How do you set boundaries without pissing off clients in freelancing?

Better to set boundaries to avoid negative conversations in the first place!

Always do these x3 things when you set boundaries as a freelancer…

1 Make it clear you’ve made an exception

The client often doesn’t even know you’re doing them a favour.

You need to let t hem know this is exceptional behaviour, that you’re going the extra mile.
Otherwise, they will always expect it, or won’t even know they were supposed tobe grateful…
Then you will be the unreasonable one for resenting it.

2 Put a cap on it.

If you do a favour, it will become the expected behaviour.
So don’t do it, unless you are willing to do it more than once.

The exception? if you set a limit.

So ALWAYS set a limit to the scope of the favour with clients.
🔹How many times will you do this thing?
🔹How long will you help?
🔹What IFs or BUTs will you set?

3 Take responsibility.

Saying yes is the easy option because it’s the path of least resistance NOW.
But it will mean harder options later.

So you need to commit.
If you don’t want to do it, do the hard thing and say no.
Otherwise, make sure you’re happy doing it.


Pushing boundaries is just human.
Override your instinct to get annoyed or pushback
People will offload problems onto others.
Your job is to try to be helpful and help as much as you are willing,
but also to decide in advance where the line is drawn so you aren’t caught off guard.

If you agree because you feel forced but then resent the client for it, that’s on you!

If they react poorly, then that’s on them…

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Nicholas Robb

Founder, Design Hero
Author of Life by Design

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