Book Writing, Self Publishing, and Marketing Coach

Does your Former Ideal Client Need to be Fired? 7 Reasons

Over the past twenty plus years, I wrote a piece to give my clients before I accepted them, called “Are You My Ideal Client?” This piece set the values and respect I require, and set the bar high enough for me to enjoy my coaching.

It worked for a while. How soon the impatient, needy, desperate, and wanting all strategies to be done yesterday clients started knocking. They wanted much more than what makes this calling of book coaching so much fun for me and the passionate people I work with. Open hearted, open-minded communication needs some tweaking. Make sure your clients don’t suck you dry with these 7 sins.

One. They complain about your fees.

Think about the “mistake money” that costs far more than your service.

One thing is for sure, many clients seek me out AFTER they wasted so much time and money going down the wrong path, especially in publishing and marketing.

Two. They don’t value what took you a long time to become a master at.

One of my recent clients did not want me to be a book coach, but her editor. She thought it would take too long. She forgot my value - to make sure her new book contains the pre-marketing strategies within her work and the fast chapter writing blueprint to make sure her reader would finish the chapters and recommend it. She really wanted me to just line edit the book - and believe me, although this therapist needed to shorten those long unwieldy sentences and a plethora of passive verbs and -ing sentences, she really needed to write a clear and easy to follow, reader-friendly copy. Chapter parts help your reader get your message across smoothly.

The problem here is writers don’t know their ignorance as another client just shared on her FB page. The same is true for any consultant and coaching business.

Three. They don’t appreciate your valuable time.

Yes, you want to help them succeed, but not for a free 20 minutes more than the session.
You have schedules you need to honor and they need to honor your time.

Four. They just can’t ever be pleased enough.

Oh, how I don’t miss those daily emails asking me for more - free of course!

Yes, I did confront this recent client I mentioned and we parted ways. Now I can give more to the sane clients who aren’t “crazy makers.”

Five. They act like they own you.

These clients know your value, but when you confront them with your boundaries, they protest, “Who me? I thought you loved me!” I can tell you I don’t do guilt well. I’m forever positive, and I don’t put up with behavior that doesn’t respect me.

Six. Your client is ignorant about the skills and strategies you are teaching them.

One much older client, an astrologer, as other many personal growth people believe, did not know he needed a book sales letter up on his site and a LinkedIn profile. As a master coach he didn’t honor my how to books on LinkedIn marketing and Profile Up leveling and my 25 years experience behind the teachings. He argued with me every step of the way. He didn’t enjoy it and I felt like I was experiencing a root canal!

Seven. Your clients don’t pay on time.

To solve this challenge, you can do what I do. I don’t have to chase any monies owed me. I require already trusting potential clients to take responsibility and pre-pay and pre-register at my coaching pages to show their commitment. Then they email me their agenda ahead so we have more fruitful coaching phone sessions.

Eight. Bonus! When a client complains, you start doubting your abilities.

We empathetic coaches relate to this one. We don’t mind a few emails to clarify, but solutions come in the sessions. Are you a go giver as I am? Now what I do is send the free requests to my free 170 blog articles on my site. I let them know, they can have all these freely, but coaching is my business and livelihood.

For me, I’d rather let go of a problematic client sooner than later. Then, I can appreciate and give more to my wonderful clients who take the business strategies and actions I suggest.

What’s your take on these tips? Share your insights with me too and put a smile on my face!

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  • Bea

    You are so on target, Judy, and I'm sending you an email to know why kismet has joined us just today. Bless you, dear lady!

  • Shelley

    Judy, these are across the board accurate. I have wonderful clients, yet pieces of these can sneak in there. Thank you!

  • Joanne Victoria

    Yay! Time this was said and appreciate your saying it. Congrats on your honestly.

  • Melanie

    Being taken advantage of is never a pleasant experience, is it, Judy?

    I've been taken advantage of as a lactation consultant more times than I care to count.

    Patients I've consulted with during their hospital stay or those who have attended my childbirth education class seem to have no qualms about calling me at home expecting solutions to their breastfeeding problems … gratis. They view me as a trusted "friend", not as a professional.

    I'm finally at a point where I'm putting my foot down (and racking up some unhappy campers, I'm sure). I'm making it clear I'm not in the "giveaway" business. There's a fee for my service and those who don't want to pay it will have to seek help elsewhere.

    Love the different scenarios you've shared and thanks for an excellent read!

  • PhyllisZimblerMiller

    Judy —

    Great post — and so true!

    Sometimes it is hard to walk away from a prospective client who I know will raise my blood pressure constantly, but it has to be done.

    And I just sent someone today to my free articles after explaining that consulting is my business. The free articles are there to help everyone — and my time and knowledge are what I charge for.

    Hope this post helps lots of people.

    Phyllis Zimbler Miller

  • Judy Cullins

    Hi Bea, and thanks for your email. Good feedback and I'm off to keep writing my blog at your suggestion!

  • Judy Cullins

    Thanks Shelley. Glad these tips helped you out!

  • Judy Cullins

    Joanne, Thanks for commenting. Why not honesty? I'm thinking it's good for me to share this so others can look at their clients. We want them, but we need to ask a few questions before we accept them! I'm now getting that part down too!

  • Judy Cullins

    Congrats Melanie for putting up your boundaries! If we do, it weeds out lookie loos for freebies!

  • Judy Cullins

    Thanks for the feedback Phyllis,
    I do the same thing. Free blog articles and free useful writing, self-publishing and marketing tips to my visitor's email door each week for convenience. And, after the double opt-in, they can learn weekly in little pieces of what they need. Hopefully, to see my value and buy one of my 14 books and packages, or coach with me for 1/2 hour strategy intro.

    For my free weekly tips, go to

  • summit4sucess

    Thanks Judy, Glad of your all you said, I am a Reflexologist 20 years experience and I was told some of the same by my coach today. Appreciate all your work and look forward to reading articles.

  • Gerry

    Judy this came at such a great time. I'm a marketing coach and I really want to help people succeed, but I have had so many "clients" coming for free stuff, criticizing, telling me I thought I would make money by now (but of course they don't do the work, it's too hard, they're stuck, can't I just "fix" it for them?) that I was ready to take down my site and quit. I felt like a failure and guilty for all these people I couldn't seem to "help". I was having less and less time for the lesser number but passionate and hardworking real students. How simple. Dump the guilt, send the free requests to my blogs and get on with my real work with real clients. THANK YOU. I'll stay and implement your grow a backbone strategy!

  • 1106 Design

    It's human nature to always want more. We give all our clients the benefit of the doubt and try to accommodate them. It's always better when they walk away happy than not, especially in today's social media environment. Fortunately, the chronic complainers who refuse to be pleased no matter what we do are few and far between. When they do show up, their behavior is in such stark contrast to the "ideal client" you describe that it's easy to say, "this isn't a good fit."
    Michele DeFilippo, owner, 1106 Design
    Book design and self-publishing advice. With hand-holding.

  • Judy Cullins

    MIchele. Thanks for your comment. I love a good fit and now I discuss 5-7 boundaries I want to honor BEFORE we coach! Works even better! Hand-holding is in for me too!

  • Judy Cullins

    Gerry, Gald you got the message. I advise no guilt, have fun, and prosper with our clients. I have 3 new ones this week and they read my boundaries and loved them. So far so good!
    Gerry, if you want more free useful tips delivered to your email join my site at

  • Judy Cullins

    Summit for Sucess. Sorry to be tardy. I'm still a low techie! Glad you got value and for more free biz tips, join my site at

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