This ONE WORD is the reason why you will always remain an underpaid Freelancer.

17 replies
Warning: This thread can be detrimental for those who are just starting out their freelance career and are struggling to gain some initial reviews and repute. (This is not sarcasm).

I am addressing to those who have started believing that 'YES! I can go full-time freelancing, but I need to land some $5k or $10k clients.'

See, there is one word that always spoils your negotiations (without you even knowing).

And despite all of your great past work, sexy pitch, and impressive portfolio, this one word makes you undersold yourself.

And here is that nasty word: But.

Afer quoting your price, the use of 'but' is as lame as kicking your own butt.

For example,

-I will charge $1k for this. .....(waited for 1 minute).....but yeah, we can talk about the price.
-My usual price for such a job is $3k but since this is our very first interaction, I am offering you a 50% discount.
-I will charge $2k for this but yeah, the price is negotiable.

If you haven't yet learned to stand by your price, you should learn it right now, and step up your game from tomorrow.

Because, my dear friend, all it needs is a little courage and patience.

Stay patient. Wait for their response. It will come.

And when it does come -- brace yourself, because you just beat your biggest fear: Losing a client.


For your next negotiation,
Junaid
#freelancer #reason #remain #underpaid #word
  • Profile picture of the author ryanbiddulph
    Hi Junaid,

    I like this a lot.

    Being clear on why you're freelancing helps you release on urges to lower pricing. Or, to attach heavily to high or low pricing, and to focus instead of serving, helping and connecting.

    Here's a tricky but true fact: some freelancers (the old me included) charge a higher rate than others because they fear running out of money.

    If you cling to that fear of losing everything you can be super skilled, and charge a healthy, reasonable rate, and you will inevitably self sabotage, crash and burn and either scare off clients or suffer throughout all your online income streams.

    For me, I had to focus less on charging more (because I was still in meal ticket/I gotta make enough to live mode) and simply address my intense fear of losing everything.

    As I chipped away at that fear I naturally charged a healthy, fair rate for my freelance writing and blog coaching services and whenever I felt the need to "but" my price down I let go and simply charged my rates.

    I also felt clear, comfortable and relaxed interacting with a client recently who wanted a refund on one of my services. Loved the service but the time was not right in their eyes. Since I render mindful, thorough, premium, in-depth services, I offer no refunds. But it took a while to get clear enough on my fear of loss to know my worth, to feel comfortable around folks with money problems and to simply proceed even if things appeared to slow down among any of my freelance or product blogging income streams.

    Smart post Junaid.

    Ryan
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    • Profile picture of the author Junaid khawaja
      Originally Posted by ryanbiddulph View Post

      Hi Junaid,

      I like this a lot.

      Being clear on why you're freelancing helps you release on urges to lower pricing. Or, to attach heavily to high or low pricing, and to focus instead of serving, helping and connecting.

      Here's a tricky but true fact: some freelancers (the old me included) charge a higher rate than others because they fear running out of money.



      Ryan
      Hi Ryan, great response from you as always.

      Some freelancers charge a higher rate than others because they fear running out of money

      I like this. That's still a better fear than the fear of losing a client. At least, you are not undercutting yourself.
      I do believe that the courage to avoid "but" comes with time and experience. (your story is a perfect depiction).

      Thanks for mesmerising warriors with your hands on experiences!

      -J
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  • Profile picture of the author Zachary S
    I have received alot of Buts from alot of freelancers..must be a red flag I guess..
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  • Profile picture of the author GordonJ
    Originally Posted by Junaid khawaja View Post

    Warning: This thread can be detrimental for those who are just starting out their freelance career and are struggling to gain some initial reviews and repute. (This is not sarcasm).

    I am addressing to those who have started believing that 'YES! I can go full-time freelancing, but I need to land some $5k or $10k clients.'

    See, there is one word that always spoils your negotiations (without you even knowing).

    And despite all of your great past work, sexy pitch, and impressive portfolio, this one word makes you undersold yourself.

    And here is that nasty word: But.

    Afer quoting your price, the use of 'but' is as lame as kicking your own butt.

    For example,

    -I will charge $1k for this. .....(waited for 1 minute).....but yeah, we can talk about the price.
    -My usual price for such a job is $3k but since this is our very first interaction, I am offering you a 50% discount.
    -I will charge $2k for this but yeah, the price is negotiable.

    If you haven't yet learned to stand by your price, you should learn it right now, and step up your game from tomorrow.

    Because, my dear friend, all it needs is a little courage and patience.

    Stay patient. Wait for their response. It will come.

    And when it does come -- brace yourself, because you just beat your biggest fear: Losing a client.


    For your next negotiation,
    Junaid
    Stand by your price! Good advice. But,

    "Few days back, I undersold myself to a local print advertising company (I really wanted to taste how print advertising is different from the web copy)."

    A- You didn't follow your own advice.
    B- You took the client's money BUT, did you inform them you were going to get the ideas from the Warrior Forum, perhaps you might consider sending ThePromotionalGuy some coin for his work on your behalf??

    It begs the question Junaid, why did you undersell yourself, it wasn't fear of losing a client, was it?

    GordonJ

    PS. But good advice none the less.
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    • Profile picture of the author Junaid khawaja
      Originally Posted by GordonJ View Post

      Stand by your price! Good advice. But,

      "Few days back, I undersold myself to a local print advertising company (I really wanted to taste how print advertising is different from the web copy)."

      A- You didn't follow your own advice.
      B- You took the client's money BUT, did you inform them you were going to get the ideas from the Warrior Forum, perhaps you might consider sending ThePromotionalGuy some coin for his work on your behalf??

      It begs the question Junaid, why did you undersell yourself, it wasn't fear of losing a client, was it?

      GordonJ

      PS. But good advice none the less.
      Hi GordonJ,

      A- I mentioned the reason in the same post: I really wanted to taste how print advertising is different from the web copy.
      B- OFF the topic. I would have answered it on the original thread.

      I didn't undersell myself. I just set my grounds in the print advertising industry (which is more important than the few bucks I might have missed).

      Thanks, anyways.
      -J
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  • Profile picture of the author writeaway
    Great post

    Stick to a price.

    Do one hell of a job and you will never lack for customers.

    Why?

    Most of your competitors are hot/cold - they aren't consistent.

    By simply choosing to be the MOST CONSISTENT service provider, you'll always have a stable base of customers who will pay YOUR RATE.
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  • Profile picture of the author moneymagneto
    I agree Junaid. However, I will add that it depends on the type of client. If the client is a small outfit with little income it is harder to charge what you would charge a medium or large client. I have a rule that I will not take on any job less than 1K. Otherwise it will just be a waste of time. Also tack on your hourly fees for phone calls, e-mails, research etc.
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  • Profile picture of the author Reddevil007
    Junaid your posts have been very valuable as of late and I have subscribed to almost all of your threads, the reason being I am learning something new and actionable stuff.
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    • Profile picture of the author Junaid khawaja
      Originally Posted by Reddevil007 View Post

      Junaid your posts have been very valuable as of late and I have subscribed to almost all of your threads, the reason being I am learning something new and actionable stuff.
      Hi,

      Thank you. It was nice to hear that.

      Just remember: You will hear a lot of actionable stuff here on the forum. But those who plan less, and act more are the ones who outshine others.

      Thanks again for your appreciation. And good luck!

      -J
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  • Profile picture of the author gingerninjas
    Totally agree, if they don't want to accept what you are offering move on - there are plenty of other people out there that will want your service. Freelance platforms can really screw your price down and you do have to stand your ground. If you have examples, portfolios and links to companies you have done work for, this may help you to stand firm on your rate and hopefully get the work. Once you start negotiating you will start basically working for free.
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    • Profile picture of the author Junaid khawaja
      Originally Posted by gingerninjas View Post

      Totally agree, if they don't want to accept what you are offering move on - there are plenty of other people out there that will want your service. Freelance platforms can really screw your price down and you do have to stand your ground. If you have examples, portfolios and links to companies you have done work for, this may help you to stand firm on your rate and hopefully get the work. Once you start negotiating you will start basically working for free.
      Couldn't agree more!

      If you have grounds to prove that YOU really are an expert, it's time to beat the fear of losing a client and standing by your quoted price.

      Thanks for expanding on the point!

      -J
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  • Profile picture of the author Kay King
    Some freelancers charge a higher rate than others because they fear running out of money

    I like this. That's still a better fear than the fear of losing a client. At least, you are not undercutting yourself.

    I do believe that the courage to avoid "but" comes with time and experience. (your story is a perfect depiction).
    I think you are working hard to make your theory of "but" plausible.

    If I charge higher fees than other freelancers - and people pay those fees...where is a problem with that? That's not "fear" but "conviction" - different cloth entirely.

    You will never apologize for what you charge when you KNOW what YOUR time is worth to you.
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  • Profile picture of the author Mailzas
    Junaid,

    I disagree. In good negotiation, it's good idea to leave some money on the table. I you want 2000$, ask client 2500$, and be ready to make some discount.
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  • Profile picture of the author lerxtjr
    The general public has no clue what should be charged for anything related to web marketing or development. Coming down in price because someone just thinks you're charging too much or because people just expect a discount for everything these days is just bad business. Educate your leads on the merits of your proposal and what you do is simply not an apples-to-apples comparison with other low-ballers who would undercut your bid just to win the deal.
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  • Profile picture of the author aizaku
    to the OP

    Your headline is great and your post is well written..

    brilliant example of copywriting.

    -Ike Paz
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  • Profile picture of the author John Coutts
    A great post, and very true.

    I remember about 10 years ago I was charging $10 per 500-word article, and getting all the work I could handle. I thought I was doing pretty good, for I could see plenty of others doing the same work for $5, or even much less.

    Then one day I read an article that basically said that if you are at least a reasonable writer, you can earn whatever you choose to charge. I decided to try it, and immediately raised my rate from $10 for 500 words, to $25 for 500 words. I did some online promotion, and literally within 10 minutes I had a client offering me enough work to fill several weeks. He was perfectly happy with the $25 per article charge and barely mentioned it.

    Since then I have raised my rates several times and discovered that there are clients at every pricing level. The higher you go, the fewer clients you will find, but they are there, nevertheless. The main problem with the very low freelancer price level is that there tends to be more providers battling it out than there are clients to take them on.

    One other thing I found: clients who pay higher rates are nicer people. They don't usually ask for re-write after re-write, and they don't treat you as their slave. They expect quality, of course, and if you can provide good quality, you will easily find plenty of work. They also expect you to state your price and stick to it - without a "but". These clients usually have plenty of confidence, and they expect their writers to have confidence also. Stating your price, then saying "but" does not display confidence.

    John Coutts.
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  • Profile picture of the author JohnMcCabe
    One thing you learn when you make your daily bread on commission is that the price objection is seldom the real objection. If it is, you're talking to the wrong people.
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