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7 Email Templates for Freelancers

If client communication is a struggle for you, you’re not alone. It’s hard for most freelancers. And that’s especially true when it comes to writing emails. If you’re like me, you get stuck in a perfectionist spiral trying to get the wording just right, and 10 times out of 10, it ends up taking 10x longer than you expected.

Am I oversharing?
Do I sound friendly?
Will they take me seriously?

Luckily, after plenty of trial and error, we’ve come up with some foolproof freelance email templates to help you cut through the noise. I crowdsourced some of these from our freelance community and came up with a few myself.

Ready to stop stressing, send the email, and get back to running your business?

Cool. Let’s do it.

These freelance email templates will get your point across quickly — and make you look professional.

Template 1: How to Break Up With a Client

Coming up with what to say and how to say it when you’re facing an impending breakup can be daunting. This is one of the toughest emails to send, even if you’re certain that it’s time to say goodbye. You want to come across as professional and cordial, yet firm when needed. Use this template to end a client relationship gracefully while holding your boundaries.

Hi [CLIENT],

As we’ve discussed in the past few weeks, [REFERENCE ISSUES]. It’s become difficult to [INCLUDE YOUR CHALLENGE]. While I wish you the best of luck on this, I no longer feel I’m the right partner for you and I’ll need to transition off of the project.

In accordance with our contract, I will provide support for this project for the next two weeks and help you transition as best I can. At the end of the two-week period, I will send over a final invoice so we can close out the project.

In the next two weeks, I will be completing:

– TASK 1
– TASK 2
– TASK 3

Please don’t hesitate to reach out with questions. I’m happy to hop on a call to discuss further.

I appreciate your understanding and hope to stay connected. 

Thank you,
[NAME]

P.S. Check out our blog post, How to Break Up With a Bad Client, to find out why it’s important to include all these details in your email.

Template 2: How to Tell a Client You’re Not a Good Fit

You had a great discovery call. You like what they’re up to. But the work is just not the right fit. Maybe it doesn’t align with your current workload or calendar, or you just don’t want to take on the project. It can be hard to tell a potential client you don’t want to work together, and yet that email needs to be sent. Use this template to break the news.

Hi [POTENTIAL CLIENT],

Thank you so much for taking the time to share about your business and project. It was great to connect and learn more about what you’re doing!

At this time, this project is not going to be the right fit for me. Let me know if I can support you in any other way and let’s make sure to stay in touch!

All the best,
[NAME]

Template 3: How to Screen Clients Before the First Meeting

Your time is valuable so screening potential clients via email, before setting a meeting, is a smart way to make sure there’s actual potential there. I love the ideas Ashley Cummings shared on Twitter about what she includes in an email like this, so I combined her template and mine into this perfect pre-call email.

Hey [POTENTIAL CLIENT],

Thanks so much for reaching out. I’d love to see if I can support you on this project. Before scheduling a call, I want to share a little about me and my process to make sure it sounds like a fit for you.

I’ve been in this space for X years and have been lucky enough to work with a variety of companies, including [INSERT PAST CLIENTS].

My prices [START AT X OR RANGE FROM X TO Y] and my process is as follows:

[BRIEF BREAKDOWN OF YOUR PROCESSES — A FEW BULLETS OR SENTENCES MAX]

If this sounds like a fit, I’d love to get a call scheduled. Does [DATE/TIME] work for you?

I look forward to hearing your thoughts!
[NAME]

Template 4: How to Tell a Client You’re Going on Parental Leave

Welcoming a new child is so exciting, but it can be a weird topic to broach with clients. As awkward as it can feel, telling them ahead of time can help everyone plan for what’s to come, yourself included. I recommend using the template Kat Boogard shared, which she used to tell her clients she was going to take maternity leave.

Hey [CLIENT NAME],

I hope you’re having a great week! Sharing this sort of news is always kind of awkward — and that’s especially true in a remote and freelance environment. But, I figure if we worked side-by-side in the same office, this is the sort of thing that would come up naturally. So, I didn’t want to skip out on sharing with you.

I’m so excited to let you know that my partner and I are expecting our first baby in the middle of May!

As a freelancer without any sort of [maternity/paternity] leave, I don’t intend to unplug from my work for an extended period of time. However, I will be taking a short break to welcome this nugget into the world.

I’m told that babies (and deliveries!) are notoriously difficult to plan for. So, rest assured that I’ll definitely be in touch as that time gets closer to coordinate any necessary timelines, workload, etc. I fully intend to continue working after the baby arrives, and would love to keep collaborating with you on a regular basis (provided that feeling is mutual, of course!).

But, for now, I just wanted to loop you in on the happy news with an advanced heads up. Please don’t hesitate to let me know if you have any questions!

Thanks,
[NAME]

Template 5: How to Tell a Client You’re Taking Vacation

It can be nerve-wracking telling clients that you’re taking time off for vacation. What if they want to stop working together? What if it disrupts their needs? What if they think you’re not committed?

Anxiety aside, remember: Your need for a vacation (or even a mental health break) is both valid and crucial. Here’s a short and sweet template you can use to reassure your clients so you can enjoy some well-deserved time off.

Hey [CLIENT NAME],

I hope you’re doing well! I’m reaching out because I will be taking some much-needed time away from work. I plan to be offline from [INSERT DATES].

I want to make sure nothing slips through the cracks and that we can jump right back in when I get back, so here’s a list of things I plan to take care of before signing off:
– Task
– Task
– Task

Is there anything else you want me to get done or prep for?

Let me know,
[NAME]

Template 6: How to Pitch a Client Cold

Cold outreach is a powerful tool for getting in front of new clients, but writing a pitch email doesn’t come naturally to those of us who are not sales experts (*raises hand*)! I’ve learned that you have to be short and sweet while still sharing all the important details of how you can add value to this potential client’s business. It ain’t easy, but it’s definitely possible. Here’s a template I recommend customizing for your next round of outreach.

Hey [POTENTIAL CLIENT],

My name is [NAME], and [INSERT PERSONAL REFERENCE OR CONNECTION].

I’m reaching out because I am [INSERT OUTCOME-BASED ELEVATOR PITCH]. I’d love to work with your company.

Do you have time to talk about how I could support you in [INSERT HOW YOU CAN HELP] on either [INSERT TWO SPECIFIC TIMES IN NEXT 48 HOURS]?

I look forward to your response!

Thank you,
[NAME]

To better understand this template and the format, make sure you read our blog post The Art of Cold Pitching to Grow Your Freelance Business.

Template 7: How to Ask for a Testimonial

Testimonials are critical for your business. They speak to the value you offer clients and can spell the difference between landing a new client or losing them. The challenge is asking for it. It can feel vulnerable. But I promise, it doesn’t have to be scary or awkward. I really like the template Alyssa Towns shared, so I put our Harlow spin on it to create a short and sweet template for you to get the testimonials you need.

Hey [CLIENT NAME],

I hope you’re doing well! I’m reaching out because I’d love to update my testimonials page to include some words from you. It’s been such a pleasure working together and it would be great to highlight our work together!

If you’re willing to share a testimonial, will you please share 1-2 paragraphs explaining what you enjoyed about working together and the results you experienced?

I’m happy to send specific questions to answer if that’s easier for you as well.

Thanks in advance!
[NAME]

Take Our Templates!

Good communication is foundational to managing your freelance business. But sometimes the words are hard to find. So take our words and run with them! Customize these templates as much as you’d like, then make sure to use them. When you save all that time spent stressing over drafts, you can get back to the work that actually inspires you. And better yet — take more vacations. 😉

    About the Author
    Samantha is co-founder of Harlow. Previously she was a marketing and demand gen freelancer. She enjoys traveling, connecting with new people, spending time with her dog Karl, and throwing back an extra dirty martini every now and then.

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