When it comes to freelance writing rates, the debates can be downright nasty. But, I've been a freelancer since 1993 and can tell you from first-hand experience that there are times when slashing your freelance writing fees can actually increase your income – without doing more work. I come from the school of "do what you have to do to NOT have go out and get a 9 to 5 job again." So, if times are lean and/or you want to bring on more clients, quicker, following are some instances where cutting your rate can pay off handsomely in the long run.
I. Decreasing Your Freelance Writer Rate to Hook First-Time Clients
In instances like this, I don't think about the fact that I'm lowering my freelance writing rates. I look at it as I'm hooking a new client with my great services; hence, I think of it as I'm giving clients a discount. My discounts were usually in the 10-15% (off the total price of the job) range.
"But," you may be thinking, "how do I discern if this customer will become a repeat client instead of a 'one timer'?" The short answer is, you don't know.
However, you can gain some insight by asking a few questions, eg: how often do you need this type of writing work done; do you have an in-house staff who normally handles this type of project; have you ever worked with a freelance writer before, etc.
If the type of project you're hired for is one they do every quarter (eg, a quarterly report); and their normal staff writer is on maternity leave, then you can deduce that they're just hiring you because she's out. But, if they say it's a new initiative and they have no one on staff to handle it, which is why they're looking to hire a freelance writer, then you can assume that you have a good chance of landing the gig permanently if they like your work (and can afford you).
II. Lowering Your Freelance Writing Prices to Land Bulk / Large Assignments
If a potential client comes to you with a "large job" (only you can define what large means you're your freelance business, then reducing your freelance writing rates can land you the job (if they're on the fence about giving it to you.
Freelancing can be a feast-or-famine existence. And, there's nothing like having a large chunk of money come in at one time to tide you over.
III. Slashing Your Freelance Writing Fees to Entice Repeat Customers
When I cut my freelance writing rates in instances like this, I refer to it as the "punch-a-card" method. What do I mean by this? Well, you know when you go to a lot of stores they give you a card. And, with each visit they punch it and at the end you usually get something free? Well, that's what I mean.
Now, I'm not advocating giving away free writing services. When I use this method, this is how I go about it. If a client hired my writing company to complete, for example, three jobs, then I'd extend a discount on the fourth one.
This is a nice way to encourage repeat business, as well as remind clients of how grateful you are to have their business. Many will be thankful and remember you for it, because there are very few (if any) freelance writers who operate their businesses this way. It doesn't even occur to them.
A Word of Caution about Lowering Your Freelance Writing Rates
Resist the urge to panic and lower your fees below a certain rate – whatever you determine that is for you. I don't care how bad business is, if you're operating from a point of desperation and lowering your freelance fees to the point where you're working yourself to the bone but still can't pay your bills, then it's time to assess if freelancing is really for you.
If you're at this point, rarely is rate the problem; it's usually something else (eg, lack of confidence, not enough marketing, poor service offerings, etc.).
Just know that lowering your freelance writing rates is just one tool in your marketing arsenal – a powerful one if used correctly.
About the Author: Yuwanda Black has been a freelance writer since 1993, and has helped hundreds of other start successful freelance writing careers. She has published over 50 ebooks (many on freelance writing and small business), blogs consistently about freelancing at InkwellEditorial.com and is the creator of two freelance writing ecourses. Get full details on how to set your freelance writing rates –- and get paid what you deserve!
Keywords used in this article: freelance writing rates, freelance fees, freelance writing rate, freelance writing, freelance writing prices, freelance writer rate
Learn more about Yuwanda via her Google+ Profile.