, I reach out and ask them if we can get on a quick 15-minute call because I have some business updates.

On the call, I always make sure I am taking plenty of notes so that I can answer any questions they may have, and then send them a detailed follow-up email once we get off the call. 

Here’s what I would include in that email:

  • The date services end
  • What services and contract terms will be completed by the end date
  • Next steps
  • Final payment details

This email is a MUST so that you have all of these details on record for both yourself and your client.

After that email, make sure you send a contract cancellation notice that they can sign agreeing to the end of the partnership.

Now that the “hard part” is done, you will need to complete your contract in a way that completes the partnership and sets you both up for success after you part ways.

Give yourself a pat on the back, the worst is behind you! 🎉

3. How you will offboard them

If you haven’t heard of the term off-boarding, it’s simply the tasks and processes that you complete at the end of a client contract. These are things like handing off of assets, removing access to profiles, and potential sourcing or training a replacement.

Like most things, offboarding processes vary from business to business.

You want to determine what that looks like for you and your clients.

If you’re providing services in social media/content creation, you’ll want to decide if you’ll be giving the client your existing templates and content, or if you’ll be keeping it as a proprietary asset.

Let the client know if they will need to make copies of any posts or templates, and when you will be revoking access to those assets (ie. if they have 30 days to save them to their own hard drives, etc).

Other items that can be included in an offboarding:
- Loom video recordings of any processes
- Workflow templates
- Analytics reports from your time working together

Offboarding is also a great time to add a potential upsell if you would like! You can offer to train your client/their team member training session to help them transition smoothly WHILE putting a few more coins in your pocket. 💰

They may find this a lot easier than having to train their new person themselves!

If you’re a social media manager looking for more support, I have a place for you to get guidance in your social media management business.

I created the Creative Content Lab, which is an entire membership dedicated to teaching you how to create creative content for your clients and run a creative content business. Inside the membership, I give you literally everything on how I run my social media agency and how I create content for my clients!

Check out the Creative Content Lab here

Let me know in the comments if you have ever had to fire a client - and how it went!

Until next time,





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