Ghosting freelancers: it’s not scary, just rude

Dee Primett

Wicked Creative UK

Do you know what one of the main things about freelancing that boils my pee? Ghosting. Ghosting (not ghostwriting which is a popular service that I offer!) is the subject of this blog post, stemming from the fact that I have been ghosted by people several times in the last few months.

You may not have heard of ghosting before. In the freelance world, ‘professional ghosting’ refers to a business contact suddenly becoming unresponsive to all forms of communication.

They do this without explanation or any sign that the ghosting is coming. Ghosting occurs in the personal world too. But when it happens in the ‘professional’ world, I personally think it’s just downright unprofessional – ironic really!

Now if you’ve ever worked freelance, you’ll know that ghosting when an invoice is due isn’t uncommon practice at all. But that, my friends, should be a topic for a whole ‘nother blog post. But just lately, I’ve been ghosted by several prospective clients.

These aren’t cold leads. Far from it. One I was introduced to on a group message who I then introduced myself and my services to, only to be greeted with tumbleweed.

Another reached out to me via social media, asked me to email my details, and yet again…. Nothing. Nada. Zilch. And these are just two examples.

Now I’ve been freelancing successfully for 5 and a half years. I know that I’m not going to be the right fit for every project – far from it. In fact, I try and position myself so that I work primarily in the niche areas that I know I have the experience and skill in so that I can be sure to deliver great results. (You can read about these on my website!)

Even then, maybe they still thought that my portfolio of work wasn’t what they were looking for and they wanted to go elsewhere. They might have even thought it was total shit! Do you know what, that’s absolutely fine. Not every client is right for me either. Working as a freelancer requires you to develop a thick skin. But don’t ghost, just tell me.

Ghosting is rude and unprofessional, especially when you have specifically been introduced to someone or reached out to them yourself. If you aren’t interested, say so.

You don’t even have to be honest with the reason why (though obviously, I would rather you were – feedback is valuable, even if it’s not necessarily what you want to hear).

But don’t steer away from the awkward conversation or email. Freelancers are professionals too, and we deserve to be treated with the same respect you’d give someone you were speaking to or working with in person.

Be brave, don’t ghost!

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