In this post I’m going to show you 5 ways you can deal with rejection from freelance clients!
Hey guys, my name is Scott and I make posts like this one on freelancing tips, as well as tutorials on Premiere Pro, and Photoshop. So please do consider hitting follow button at the top right of this page so you don’t miss any of those! Ok lets get into how we deal with client rejection.
Some of the best things about being a freelancer is we get to choose when and where we work, set our own hours, and pick who we work with. But sometimes, potential clients don’t always want to work with us. And in this video I want to go over 5 common rejections from clients, and how to deal with those as a freelancer.
Rejection #1: “Sorry, but you’re not the right fit”
In this case, when a client says something like you’re not the right fit, or we’re looking for someone or something different, that usually translates to you the freelancer having creative differences over the project. For example, a few years back I was hired to do a video editing project for a client who wanted to create a fast paced, high energy, promotional video for his business. Basically something almost like a music video. Now, I’ve never edited anything like that before, as my video editing background is mainly in the educational field. This project was actually a test project, to see if I would be the right fit for the job going forward. And on top of that, he hired another editor who was also editing the same project at the same time, and we were competing for the same long term job.
What ended up happening was, I lost out on the job because I wasn’t the right fit. The other editor had far more experience editing projects like that than I did, and he was the better choice. Now, I could have been upset and really mad, but what I learned was that I needed to broaden my skill sets as a video editor if I want to get different types of jobs. I needed to get out of my comfort zone, and try to edit different projects, so I could become more versatile and ultimately more valuable as an editor. Which brings me to the next rejection…
Rejection #2: “We’re looking for someone more experienced”
We’ve all got to start somewhere, and nothing is harder than trying to land that first gig with a client because most clients don’t want to take a chance on someone where this is their first professional job. When I was first learning how to edit videos in college, I gave myself projects to work on all the time as a way to sharpen my skills. I would shoot videos with friends just so I edit them, I would rededit movie trailers, I even created animated shorts so I can work on how to edit different types of content. I did all of those things so that not only could I practice and get better at video editing, but so I could also have potential projects I could show to clients in my portfolio. So when you’re first starting out, be your own client, and practice building and creating things that you can potentially show to someone when you’re ready.
Rejection #3. “You’re out of our budget”
I think this rejection might be the one that freelancers fear the most, no one likes being told their too expensive. And the knee jerk reaction would be to immediately try to negotiate down to a lower pay, or worse drop your rates to rock bottom. This a subject that I could probably do a whole video on by itself, but basically you’ve got to know your self worth. When people are looking for a new computer or a new phone, most people don’t automatically just buy the absolute cheapest option. The cheapest option is cheap for a reason, because it’s usually poorly made. Most people want something that meets somewhere in the middle of affordability and quality, and that’s how you need to think about yourself and your services. You want to sell yourself as a craftsman or craftswoman who does quality work. Remember cheap prices, attract cheap clients. And in my experience cheap clients are usually the most difficult to work with because they expect a lot for very little in return.
Rejection #4: The client ghosts you, or you get no response at all.
This rejection is probably the biggest blow to any freelancer’s confidence, you spend a lot of time crafting a pitch or a proposal and submit and…. Nothing. You never hear from the client, no response at all, and worse there’s no feedback for you to try improve on something the next time. In my experience when something like this happens, it’s typically due to communication or possibly a lack of communication. Unfortunately, freelancing and the job market in general is super competitive and clients only have so much time to read everyone’s resume or proposals let alone try and respond to each one. This is where as freelancers we have to be really clear and concise in our proposals, to be extremely effective. I recently made a video on how to write proposals for UpWork, so I’m not going to deep dive too much into proposals here. But essentially what I said covered was when communicating with clients we have to make them the hero of the story. Our whole pitch as freelancers must be tailored to that particular client’s project and their needs, and we have to make them the sole focus of the proposal. A lot of times, we get wrapped up in our own story and we tend to write about ourselves and how much experience and education we have, when all clients want to hear is, how can you help me? Remember, a confused mind says no. If your proposal doesn’t make sense to them, or just doesn’t answer that simple question of how can you help me, then you may not hear back from them at all.
Rejection #5: We’re looking for someone in a different timezone/location
This is probably the one rejection, that us as freelancers have the least control over. If a client is looking for someone in a specific time zone or place, there’s not much we can do about that if we’re not there. However, there is an old saying to never burn bridges because you never know at some point in the future that client could remember you and may need your services. So it’s in our best interests as freelancers to thank that client for the potential opportunity, and let them know we can help them at any other time. Some things are out of our control as freelancers, we can’t control what clients may want or what other freelancers are doing. Try not to get caught up in worrying about what other freelancers are charging, or are they better than me? Am I good enough? There’s an old saying in professional American football that your best ability is availability. It doesn’t matter that you may not be the best at what you do, or there’s other people more talented than you, you can’t control that. But what you can control is that when the opportunity comes, you’re ready and willing to do the best you can do. Clients would much rather work with someone who is reliable, professional, and easy to work with than someone who maybe highly skilled but is also super flaky and unreliable.
So those are five ways to deal with rejection from clients. What other rejections have you gotten from clients? Let me know in the comments below, and I’ll see if I can make a post covering that! If you’ve enjoyed this article, don’t forget to like and share it with anyone else who might also enjoy it. For more information on Freelancing tips, Premiere Pro, and Photoshop head on over to my YouTube channel. Also, check out my other tutorial videos which I’ve posted at the top of this page. Alright, that’s it for me guys see you in the next post!