Pricing Yourself As A Freelance Writer
One of the most difficult aspects of being a freelance writer is setting your rates. On the one hand, you could miss out on higher paying rates if you set your rates low and publicise them on your website as such.
Alternatively, you could price yourself out of some great long-term gigs by not showing flexibility in your rates.
It’s a dilemma that has slipped up many a writer, but luckily there are ways to deal with the issue without getting too stressed out over it.
Be Honest with Yourself
First of all, it is really important to be honest with yourself when you are starting out. If you feel confident that your work could easily be published online, in a magazine or newspaper, then you should have no problem with setting your rates fairly high and asking for a good price for your services.
Having the confidence and experience to know what is a low paying gig and what is the level you feel you are at is integral to your career, so keep your eye on the market and the paying rates for the publications that you are looking to write for. This will give you an indication of how much you should be charging for your services. Just don’t price yourself out of the market!
Look at the Competition
You should always be reading up on other authorities in your niche. It keeps you informed and allows you to see what topics have been done before and which ones are popular. It will also allow for opportunities to see what other writers charge for their services. If you feel that you are doing as good a job as your competitors, you should be confident enough to charge the same or more for your services, knowing that you can back up those rates with the quality of your writing.
Be Employable and Sell Yourself
There are a lot of freelance writers in the world, and 90% of them could have just as much skill as a writer as you. That’s a simple fact. But the difference between you getting the gig and not the other 90% is how you come across in your exchanges with the employers. Are you employable? That is the question that they are going to be asking when they are inundated with offers from writers.
What should make you stand out from the crowd is your personality, how professional you are and the fact that you always reply to correspondence quickly. Don’t be afraid to ask questions, follow up on queries when you haven’t received a response and be engaging at all times. It could be the difference between you being forgotten and you getting the gig.
Stand Your Ground on Rates
When you have the confidence to say ‘this is what I am worth and I won’t take a penny less’ it is important for you to stand your ground and have the confidence to stand firm to those rates. If you start saying ‘oh go on then’ and lowering your rates it could really start to dent your finances, especially if you write for ten clients and five of them are on a lower rate than you should have them on.
At the end of the day, we all have to put food on the table, so a little flexibility here and there is fine, but not to the detriment of your long term finances. In most cases, a client will understand why you are not budging on the rates and accept them, but if they don’t, as yourself a simple question: What am I worth? The answer to that question will decide whether or not you take on that client or walk away.
Be Confident and Say No
It is fair to say that the word ‘confidence’ is key to the majority of freelance careers. The confidence to say ‘no’ is very important because it can make or break your career in the long run. Taking on too many low-paying clients because you’re too afraid to say no can lead to stress and exhaustion, and chances are you will burn out in no time at all.
It is hard to say no – especially at the beginning when you’re wet behind the ears and eager to please – but when you are in a better position because you have picked your shots and have fewer, higher-paying clients rather than the opposite, you will have a much broader smile on your face. Just make sure that when you do decline your services, you always do it professionally and politely.