How Do Graphic Designers Gracefully Break Up With Clients?

Alexis Juanita
5 Ways To Deal With Difficult Graphic Design Clients - DesignyUp

Clients of graphic designers are not all perfectly understanding and respectful.  Some clients can get into your nerves, exhaust your energy, and will make you want to shun them.  When clients are stubborn and so rude that they get on your nerves, how do you, as a graphic designer, break up with your clients?

Will it be wise to totally cut the ties and move away from your client.  Will it be best to shun them because of their disrespectful behavior?  When is the situation beyond repair?  Here are tips on how graphic designers gracefully break up with clients when everything seems not to work out:

Honest Conversation

How do you break up with a design client? To gracefully end a client relationship, an honest conversation is a good start. Your client needs to know why the relationship is not working. Avoid using the phrase “break up” when you are having a conversation about ending the relationship.

Even if there are a lot of emotions involved that could compromise the way you might talk with your client, keep a professional relationship and be respectful.  Be honest when you talk about how expectations are not being met if that is the problem or how and why it’s best for both sides to move on.

Here are a few more tips on how to carry out a conversation when graphic designers break up with clients:

  • Be calm
  • Be reasonable
  • Be mature
  • Be strong
  • Be professional
  • Be thankful

Provide a Reasonable Notice

How do graphic designers deal with difficult clients?  Included in the tips on how graphic designers break up with clients is giving proper notice so that you won’t leave your client hanging.

This is especially important when there are ongoing projects that need to be finished.  Your clients will also need time to find someone else who will do the job for them.  

Ideally, two weeks is sufficient time or a natural project stopping point is a good time for a hand-off.  A smooth transition is important to ensure that the client’s experience stays as positive as possible through the end.

You will want to provide these to your clients as you provide a reasonable notice to create a smooth transition:

  • Transition documents
  • Access to any content or graphics created for your client

A smooth transition paves the way for your client to acknowledge that a change is taking place gradually and for a justifiable reason.  Remember, you owe it to yourself and your client to give them advanced notice.

A month or two for your client to transition out will give you enough time to find a replacement, provide you continued income, and provide you time to finish unfinished work.

Offer Options for the Client

Do graphic designers work with clients even when expectations are not met?  Yes, until they are well through the transition.  You can suggest a set of action steps for your client to help them transition to perhaps another agency.

You have to let your client understand that they just simply don’t fit so even in a breakup, strive to be part of the solution. Help them move forward with these suggestions you can provide for them:

  • Other freelancers that do similar work
  • Help interview a replacement
  • Provide tools that they can use in the meantime
  • Turn over all files, passwords, etc. that belong to the client
  • Touch base with a replacement and brief them on the work they’ve done

Part of maintaining clear and professional communication with your client is offering an alternative that would be a better fit for them.

A design and marketing agency: Infintech Designs, which you can refer to your clients.  They may just be the perfect fit for your client’s needs.

Knowing When to Dump A Client

So, how do you know when it’s time to dump a client? There are many scenarios that provide good reasons to end a client relationship.  

Some of the most common reasons that solicit tips on how graphic designers break up with clients include ignoring or disregarding contract terms, always asking for a better rate, frequent negative conversations, not doing enough work to justify your time, among many others.  When you know it’s the right choice to end the relationship, start the graceful break up with the mentioned tips.

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