What to do when a client ghosts you

Written by Xolo
on March 25, 2024 6 minute read

As a freelancer, your relationship with clients is the foundation of your business. It's a delicate balance of communication, trust, and mutual respect. However, when a client suddenly disappears without a word, it can feel like the ground beneath you is crumbling. Ghosting is not just an inconvenience; it can have real financial implications for freelancers who rely on a steady stream of projects to sustain their livelihood.

Understanding why clients ghost can help you navigate this situation with grace and professionalism. It could be due to a variety of reasons, from financial difficulties on their end to simply finding a better fit for their needs. By approaching the situation with empathy and a level head, you can better assess the best course of action to take.

When faced with being ghosted, it's essential to follow up professionally. Give them the benefit of the doubt and inquire about their well-being before setting a deadline for a response. Offering solutions, such as revisions or a meeting to discuss their expectations, can also help salvage the relationship. And always remember to refer back to your contract, which should outline communication expectations and payment terms.

If all attempts to reconnect fail, it may be time to move on and focus your energy on clients who value your work. However, don't forget about getting paid for the work you've completed. Send a final invoice along with a gentle reminder of the agreed-upon payment terms. 

Ultimately, being ghosted by a client is a challenging aspect of freelancing, but how you handle it can speak volumes about your professionalism and dedication to your craft. Stay true to your worth as a freelancer, and don't let ghosting incidents diminish your value in the industry. Now, let's dive deeper into the topic.


What Does It Mean To Be Ghosted By A Client?

Being ghosted by a client can feel like a sudden and unexpected loss of connection. One moment, you're in the midst of discussing project details, deadlines, and deliverables, and the next, there's an eerie silence that leaves you wondering what went wrong. For freelancers who rely on a steady stream of projects and payments to keep their business running smoothly, this interruption in communication can be not just frustrating, but also financially impactful. It can throw off your cash flow and disrupt your project schedule, creating a sense of uncertainty and unease.

The lack of closure that comes with being ghosted can leave you feeling unsettled and questioning where things went wrong. Without clear communication from the client about their reasons for disappearing, it can be easy to internalize the situation and wonder if it was something you did or didn't do that led to this outcome. It's a reminder of the delicate balance that freelancers walk in maintaining client relationships and the importance of clear and open communication in ensuring mutual understanding and respect.

As you navigate the challenges of being ghosted by a client, it's important to remember that it's not a reflection of your worth as a freelancer. Sometimes, clients have their reasons for going silent, whether it's due to personal issues, financial constraints, or simply finding a better fit for their needs. By approaching the situation with empathy and professionalism, you can not only potentially salvage the relationship but also demonstrate your resilience and dedication to your work.

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Why Ghosting Happens and What to Do About It

Ghosting can occur for various reasons, ranging from personal issues on the client's side to dissatisfaction with your work. Sometimes, it's just the result of poor communication skills or the client facing unexpected circumstances. Understanding that ghosting is often more about the client's inadequacies than your performance can help you approach the situation with empathy and professionalism.

Ghosting Reasons

Clients may ghost for a variety of reasons, reflecting a complex interplay of personal, professional, and situational factors. Financial difficulties are a common cause, with clients facing unexpected constraints that make it challenging for them to proceed with a project.

Financial Difficulties

Clients may ghost due to a variety of reasons, with financial difficulties being a common cause. It could be that they are facing unexpected financial constraints that make it challenging for them to proceed with the project. In such situations, understanding their position and offering flexible payment options or discussing a revised timeline could potentially help alleviate the issue and re-establish communication. By approaching the situation with empathy and a willingness to find a mutually beneficial solution, you not only demonstrate professionalism but also show that you value the client relationship beyond just the financial aspect.


Clients may find it challenging to articulate their dissatisfaction with your work due to various reasons. It could be a lack of clarity on their end about what they are looking for, or perhaps they feel uncomfortable giving feedback that may come across as negative. In some cases, they might simply prefer to avoid any potential confrontation by choosing to remain silent instead of addressing their concerns directly. This can create a sense of ambiguity and uncertainty on both sides, making it crucial for freelancers to proactively address any issues and seek constructive feedback to improve their services. By understanding the nuances of client communication and being open to feedback, freelancers can build stronger relationships and deliver better results in the long run.

Better Offer

Clients may ghost if they've found a better offer or a freelancer who suits their needs more closely. This can happen in a competitive freelance market where clients are constantly seeking the best fit for their projects. Whether it's a freelancer with more specialized skills, a lower rate, or simply a better rapport with the client, there are various reasons why a client may choose to go silent and pursue other options. While it can be disheartening to lose a client in this way, it's important to remember that it's a natural part of the freelance landscape. By staying proactive, continuously improving your skills, and building strong client relationships, you can position yourself as a valuable asset in the industry and attract clients who appreciate your unique expertise and dedication to their projects.


Clients juggling multiple projects or personal issues may unintentionally ghost you because they're overwhelmed. It's not that they intentionally ignore your messages or disappear without a trace. As a freelancer, it's important to approach these situations with empathy and understanding. Instead of taking their silence personally, consider the myriad of factors that could be contributing to their lack of communication. By acknowledging their busy schedule and offering support and flexibility, you can help alleviate some of the pressure they're facing, ultimately fostering a stronger and more compassionate client-freelancer relationship.

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How to Handle Being Ghosted by a Client

1. Follow up professionally

When reaching out to a client who has gone silent, it's crucial to maintain a professional and empathetic tone in your follow-up communication. Craft a polite and concise email expressing your concern about the lack of communication and inquire if everything is okay on their end. By giving them the benefit of the doubt and showing genuine interest in their well-being, you demonstrate your professionalism and commitment to resolving any issues that may have arisen.

2. Set a deadline

In your follow-up message, politely but firmly set a deadline for their response. Clearly communicate that in order to continue allocating time to their projects and meeting their needs, you need to hear back by a specific date. This sets clear expectations and boundaries while also giving the client a sense of urgency to address the situation promptly.

3. Offer solutions

If you suspect that the client's ghosting may be due to dissatisfaction with your work, take the initiative to offer solutions. Propose making revisions or suggest scheduling a meeting to discuss how you can better meet their expectations. By showing a willingness to address any concerns and improve the quality of your work, you demonstrate your commitment to delivering high-quality results and fostering a positive client relationship.

4. Use a Contract

It's always important to have a solid contract in place that outlines communication expectations and consequences for non-responses. Refer back to the terms laid out in your contract when addressing the issue of ghosting with the client. This not only reinforces the importance of clear communication but also helps protect your rights and ensure that both parties are held accountable for their obligations.

5. Send Them Their Bill

Despite the lack of communication, you're entitled to payment for completed work. Send a final invoice along with a polite reminder of the payment terms stated in your contract. Utilize invoicing platforms or tools like Xolo Go, which simplifies the invoicing process and helps you maintain professionalism during uncomfortable situations like these. Document all your attempts to reach out and the work completed, as this can be important if you need to take further action to secure your payment. 

6. Move On

If despite your best efforts, the client continues to remain unresponsive, it may be time to accept the situation and move on. Redirect your focus and energy towards clients who value your work and time, and who are willing to engage in open and productive communication. While it can be disappointing to lose a client in this manner, prioritizing your own well-being and professional growth is essential in maintaining a successful freelance business.


While being ghosted by a client is an unfortunate part of freelancing, handling it with professionalism can help you maintain your dignity and potentially salvage the relationship for future opportunities. Remember, your time and services are valuable; don't let ghosting incidents detract from your worth as a freelancer.

For freelancers navigating the complexities of client relationships and looking for ways to ensure they get paid for their hard work, Xolo Go offers an easy invoicing solution without the need for a registered company. 

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