How to let go of a client you just can’t please
Here’s the scenario: You have a client who you adore and is sweet as can be but her style and yours just don’t mesh. She likely even said she was on board with trusting you to DRAMATICALLY alter her brand’s aesthetic (even agreeing to and “loving” examples you sent). You could be on your third revision for a logo and she’s not close to being happy with the vibe.
You know it’s time to respectfully bring your working relationship to a close.
What you need is a way to lovingly let go of this client while remaining friendly. You realized it’s more about a clash of styles than anything else. It’s important your reputation stays in tact AND you keep on good terms because you likely see each other in many online groups and possibly even in person! You also never know when she might be wanting to embrace your style again and have that door wide open for the opportunity. Sometimes it’s simply a matter of readiness to embrace change. And it’s ok that all clients aren’t at the same place you are.
This is how you let go of a client you just can’t please.
My “rule of thumb” for having this kind of conversation (and I WOULD encourage a conversation instead of an email) BUT I will also adapt for email:
Hey there ____________,
I wanted to tell you how much I’ve enjoyed getting to know you and your business. I particularly love how <insert something you adore about their work>. We’re on revision 3 of 3 revisions and each time I reveal my creative solutions to you I feel like I’ve missed the mark.
I have my style and you have yours and though we’d talked about dramatically changing your brand aesthetic, something hasn’t felt quite right for me for some time. It’s possible we aren’t the best fit for each other. I’ve been exploring ways to talk to you about this but feel the best thing to do at this point is to be honest about what I’m feeling and find out how you are feeling. How are things going from your perspective? My goal is for you to LOVE your new branding and if I’m not hitting the mark on what you need, you deserve a designer who can better articulate your vision.
It’s taken a lot of courage for me to admit that I may not be who you need and I have a hunch you’ve been feeling it too.
I recognize this stuff is really hard to talk to about and I can already sense that we’re both feeling disappointed that this didn’t work out as we’d planned.
I think it’s best that we abide by the contract we signed and respectfully choose to go a different direction. I will cancel the current project and send you your client files to date so another designer can pick right up and get you going in the direction you deserve.
I can also send off some names of designers I know who may be a much better fit for your brand style if you need them. Just let me know if you’d like a soft introduction to any of them!
Your Badass + Honest Designer
I hope this script helps you let go of the clients who are being energy vampires in your life too!