Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Why Being Told Your Freelance Writing Rates are Too High is a Good Thing

Yesterday, I sent a proposal over to a client who wanted me to rewrite a home page for one of his client sites. I was told that my rate was too high. I politely thanked him for thinking of me and promptly forgot about it.

Client Background: This is a client that I work with on a regular basis. He tends to be a bit of a stickler on rates, so I quote him with that in mind -- to a certain degree.

How to Take It When You Lose a Project Because Your Rates are "Too High"

It didn't bother me to lose the project because I know what it would have required. Instead of a rewrite, it would have required me to start from scratch. I had written some SEO articles for the site -- at the request of this same client -- so was familiar with it.

While I was writing the SEO articles, it had occurred to me that the site needed a complete overhaul, as it was disjointed and didn't spell out the benefits to the clients. Instead, it talked about the company and what they did.

This is one of the major mistakes many clients make -- they try to sell themselves based on what they do -- instead of what their product/service will do for their target market. But, I digress.

When I'm told that my rates are too high, I don't fret, for the following reasons:

Striking a Balance: I know it's a sign that I've struck a good balance. If you don't hear from clients every once in a while that your rates are too high -- you should probably be charging more. The reason is, you’re not challenging the market -- ie, charging what it will bear. You always want to push this envelope to be paid what you're truly worth.

Higher-End Clients: Clients run the gamut -- from simple price shoppers to high-end, "value-oriented" clients. Price shoppers will almost always be looking for the cheapest rates. Higher-end clients put a premium on the value that you as a freelance writer bring to their business.

They won't quibble as much about rate -- they just want the project done right. Strangely enough, many higher-end clients won't even consider using freelance writers who charge too little because they're skeptical about the value you can provide.

Therefore, when you set your freelance writing rates, set them with higher-end clients in mind, not lower-end, price-shopping clients. Why? Because as soon as price-shopping clients find another freelance writer with lower rates (and they always can), they will jump ship.

Higher-end clients tend to be more loyal because, again, they look at the long-term value you bring to their business, not what a particular project is costing them.

Freelance Writing Rates: How to Price Your Services Right

When deciding on your freelance writing rates chart, one of the best ways to know what to charge is to actually do a project. For example, if you’re an SEO copywriter and want to know how long it takes to churn out a 350-500 word, keyword-driven article -- write one.

If you want to know how long it takes to pull together a case study, research and write one. FYI, this doesn't have to be work you do in vain. For example, you can write a case study on your business and use it as a marketing piece.

There's nothing like first-hand knowledge. With this in hand, you will be able to comfortably come up with competitive freelance writing rates.

Just some food for thought.

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Avid Writer said...

Hmmm this is a good way of looking at things. I recently raised my rates slightly. I was a little panicky at first, but more people seem okay with it than not.

Translator Jobs said...

well I'm not planning to raise my rates.. currently I', really enjoying what I'm doing and its all that matters for now not the money..