What do you do when a client ghosts you?

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Ghosted by a client? Unfortunately, this is a common experience for freelancers. It’s a situation that leaves freelancers sick with worry as to how they’re going to recover from it. But not all hope is lost, here are the 3 things to do that’ll save the sale.

  1. Let it go
  2. Follow-up, they could just be busy, right?
  3. Send a free piece of information or tool/PDF that could help the ghosted client so you stay top of mind

If a client ghosts you, don’t take it personally. There can be many reasons why a client starts ghosting you, none of which is anything to do with you and your services. Typically, a client is just really busy and you’re not their top priority. Therefore, you as the freelancer need to consider how you’re going to react to this problem. Are you going to move on or will you keep sending reminders to the client of your existence until they require your services again.

when a freelancer gets ghosted by a client

According to a survey, nearly one-third of freelancers didn’t get paid for their work in 2020 and the top reason given is that they were ghosted by a client. As you can see, clients ghosting freelancers is a big problem that we all face. But for the freelancer, you have a choice as to how you overcome this problem.

As a freelancer for over 10 years, I’ve had my fair share of clients ghosting me. But what I’ve learned from all of the experiences of ghosting is how you react to it. Clients have ghosted me because there business has decided to go a different direction, a client decided to close his business, and a client suffered a bereavement. With each client, (apart from the one who chose to close their business) I took a very different approach.

How I chose to approach the client was based on the clients’ social media activity and how good my relationship is with the client.

Consider your relationship with the client who’s ghosting you before you decide how you approach the problem. Check out each of these 3 strategies before you decide how you’re going to approach your client.

Let it go

To start with if a client has ghosted you, never ever take it personally. There could be numerous reasons why a client has not spoken to you. Reasons can involve

  • Bereavement
  • Illness
  • Change to the client’s plans
  • Change to the project or business
  • Client lost your email among the pile of others they have

These are all typical reasons that are given to freelancers. Typically a client just doesn’t ghost a freelancer, there will be other reasons behind it. To find out the other reasons behind them ghosting you can be done with a little bit of detective work.

Take a look at the clients social media and what they are posting. Look at comments they’ve made on other peoples posts too. This can give you a clue as to what is going on with the client.

Though if a client hasn’t spoken to you at all for a long period of time, you should just let it go. Also, if you’ve made plenty of valid attempts to reach out, you should just let it go. It might sound drastic, but if a client does still want to work with you and needs your services, they will reach out when they can.

This might be a hard pill to swallow especially if it’s your first client or got no other clients. But you might find yourself better off working on your freelance business and reaching more high-quality clients who need your services right now. As freelancing is a global opportunity, you have a worldwide audience that you can reach.

So don’t spend all your time trying to figure out a client who’s ghosted you. Figure out who you’re potential clients are that need your services right now.

Follow-up, they could just be busy, right?

You may have heard that the money is in the follow-up when pitching a client, but this is also true when you’ve been ghosted.

When a client is ghosting you, consider sending 2 follow-up emails. Though what you don’t want to do is just send 3 emails asking for the client to speak to you. Here’s what you want to put in your follow-up emails.

If the client has recently been featured at an event, congratulate them on this and ask about the event. By sending this email you’re triggering a response from the client. The client wants to respond as your playing to their ego and making them talk about themselves. Remember, people just love to talk about themselves so let them. Get that conversation going and try to start talking about the project you’d been hired for.

When the project or business has changed the clients needs will have changed. By researching on social media what your client is up to right now, you can make an offer to the client that matches the change. When a clients needs has changed, this doesn’t change their opinion of you.

If the client had a great experience working with you, they’re more open to hearing your new offer to them and how you can help them achieve a result.

Whenever you send a follow-up email to a client, first send them a message on social media to say your sending an email. By doing this, the client will make an effort to find your email at the time you said you’ll send the email.

Send a freebie

Sending a freebie such as a PDF helps the client who’s ghosting you keep you on top of mind. Becoming a valuable resource for clients keeps the client interested in you and what you can do for them. As mentioned earlier, a client could’ve just start ghosting you for numerous reasons.

Never ever take it personally, but look at it as an opportunity to reinforce your expertise and how you can help the client. If you don’t know what resources to provide the client, take a look at their business and what they’re planning to do.

Clients can’t help but talk about their business, so just by keeping an eye on their social media platforms, you can learn more about their business. Then armed with this information about the client’s business and plans, you can perceive problems that clients can come across. As the freelancer, leave clients a free resource to help them overcome this problem.

Just remember to leave your contact details and a package of services that’ll fit the clients changing needs.

Even though the client who’s ghosting you may not be a client again, by being a valuable resource increases the chances of them referring someone else to you as you’ve proved your expertise. So either way by becoming a valuable resource you could get a win win situation where both you and the client gain something.

In A Nutshell,

Your client has ghosted you, it sucks but it happens to us all at some time in our freelancing careers. What matters is how you respond to it. Do you either let it go and move onto the next client. Or do you keep in touch with the client by following up with them and becoming a valuable resource to them which could lead to referrals.

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