Episode 83: Signed A Client Who Isn’t A Good Fit…What Now?

What do you do when you’ve signed a client that

Jody Milward

What do you do when you’ve signed a client that is not a good fit? That’s what I talk about today in this episode of Online Confidential, where I take you behind the scenes to talk about ‘Secret Ad Manager’ business.

Despite everything you know, there are times when you sign on a client who is not the right fit. It happens to all of us. Whether you’re new to being an ad manager, or you’re an experienced ad manager, the way you manage clients who don’t turn out to be a good fit is a rite of passage to claim your ad manager label.

So many ad managers wear their heart on their sleeve and want to help people.

You’ll get on calls with people you know you can help and you can take them on board. Maybe there are some red flags that you choose to ignore, and that feeling in your gut, that’s saying, ‘oh, this isn’t quite right.’

Or there’s something that didn’t even come on the radar on the first call when everything looked good. It’s only after you get them on board that you realize, ‘oh, this is not gonna work well.’

What do you do?

Well, there’s three options and that’s what I’ll cover in this article.

  • Get help

First of all you can get help. This is where you take a client on board and you may feel a bit out of your depth. It might be because you’re managing a bigger ad spend than before and you need help to be able to get things in order.

You need guidance to help you get results for your client, or possibly because things just aren’t working. Maybe the funnel has worked in the past and it’s not working now, or things are just broken.

If this is the case, then get help with an extra set of eyes on the account to help you identify things that maybe you’ve just overlooked. And that’s where a group like the Ad Manager’s Inner Circle is priceless. It’s where you get regular access to coaches and an active ad manager community so you can ask questions and have other experienced ad managers look at your ad account. Or be supported by peers in the community who have been there, who may have had a similar experience, so when you ask questions you get answers. Being open to help is such an important part of being an ad manager.

You don’t need to feel like you’re on your own and you’ve got to figure it all out by yourself.  Don’t be embarrassed about having to ask a question that you think you should already know. Don’t let pride get in the way. There’s the saying, ‘Pride Comes Before a Fall.’ In this case that fall could be losing the client.

When instead just getting help, can help turn things around so you keep the client.

This way you turn it around from thinking,

‘I shouldn’t have got them on board. I’m out of my depth. I don’t what I’m doing’ to,

‘Great. I’ve got a plan. I’ve got someone else’s eyes on board. Yes, I’m actually right with the plan I have, and I know I’m on the right track.’

Get help is the first thing you can do.

  • Get out

Maybe it’s not a case of being overwhelmed or second guessing yourself. Maybe it’s a case of the client not treating you well. Maybe they’re a bit of a bully.

Or maybe they’re demanding. If you’re getting messages at 9 PM on a Sunday night from them asking for something first thing on Monday morning. Maybe they’re treating you like an employee rather than a contractor or an agency that they have hired, who has multiple clients and rather than fitting in with your schedule they’re demanding things get done and things get done now.

So if you’re being pushed around and you’re spending way too many hours on their account because they’ve put all these expectations on you and you’re at their beck and call. Then that’s the type of situation when it might be best to get out. Especially, if they’re not respecting your boundaries as the ad expert.

There’s two things you can do here.

  1. You can try and set the right boundaries but when they’ve been crossed, it’s quite hard to do. Or get out of the arrangement. Now if you signed them up for a 90 day agreement, generally you would have a clause you can refer to that allows for 30 days notice.

So if at some point after six weeks, or say it’s the 60 day mark, then you’ve got just 30 days to go. Then give them notice at that 60 day mark and let them know that you’ll finish up in 30 days. So it’s business as usual for these 30 days.

However, it’s advisable to try and set the right boundaries anyway, and you can tell the client,

‘At this point it seems this is not the best fit for either of us because your expectations (or requirements) are XYZ’ or otherwise it might be the ad budget limitation or their funnel needs work. They may need to go back to the drawing board and get their funnel in order.

Getting yourself out can be the right solution for you.  You don’t have to keep going if it’s not working out. And you’ll know when it’s a sign to get out if it’s really affecting you.

If you’re waking up first thing in the morning, stressing about the account, stressing about going to look at your emails because you’re afraid that there’s going be an email from them. That’s a classic sign that it is time to part ways.

This is your business. You’re creating your business and your lifestyle.

Don’t allow things in that are going to be negative for you.

You may as well go off and get a job somewhere and work somewhere that you don’t like…this is your own business.

Create a business that you love and work with people that you love to work with.

  • Get them support

The third option is get them the support they need, but not in the done-for-you method.

If you’ve taken them on board as a done-for-you client but you discover they may not have been ready.

Maybe they don’t have enough ad spend, but they said initially, ‘oh no, no, that’s fine. I’ll pay you a retainer and I’ll only have this little bit for ad spend’ and then things just don’t work out well. This is where you can offer them some coaching, some group support to be able to continue to support them, but not in a done for you method.

If you are spending $30 a day in ad spend and you are working three hours a day on their account it just doesn’t add up. It doesn’t make sense for you to spend that much time on an ad account that you know is only spending $30 a day. That’s when they actually need to roll up their sleeves. And while they may have said, ‘I don’t want to learn ads. I want to pay you to do it and I’m happy to pay you the retainer.’

If they’ve got a limited budget and most of it’s going towards your retainer and they’re feeling the squeeze from that, then they need to roll up their sleeves and learn how to do Facebook ads. This is a perfect situation when having a program like ADvisory and being an ADvisory reseller makes great sense.

You can incorporate your coaching with ADvisory while they learn how to run ads watching all the training. Then once a week you can jump on a call with them. They get your eyes on their account and you can help them that way rather spend so much time managing their ads with a limited budget.

Also, what are you saying no to if you’re spending that much time in a small budget account? Which other possible clients are you saying ‘no’ to because you’re at capacity or you can’t fit them in.

What effect does this have on your other client’s accounts if this one is stressing you out so much and you’re spending so much time on it, trying to get it to work when there’s only so much you can do with a limited budget.

To sum up, these are three things you can do when you’re working with clients that perhaps you shouldn’t have taken on on the first place.

  1. Get help
  2. Get out
  3. Get them support

Has this happened to you?

Have you worked with clients or have you taken on a client in the past that maybe there has been a red flag, or if there wasn’t a red flag you realized soon after working with them that it wasn’t a good fit.

I’d love to hear from you.

Send us an email at success@social and tell us about your experience. because you’re certainly not alone. Like I said, it’s a rite of passage for Ad Managers.

If you want to know how to join the Inner Circle where Ad Managers get support with paid ads on every platform, so you can also get get help with your accounts, head over to circle.

See you next time.


I love to share practical information to help you improve your skills, learn something new or help you avoid the mistakes that many Ad Managers and I have made to help fast-track you on your journey as a well-paid and in-demand Ad Manager.