How to Deal With Bad Reviews as a Freelancer

Whatever you actually do as a freelancer from graphic design to online marketing, it can sometimes feel like your real job is trying to find, secure, and keep clients because, after all, without clients, you would not be very successful as a freelancer at all.

So, it goes without saying that, bad reviews as a freelancer can be a bummer, to say the least. They could put potential new clients off dealing with you and make your life much harder than it needs to be. That being the case, here are some top tips to help you deal with those bad reviews as a freelancer in the right way.

Read, Scream Into a Pillow, Repeat

First things first, when you get a bad review, read it. Then scream into a pillow (or whatever inanimate object you prefer). Why? Because it’s important to process your emotions before you respond – or do anything rash like vow to move to a remote island where the internet doesn’t exist.

Respond, Don’t React

Once you’ve calmed down, it’s time to respond. And by respond, I mean in a calm, professional manner – not with a snarky, knee-jerk reaction that might feel good for precisely 3.5 seconds before you realize it was a terrible idea. Acknowledge the feedback, apologize if necessary, and explain how you’ll make things right. It’s like diffusing a bomb with words.

Turn Lemons into a Zesty Lemonade

Okay, so you’ve got a bad review. It’s not the end of the world. Use it as a learning opportunity. Is there a nugget of truth in there that you can use to improve? Great, do that. If not, well, at least you’ve had practice in the art of zen-like calmness.

Reputation Management Services: Your PR Ninjas

If you’re getting more bad reviews than you can shake a stick at, it might be time to call in the big guns – reputation management services like those offered by These guys are like your personal PR ninjas, working in the shadows to make sure your online presence is as shiny as a new penny.

Ask for Positive Reviews

Don’t be shy about asking satisfied clients for positive reviews. It’s like counterbalancing the scales of justice, but with words and star ratings. Most clients are happy to oblige, especially if they’re thrilled with your work. Just don’t be pushy – no one likes a review desperado.

Build a Portfolio of Brilliance

Create a portfolio that showcases your best work. It’s like saying, “See, I really am good at this!” without actually saying it. A strong portfolio can often speak louder than a few bad reviews.

Network Like a Pro

Sometimes, the best way to combat bad reviews is to get out there and network your way out of them. Attend industry events, join online forums, and rub virtual elbows with peers. It’s all about building a reputation as someone who’s not only great at their job but also a genuine, stand-up human being.

Learn the Art of Letting Go

Not every client is going to be your cup of tea, and that’s okay. Learn to let go of negative feedback that doesn’t serve you in any meaningful way and focus on maintaining good relationships with those clients who do matter to you the most.

Have a Sense of Humour About It

Sometimes, you just have to laugh when things don’t exactly go your way. If the feedback you are served with is particularly absurd, find the humor in it. Share it with a friend or colleague, have a giggle, and then let it go as best you can. Laughter really can be the best medicine (except for actual medicine, of course).

Keep Perspective

Remember, one bad review doesn’t define you or your career as a freelancer one little bit. Keep it in perspective. It’s a small blip in the grand scheme of things. Like a raindrop in the ocean – annoying at the moment, but ultimately insignificant.

Seek Support

It’s okay to feel bummed out by a bad review from time to time. So, take the time to talk to fellow freelancers, friends, or family about what is upsetting you and get it off your chest Sometimes, just voicing your frustrations can be a huge relief.

As you can see, dealing with bad reviews as a freelancer isn’t about erasing them or pretending they don’t exist. It’s about handling them with grace, learning from them, and then moving on like the capable professional you are No, it is not always easy when someone reviews you negatively, but it is also not the end of the world, and if you keep on keeping on, and do as many of the above as possible, you will get over it.