A 5 Step Framework for Dealing with Unexpected Client Feedback

Brad Bartlett
3 min readMar 7, 2024

Don’t let client feedback derail you.

If you’ve been in the game for a while, you know that client feedback is a normal part of our work.

Most of the time, it’s helpful and pushes us to do better. Heck, I welcome feedback — as it often clears up so many issues before they snowball into headaches.

But every now and then, we might get some feedback that catches us off guard.

Trust me, I’ve been there, more times than I’d like to admit. Those “helpful notes” that turn up the temperature and bring out the “HEY, IM THE EXPERT HERE!” Monster.

Over the years, I’ve handled critical feedback in both good and bad ways. Its all helped me learn a few strategies for handling unexpected client feedback.

The goal? To help you navigate the mine field, and show your client that you’re a partner in the process.

1. Keep Your Cool

First things first, don’t panic. Even when it’s an insane, out of left field critique. Just. Don’t.

When that surprising feedback hits your inbox, take a deep breath and remember that it’s not a personal jab at you.



Brad Bartlett

Professional Freelance Copywriter. (www.bradleebartlett.co) Musings on #freelancing, #productivity, #self-development, and more!