When a Client Asks for Too Much Work, Here’s What to Do.

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As freelancers, it can be hard to stay firm and stick to our limits. We want to please our clients, after all. But sometimes, clients ask too much from us in terms of work. So, how do we politely tell them that we can’t do it?

The first step is to be honest with yourself about your capabilities. It’s easy to get caught up in the moment and think you can tackle any task thrown at you, even if it means sacrificing sleep and sanity! However, this isn’t sustainable or healthy in the long run. Ask yourself — am I really capable of doing this amount of work within the allotted timeframe? If the answer is no (or if you have a nagging feeling that it might be no), then it’s important to communicate that to your client right away.

When you have an honest conversation with your client about the project scope and timelines, make sure to use language that suggests collaboration instead of confrontation. There are many ways to say “no” without actually saying “no.” For example, try phrases like “I could certainly look into that,” “I’m not sure if I can complete that within the timeframe,” or “Let me check my availability.” This will help keep communication open while still making it clear that there are boundaries for what is possible given your skill set and time constraints.

It’s also important to remember that clients may not understand what goes into producing quality work — they just want results! So ensure you explain why more time is needed and back up your reasoning with facts and figures where possible so they can understand why more time or resources may be needed on their project.


🍩 Just the Sprinkles

No one likes hearing “no” as an answer but with some tactful negotiation skills and an understanding of both parties’ needs, it’s totally possible for everyone involved in a project to walk away feeling satisfied with the outcome. Remember: setting boundaries doesn’t mean ending relationships — rather, it reinforces a respectful client-freelancer relationship where both parties know what they can expect from each other. Ultimately, these boundaries lead to better working relationships which result in better outcomes for all involved!

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