Your Client is not Your Employer
I once saw a FaceBook status that read something along the line that Freelancers shouldn’t let our clients dictate our prices for us- Your Client is not your Employer and your prices are… well, your prices.
“They are what they are. There’s no changing that. Letting your client tell you what to charge means that your client tells you what you are allowed to make that year. Your Client is not your Boss.”
Learning the Hard Way & Compromises
Not only do I agree- I had to learn the hard way. While I was poaching every job possible through Content Mills and trying to get my foot in any back door position available, I always found myself compromising and lowering my prices.
Even though I was submitting articles 1,000 words or more I was being paid roughly $5 an article or little more, but not much. I couldn’t complain as a newbie. I was getting great feedback, lots of traffic, and a few gigs would eventually fall into my lap.
But I could fee l the strain of the compromising weighing heavily on my pockets at the end of each month, when I tallied up what I would have or should have charged as opposed to what I had actually got paid—and trust me, the load was not easy to endure.
Doing the Calculations: Lost Wages
I had calculated several months in a row that I had sacrificed at least a third of what I intended to make; which would cause for me to look for additional work to cover, what I considered, “lost wages”.
Now, correct me if I’m wrong, but the point of the slumping the nine-to-five by the wayside was to work for myself. By letting my client dictate what I should charge, I allowed them to assume the role of my Boss.
If Your Client Isn’t Your Boss, Who Are They?
Your Client is your Customer! They come to you for a service, a quality product, goods which they could not produce themselves.
Sure their names are on the check, but it is your reputation and name attached to the work itself, making you the supplier of goods.
Reasons You shouldn’t Lower Your Prices & Ways to Stick to Them
A lot of times it is easy to make the sacrifice for a decent buck and a great By Line. Here are some reasons why you shouldn’t consider lowering your prices:
- Less Pay means you have to acquire more work to cover losses.
- You devalue your work.
- Allow clients to assume the role of employer instead of customer.
- Place yourself in a binding contract that is hard to elevate later.
Understanding that helping a client out creates a little more hassle for you in the future, here are some ways to stick to your prices and remind clients that they’re your customers:
- Provide a Service and Rates Portfolio detailing your prices. Be firm from the gate. Allowing a customer to walk into a store and set their own prices could put a business out of work. Instead Label your Freelancing services with decisive Price tags
- List a Minimum/Starting Price to avoid Freelance jobs that aren’t in your pay-range to begin with. This will eliminate anyone not truly interested in your contracted services; it also helps you avoid work that would cost more time than the money you were probably being offered in the first place.
- Explain and break down your expenses; from digital content [images, videos, etc.] to Written content- price tag your time. Clients are also more understanding of the price when they know what they’re buying. Invest time in sending updates with their invoices or receipts not just during drafts and deadlines.
- Don’t Negotiate- Customize. If you can provide customizable packages, offer bulk loads of work, or work multiple freelance projects- a client could be convinced to customize a deal rather than feel the need to haggle for one. Also by allowing the customer to pick and choose options that fit their budget, you can maintain your workload without needing to substitute for the lack of income later.
You don’t have to be a Grinch about prices, but you should never have to compromise your income. A business can not thrive from word of mouth alone and bills can not be paid with gratitude.
Remember that a freelancer is only as valuable as they say they are. Don’t allow your client to become your boss.
“Your Prices are what they are; there’s no changing that.”
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