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When your Freelance Writing Fees are contested

Freelance writers often times struggle when it comes to setting fees. Just like any other business, you need to have a fee schedule and then stick to it day in and day out. This is not to say that you can never change your rates, but you do need a schedule to fall back on when a potential client gets in touch with you.

One of the biggest issues that you will face as a freelance writer is getting clients to pay the rates that you set. Even if they think that you are being fair, most clients will ask for a discount just to see if they can get it; this is common in almost every industry, not just freelance writing. The question is: what are you supposed to do when your freelance writing fees are contested by a prospect?

1. Many freelance writers are of the school that they give their fees and only work with those who accept them. In other words, there is no negotiating. While there is nothing wrong with this, and I know many freelancers who feel this way, I am not one of them. With that being said, I do not lower my fees for just anybody. In order for this to happen, a special situation has to present itself. If you feel that your fees are fair and inline with what you offer, you have every right to stick to your guns and only do business with clients who are willing to meet this demand.

2. Should you have to explain yourself to potential buyers? This is a highly contested question among many freelance writers who I speak with on a regular basis. It is not uncommon for a prospect to ask why you are worth what you are asking. No, you do not have to answer this question, but if you decide to move in this direction there is a very small chance of you receiving the project. Instead, you may want to use a “canned” response such as: My rates are on par with others in the industry. Additionally, I bring X amount of experience to the table, and have completed several projects within your niche in the past. With two quick sentences you can show that you are not overcharging, and that you are more than an average writer with no experience.

Early in my freelance writing career, I always got annoyed when a prospective client would tell me that my fees were outrageous. In fact, I heard this so much that I almost began to believe it. Listen up: do not let others tell you how much to charge. You know how much you are worth, and it is your business. Just as your client sets their own fee schedule, you have every right to do the same.

Nowadays when a prospect tells me that I am overcharging, I briefly explain myself (as noted above) and then wait for their response. If they want to move forward at my agreed upon price or negotiate a bit, that is fine. But for those who still think that I am out of my mind, I tell them to keep me in mind for future work and then move on.

If your freelance writing fees are not being contested you may not be asking enough money. Although that may sound silly, it is the truth. Remember, you are the one who runs your business. Set your freelance writing fees as you see fit, and then work from there. 

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4 Comments »Freelance WritingApril 29th, 2008

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