When I just got my start as a freelance writer, I was willing to take pretty much anything clients will offer me; sometimes, this was $30. Other times, it was $50 or $80.
However, gradually and intentionally, over the years, I’ve been able to successful raise my rate per article to a minimum of $200 per article.
Surprisingly, doing this wasn’t as difficult as most people would have expected. It was very simple; so simple you probably won’t believe it was that simple.
I was able to raise my rates simply by asking.
I changed my mindset and gradually started to remove the mental blocks I had created about how much I was worth.
Initially, when clients contacted me, my natural reaction was to quote them what I felt wasn’t too low or too high so that I won’t “lose the gig”.
As a result, I quoted clients $80 – $100 and there was hardly a complaint.
I later started asking clients to pay $150 per article and there was still no complaint.
Persuaded by stories of other successful freelance writers charging significantly more, I started asking clients to pay $200 per article or $.20 per word.
I’ve stuck to this rate now for a very long time, and depending on a lot of factors – how busy I am, how much I need the work, complexity of the project, potential ROI for the client, etc. – I often decide to just quote clients I’m confident will pay $500 or more per article. Almost always, they pay.
Some freelance writers earn much more than that, but saying that significantly more freelance writers charge their clients a fraction of that will be an understatement.
It’s true, this isn’t simplistic, there are a lot of factors involved. However, most freelance writers are the ones limiting themselves because they just won’t ask.
Only around 2 – 3% of clients I’ve ever talked with have negotiated my rates. Yes, it’s that small; most don’t care, as long as they are confident I can deliver, and they would have happily paid more if I had asked.
This made me realize something; we are often the ones limiting ourselves and preventing ourselves from earning more due to the mental blocks we’ve created about how much we’re worth.
We believe we aren’t worth that much and we automatically, wrongly, assume others feel the same way.
It’s just like what psychologists call the “Spotlight Effect“, which is a phenomenon in which people believe they are being noticed more than they really are.
It explains why we are sometimes self-conscious, wondering if people keep looking at us thinking about how weird we are, or how “funny” our attire is, or how awkwardly we walk or talk. In reality, it’s only in our heads. 99.9999999% of the time, they just don’t give a damn.
It’s the same thing for most of your clients; $50 or $300 per article, most of the time, they don’t give a damn.
However, charging $50 when you could have easily charged $300 is your loss. And yes, your clients still don’t give a damn!
A question that further put things in perspective
A student of mine, Clement, asked me a while back how I deal with clients who are unable to pay my rates; do I try to compromise for them or do I just move on.
Truth is, I never really thought about that until he asked that question. My answer: I don’t even notice clients who can’t pay my rates. To me, they don’t exist; I just focus on those who can.
I believe whether you’re pitching your clients directly or having them come to you, this is the same philosophy you should embrace.
In my case, I’ve worked with about 80 clients in the past few years since I’ve been a freelance writer; several hundreds of potential clients have contacted me during this period, through my blog.
I’m in control of how I get my clients, they keep reaching out to me asking me to work with them, and that’s a big deal. It matters.
If you want to be a writer in charge of how you get your clients, getting them to reach out to you directly instead of having to go pitch them day in and day out, you should definitely check out Stop Pitching Clients, my program for getting clients from blogging.
I’ll permanently take the “Lite package” of this program offline, and raise the price of the “Premium package”, in a few days’ time, so be sure to take advantage of this offer now or never.
Just click the link below to check it out!