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5 Things I Did When My Clients Suddenly Reduced Their Work For Me

This month has been a kick to the butt.

By Katharine ChanPublished 2 years ago 4 min read
5 Things I Did When My Clients Suddenly Reduced Their Work For Me
Photo by Daniel Thomas on Unsplash

Do you know how when you get some bad news, you kinda want to deny it and move on?

One of my biggest clients cut back on their work for me. Then shortly after, another client had budget cuts and told me they no longer needed freelance writers.

So I've been trying to find new work.

To be honest, I was getting a little too comfortable with the steady amount of work that was coming in. And that made me lazy, riding the "write-and-submit" part of my business with little prospecting and lead looking. My hustle skills were rusty.

Those two pieces of news were like slaps in the face reminding me to stay hungry even when I have a stockpile of work to consume.

Although this month has been a kick to the butt, it's also given me the time and the opportunity to reflect on my business and shift my priorities. It's been quite helpful in allowing me to learn how to bounce back, not dwell on the setbacks, move forward and grow.

Here are 5 things I did when my clients suddenly reduced their work for me.

1. Ask my past and existing clients for more work or referrals

It can be hard for me to ask for help or ask for really anything. But asking for help isn't a sign of weakness or failure. I can't do everything myself as it is inefficient and ineffective.

Through the past year of converting my side hustle into a full-time gig, I have been building strong relationships with my clients. I've been listening to their needs, offering my constructive opinions, following their guidelines and consistently meeting their deadlines. I demonstrated my work ethic, creativity, initiative, loyalty and trustworthiness. The proof was in the pudding.

So I went through my list of clients, past and current, and emailed them individually to see if they had extra work they needed help on. And if they didn't, if they knew anyone who needed my writing services.

All my clients responded. Most of them told me they didn't have anything but would think of me if something came up. But one client had a side project they needed help with and wanted me to work on it. So, it worked!

You don't know unless you ask, politely, of course.

2. Find new clients (duh!)

I did a lot of pitching and cold-emailing when I first started freelance writing. But once I found those amazing clients that were continually giving me work every month, I stopped. So I had to dust up those skills and start pitching again.

I went on Twitter and searched for editors of major websites to connect with. I Googled, DM'ed, emailed and pitched like there was no tomorrow. I opened up my old pitch list, updated the crap out of it and drummed up new ideas. Rinse and repeat until I found new work.

So far, I've mostly received radio silence and rejections; however, it was good practice and I now have a hefty list of pitches to work with.

3. Updated my LinkedIn and online social presence

When I'm neck-deep in writing, all I care about are putting words, sentences and paragraphs together. I didn't realize how outdated my LinkedIn and social media profiles were. Having a slight hiccup in my workflow allowed me to take the time to update all these platforms.

About a week after doing that, I was pleasantly surprised when a health and wellness business DM'ed me through LinkedIn, asking about my rates and whether I would write for them.

4. Do a review of my numbers

Most freelancers and creative types don't like numbers. I don't mind them as long as I'm not rushed. During my downtime, I looked thoroughly at my cash flow, the income coming in and expenses going out. It was a helpful reality check on the financial situation of my business.

I have very few expenses for my business so I asked myself what are some personal things I could scale back on without sacrificing my desired lifestyle. And I was able to identify some low-hanging fruit that would save me a few hundred dollars a month.

5. Work on the other side of my business

Aside from making money from freelancing, I also sell books and courses. I created these a few years ago and haven't had time to market them. So I updated my content, created different payment options for my courses and promoted limited-time book offers through my email list. I saw an uptake in sales. It wasn't enough to make up for the reduced work but my self-esteem perked up. And feeling good gives me a positive outlook on my business.

Ultimately, the most important thing to do when clients reduce their work for you or they no longer need your services is to be resourceful and use your time wisely. Stay optimistic. There is an abundance of opportunities in the world and they are just waiting for you to come and discover them.

So Readers, have you ever had to bounce back from a setback in your business? What were some things that help you shift your focus?

Need ideas to write about? Check out my 60 Feelings to Feel: A Journal To Identify Your Emotions

This was originally published on December 9, 2022.

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About the Creator

Katharine Chan

Sum (心, ♡) on Sleeve | Author. Speaker. Wife. Mom of 2 | Embrace Culture. Love Yourself. Improve Relationships | Empowering you to talk about your feelings despite growing up in a culture that hid them |

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Comments (1)

  • Tammy S.about a year ago

    I'm working on bouncing back now. Of course, my anxiety didn't help matters. Btw, I'm bookmarking this so I don't lose it. Thank you for the tips, and I hope you've landed more clients by now!

Katharine ChanWritten by Katharine Chan

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