In a tough economic climate, it is common for companies to do whatever it takes to save money. While this often times means hiring freelance writers, it also means trying to get the best deal possible. For this reason, clients may attempt to negotiate a better rate. The question is: are you willing to partake in this type of discussion?
There is nothing wrong with negotiating your rates. But of course, you only want to do this if the end result is a mutually beneficial relationship. In other words, your client should not be getting the â€œgood end of the stick.â€ If you will do the job for less because you are interested in striking up a relationship with the client, there is nothing wrong with moving forward. Just make sure you are not wasting your time â€“ you should receive as many â€œbenefitsâ€ as the client.
Of course, there are also drawbacks of negotiating. Above all else, you are going to make less money. Along with this, your client will expect you to give them the same or better deal with every future project.
Also, it can be hard to avoid the habit of lowering your rates for future clients. If you do this once you may begin to feel that it is the only way to get work again. In most cases, nothing could be further from the truth.
I know many freelance writers who will not lower their rate, regardless of what it means. On the other side, there is a group that has no problem with this. Personally, I take it on a case by case basis. If I think I can benefit from negotiating, I am 100 percent open to doing so.
There is nothing worse than a confused client. Not only do they feel lost, but there is a good chance they will blame you for their current situation. Rather than deal with this, you should always do what you can to avoid confusing situations.
Here are three basic tips that I use, time and time again:
1. Discuss every detail of the project before writing the first word. Believe it or not, some writers (and other professionals) neglect to do this. If you and/or your client are not clear on the details, I can almost guarantee that some level of confusion is going to ensue.
2. Ask questions if need be. If you have a question, no matter what it may be, make sure you ask for clarification. Along with this, let the client know that you are available to address anything that may be on their mind. Keeping an open line of communication is more important than most writers realize.
Tip: this is why I make myself available via email and phone. If there is an urgent question I can be reached right away.
3. Confirm, confirm, confirm. I am in the habit of confirming every detail of a project before I actually get started. After receiving all the project details, I run my plan by the client one last time to ensure that everything is as it sounds. Yes, this may be portrayed by overkill. But I believe in the saying â€œit is better to be safe than sorry.â€
By following these three tips, you can avoid a situation in which there is confusion between you and your client.
Before a client hires you, there is a very good chance that they are going to ask for work samples. In fact, this happens almost 100 percent of the time. The samples that you show will go a long way in deciding whether or not you land the gig. This leads to a simple question: which samples should I show the prospective client?
If possible, you want to show samples that are on topic. So, if you are in discussions with a personal finance website you want to pull out samples related to investing, money management, budgeting, etc. You may not have samples that are an exact match, so get as close as possible.
Is it okay to write an article just to use it as a sample? Of course it is. If you think this will better your chance of landing the job, go for it. Even if you get turned down, at least you have another sample for future use.
I have a folder on my desktop that is full of 20 or more samples. Keeping them organized and in one place makes it simple to find and send one or more within a matter of minutes. Every time I write a piece that is â€œsample worthyâ€ I make a copy and add it to this folder.
How many samples you send depends on what the client is asking for. Some only want to see one piece. Others will ask for three to five or more. Do your best to comply with their request, without delay.
One last note: always let the client know that you have more samples if they want to see them. You may be surprised at how many times they come back with one final request, just to get a better idea of your overall writing style.
With this advice you should have an easier time deciding which samples to show.