FREELANCING / NOV. 13, 2014
version 4, draft 4

The Key to Negotiating Raises With Freelance Writing Clients

As a freelancer, getting clients is important to maintain. Sometimes you have to bid lower than your regular rate in order to secure the work. During this time you can market and work on getting clients that pay your rate or even higher. Once you have secured enough clients and have an ample amount of work it is a good idea to examine your income and whether some clients could potentially pay more.

Offer Competitive Pricing

The freelance writing world is quite competitive with hundreds of others available within a specific niche. In order to secure the projects and clients that really interest you, being competitive is a must. Do a little research and see what your competition is charging. Make your per piece price or hourly rate just slightly under theirs for a limited time and organize a new schedule.

When working on being competitive, it is ideal to make your bids enticing to the potential client. Include links to published works along with a brief description of your experience, turnaround times and achievements as a freelancer.

Use a Good Time Tracker for Hourly Positions

If you are working on hourly contracts with clients, make sure that you are using a reliable time tracker. Clients need to be able to trust their freelancers and not all of them are going to require you to “clock in” for work.  When billing your clients, send along a copy of your time record for their project only. Reflect when breaks were taken and your absolute start and stop times.

Look at What your Clients Pay Now

After you have been working with clients for two to three months, examine what each pays in regards to your other clients. This is a good way to see how much work you are putting in for each client versus the pay. For those that you do a considerable amount of work for that requires research and careful attention to detail, they should be the highest paying clients on your list. Easy work, such as general blog posts or topics that require no research, is okay at a rate as low as $0.02 per word, but no less than that.

Negotiate with your Quality and Expertise

Once you have determined which clients should be paying a little more, schedule a meeting with them to discuss the pay rate. Discuss your impeccable track record with the client by always meeting deadlines and taking on rush work. Include that you thoroughly enjoy the work and the client/company communication. It doesn’t hurt to butter them up with a couple of compliments.

Ask for a small increase given your skills, the work you put into each piece and your expertise on the subject. Give the client a bit of time to think things over. If they cannot stretch their budget, but you like the work, keep them around regardless because there are times in the freelance world that work slows or completely dries up. A couple dollars is no reason to lose a good, consistent client. It is also ideal to figure up what the pay for that client’s work comes out to in hourly figures. If it is not far above the minimum wage for your area, this should be part of your argument for the raise since the work should be equivalent to what those working brick and mortar jobs earn.

While some clients will have a strict budget to keep, others are just trying to save money on expenses. Remind clients that you work from home; they have no overhead for your work. This is a good argument to use when seeking higher rates of pay.

Image - PBS

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