My favorite way of “firing a client”?
Strategy 2: New business model
As a freelance writer, I used to take any client I could get; now I only take work where I have some degree of creative freedom and get paid more than $X an hour.
You’re your own VP of Strategy, and this counts as a new business model. Over time, most freelancers are able to weed out their not-terrible-but-not-great clients to make time for their new, better clients.
Here’s how I would write to/call those clients:
“For the past several weeks, I’ve been doing a strategic analysis of my business and goals for 2015. I’ve decided to focus my time to a very small subset of my clients. [OR At this point, I’d like to focus on [new type of work] rather than [old type of work].]
Unfortunately, this means that I won’t be able work with you as of [date].
I understand this may be inconvenient; I’d be happy to jump on the phone to discuss a few freelancers I know that could do great work for [company].
Let me know if there’s anything I can do to help make this transition easier for you. Thank you again for your business.”
Not only does this type of email make clear that you’re moving on to bigger and better things — which, while probably annoying to your client, makes clear that you’re moving on to bigger, better paid things, so it’s a good template for penny-pinching clients.
The rest of the strategies are found here: How to fire your client – Freelancers Union.