Writing is a valuable craft. Writers can and do earn a lot of money from books, television shows, and speeches, as well as other types of written and oral content. Almost every website, video, or product has some type of written content so there should be plenty of opportunities for writers to find decent paying work. However, many writers complain that the keep running into low paying clients and content mills online.
The low rates are due to a number of factors but this issue might be self-inflicted for some writers because they may not be charging enough. The tendency of some writers is to simply accept whatever they are given as opposed to asking for what they want. Some writers do this because they do not want to scare off clients or they may feel like they have to lower their rates to stay competitive.
Some writers are also unaware of what they should be charging in the first place.
Here are some tips about how to charge what you are worth:
Create your own internal rate sheet
In order to get what you want, you must first know what you want. Before you work with a client, take some time to create a list of rates for your services that will allow you to charge what you need to stay in business. If you need some guidance about how to set your rates, just allow your personal income goals to guide you. For example, if your goal is to earn $5,000 per month, it would mean that you would need to have 10 clients paying $500 per project. Also, the Writer’s Market report entitled “How Much Should I Charge” lists average rates for different types of writing assignments.
Look at the client objectively
Understand that each client is different and it is okay to be flexible, but you still need to have certain boundaries in place to ensure that your needs will be met. Take time to assess each client and know when to negotiate and when to be firm. Even if a job lists certain requirements, you can still go ahead and ask for what you want and see if they are still interested.
Ask the right questions
Make a point to ask questions like “What is your budget for this project?” and “How did you find me?” fairly soon into the consultation. If the client is reluctant to tell you the budget for the project, you can tell them that you typically charge x amount of dollars for that type of project. If they say that your rate is too high, you can offer to lower your rate if they decrease the scope of the project. Also, learning about how the client found you can be telling because clients that come from personal referrals are probably already aware of your rates. However, clients that found you on Craigslist will probably expect you to have the lowest rates.
Practice negotiating with friends and family members
When you are negotiating with clients, you need to sound confident and comfortable with asking for what you want. It can be helpful to practice negotiating with your friends and family members to perfect your delivery.
Always remember that the worst thing a client can do is say no if you are they not willing to accept your terms. If you set your own standards, and ask for what you want, you will not only increase your earnings, but you will also help bolster wages for writers across the board.
Ashley Bennett is a freelance writer. She has written for ProBlogger, Convince and Convert, the Business Finance Store, and the Social Media Sun. Her website is www.Ashley-Bennett.com.