So our “5 Things” series on Emerald Musings is coming to an end. Before that happens, I definitely want to thank all our wonderful contributors — there is no way that I could have done this without you! So without further ado, here is my humble contribution to the series.
Five Things I Wished I Had Known Before Becoming a Freelancer
The Right Client Will Pay What You’re Worth — So Demand it.
In the beginning of my freelance career I fell into the common trap of thinking that in order to be competitive, I had to price my services low enough that someone would give me a chance. I worked for the content mills and priced my services out at prices so far below the going market rate that I was sure that I would get the opportunities and shine like never before.
And not surprisingly, there were clients out there that were happy enough to pay me the likes of $0.0005 per word, or even $0.001 per word if I was lucky.
Do you know what was also not surprising? The fact that I was working nearly 80 hours a week just to make ends meet. If I wanted to do that, I could have easily stayed at my grueling 9-5 job. No thank you.
Here’s the truth — Clients will pay you what you demand, as long as your quality justifies it. If you can show that your work is great enough to justify $50 – $60 an hour or $2.00 per word then, by all means, charge it and only negotiate to a minimum that you are comfortable with. Will there be potential clients that scoff at you and walk away from what you offer? Yes. But honestly, in the long run, the clients that do take you up on your offer will be the ones that are worth having.