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    Freelancing Basics: How to Negotiate Better With Clients

    September 16, 2015

September 16, 2015

Freelancing Basics: How to Negotiate Better With Clients

Negotiation Skills

What’s the first thing that comes to your mind when we say ‘freelancing’?

For most people, it would be freedom from the torturous routine of doing that dreaded 9-5 shift (or more).

But freelancing isn’t exactly the answer if you are looking to escape work. In fact, it’s the other way around. The harsh truth about freelancing is that it is challenging.

A full-time job guarantees you regular income, but if you are a freelancer, you are as good as your last project. Once you have delivered a project, finding a new client/project becomes essential.

Also, unlike full-time jobholders, freelancers have to haggle for price for individual project or client. And in the content writing industry, variation of prices are shocking enough to give you sleepless nights.

So, for surviving as a freelance writer, polishing your negotiation skills is essential. Here are some tricks you can use for negotiating with the client and earn more.

Highlight your Expertise


Do you bid for a project by saying

“I specialize in all types of writing-web content, press releases, blogs and whitepapers”?

Evaluate this pitch from your client’s perspective. Every content writer specializes in different types of writing. So, what’s your specialty and justification for demanding a higher price?

The first step for increasing your rate is to stress on the special skills you possess as a writer. May be you love researching and can pick out interesting info. Or may be you are efficient in explaining technical terms in a simple language.

Find out your strengths and promote them aggressively.

Request your Client to Quote a Price


It’s crucial to understand how much your client can spend. A simple way of knowing this would be to request them to quote their rates. You’ll be shocked to know that the rate they quote could be higher than what you were considering.

Or, it could be drastic. Where you are expecting to get paid at least for what you are worth, you’d receive a quote that can derail your ego. It’s not uncommon for clients to send in quotes that are less than the minimum wage in El Salvador or Somalia.

Offer an alternative Proposal


In case, a client quotes a rate that is low, offer an alternative proposal. For strengthening your case, justify your higher rates.

Justifications could range from writing good quality content to doing background research or presenting the content in a unique style.

Also, if the deadline is short, it’s ethical to demand higher rates.

Choose your Clients Wisely


The content writing industry is full of clients who need ‘high quality content’. However, many of them possess vague notions about good content. We have come across clients who believe that writing a ‘good’ 500 words article should maximum take 15 minutes.

Since such clients do not understand the effort that goes into writing good quality content, the pay they offer is equally disastrous. If you want to increase your rates, avoid such clients.

Instead, choose clients who respect your effort and offer standard rates. Here’s a wonderful article that elaborates this point.

Never “fix” prices before you know more


Some writers promote themselves by stating a fixed rate on their websites (such as $10 for 500 words article) or quote an hourly price. We know this is done to simplify the “pricing” problem. However we are against this strategy.

Once you have a quoted a fixed rate, you cannot get more than that.

Also, the time and effort you need to invest usually vary (even for 2 articles that have the same word count). So, avoid this strategy. Instead, quote a price after you have read the project brief.

Many freelancers avoid negotiating because they think that the client will reject the proposal. Unfortunately, if you stick to this attitude, it would be impossible for you to grow. For understanding the reality, coming out of your bubble is critical. Start by researching about current industry rates so that you know what other writers are charging. If you require more tips, click here.


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