My Kindness is My Weakness

27 replies
Have a client. For how long, I don't know.

Let's write one blog post a week. Long term. Great. I can't wait to start.

It's WordPress. Can you upload what you write? I mean, it's a simple copy/paste. You know how to work in WP. So, I say, I know some basic things. This shouldn't be a problem. I have already written my post in word, it shouldn't be a problem just to copy/paste it in WP and hit the publish button. Great.

Can you please upload the picture, as well? I mean while you are here doing all the job. That's only a few more clicks. Is that a problem? No, it's not. I will do it.

Can you please look for the most suitable pictures instead of me on these websites I provide the links in my email? That's only a couple of minutes. If we need to buy or pay a membership fee, no problem. Just say it. I will do it. You don't have to do all the work. I'm like being kind. Sitting and waiting how far he's willing to go. The list with the additional assignments keeps growing, and yet not a single word about the additional payments. I wait.

Can you please get in touch with the guy who manages my website? You are already doing all the job. This is the best way to keep in touch. I don't have to be a middleman. You can ask him directly. Here's his email and Skype. Is that a problem? You are so great. I'm so lucky I have found you.

We just updated our website. Some of the blogs are lost. Can you please have a look and upload these posts again? This should be hard for you to do because you have a backup folder in Dropbox. You're a smart guy, I knew I should've listened to you.

That was the moment when I said to myself, you aren't being kind, you are stupid. Some people think that kindness is the sign of weakness. Obviously. They are taking the advantage of the situation shamelessly and restlessly. I have waited for a client to say, wait I should be ashamed of myself. I should offer some in return. No, the way I see it, he was thinking, as long as he isn't complaining, I'm asking, I'm winning.

I know what you are going to say. You should have said something when he gave you the first additional assignment. That was the right moment to discuss the new situation. New work. New payment. I know. Yet, I didn't want to, what's the right word for it? A huckster? Is that the right word? I wanted to show that appreciate both the client and the work given. What did I get in return? Unpaid hours. So, I think it's about time for me to write an email or have a Skype call. What to say?
#kindness #weakness
  • Profile picture of the author zuberr
    Hi pinkknight,

    You have to understand that you are running a business, not a charity. Each extra click from your part needs to be charged. Before you take an assignment next time, tell your client how much you charge for doing the extra stuffs. For example:
    $ xx for writing
    $ xx for posting
    $ xx for researching and posting a picture
    etc...
    Most clients will never ask you how much for a service if you don't say that you charge a fee for it.
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    • Profile picture of the author pinkknight
      Originally Posted by zuberr View Post

      $ xx for writing
      $ xx for posting
      $ xx for researching and posting a picture
      etc...
      Most clients will never ask you how much for a service if you don't say that you charge a fee for it.
      Painfully true, have to admit. Yes, very likely. There's no price tag = I presume it's free.
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  • Profile picture of the author markGustaff
    Any job must be paid and the customers must know your prices on it.
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  • Profile picture of the author DavidKellog
    Kindness always comes with a price. The ideal situation: the more kindness you give, the higher the price will go.
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    • Profile picture of the author pinkknight
      Originally Posted by DavidKellog View Post

      Kindness always comes with a price. The ideal situation: the more kindness you give, the higher the price will go.
      That was what I hoped to achieve. The problem. I sat and waited. Too many movies I presume. An idealistic illusion. Someone will appreciate it. Oh no my friend. You obviously have to shout every time you wanna get paid. So sad, but that's the real life. THx.
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  • Profile picture of the author discrat
    People know to not mistake by Meekness for Weakness.

    Sometimes they learn the hard way to not do that




    - Robert Andrew
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  • Profile picture of the author Gambino
    When did this forum become Crybaby Writers Anonymous? Geez Louise, every other thread is a story about a freelance writer complaining about a client and/or their own ineptness.
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    • Profile picture of the author lgibbon
      Banned
      Originally Posted by Gambino View Post

      When did this forum become Crybaby Writers Anonymous?
      When they started paying them to do just that.
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      • Profile picture of the author DABK
        Do you get better cry-babies if you pay more?

        Or are they hiring the worst cry-babies out there?

        Originally Posted by lgibbon View Post

        When they started paying them to do just that.
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  • Profile picture of the author Kay King
    That's not kindness - it's weakness.

    It's not the client's fault if you keep saying "yes, yes, yes"...
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  • Profile picture of the author Rose Anderson
    Don't beat yourself up about it just learn from the experience and move on. Many of us did the same thing in the past at least once.

    You know what you need to do for the future. Set up a clear written agreement stating exactly what you're going to do and the cost. When the client asks for something more say, "Additional services require additional fees." Anything that takes your time is taking away from money you could be earning with other clients.

    Save your kindness for your family and your charity work
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    • Profile picture of the author alfa_375
      Originally Posted by Rose Anderson View Post

      Don't beat yourself up about it just learn from the experience and move on. Many of us did the same thing in the past at least once.

      You know what you need to do for the future. Set up a clear written agreement stating exactly what you're going to do and the cost. When the client asks for something more say, "Additional services require additional fees." Anything that takes your time is taking away from money you could be earning with other clients.

      Save your kindness for your family and your charity work
      Do as he says, a written agreement that covers all your efforts and improve it after every job experience.
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    • Profile picture of the author pinkknight
      Originally Posted by Rose Anderson View Post

      Save your kindness for your family and your charity work
      Amen to that!!
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  • Profile picture of the author DABK
    Instead of whining, do something with it.

    You've been thought that you can offer more than article writing; you can now
    write and upload an article
    write and upload and article and an image, etc.

    Attach appropriate prices to each activity combo and go make money!
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  • Profile picture of the author Junaid khawaja
    With time, I have found a way to tackle such situations. When I started, I would never send my clients an agreement mentioning all my terms and conditions and what services does the contract hold.

    Nowadays, I never miss that crucial part.. I have prepared a template - just small tweaks required each time and boom! All set to go.The agreement clearly mentions that anything other than the above service will be charged separately. To top that up, I have also explained the importance of both my and my client's time. So, we both know when we are stretching each other.

    This has worked well for me, atleast for now.

    Thanks
    Junaid
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    • Profile picture of the author pinkknight
      Originally Posted by Junaid khawaja View Post


      Nowadays, I never miss that crucial part.. I have prepared a template - just small tweaks required each time and boom! All set to go.The agreement clearly mentions that anything other than the above service will be charged separately. To top that up, I have also explained the importance of both my and my client's time. So, we both know when we are stretching each other.

      Thanks
      Junaid
      That's the keyword Junaid. Nowadays! Now!! Before and after. No problem. Lesson learned. You know fool me once, fool me twice. Thx.
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  • Profile picture of the author Lannisterdoor
    If this is one of the first clients, I wouldnt get so worried, this is a very common mistakes rookies makes when they start, I made them my self in the past.

    We are so eager to work when we start, that we dont realize when we are being too generous or when we are being used, learning to avoid this situation is something that you learn from experience and making mistakes, you there is no other way around it.

    You have made this mistake now, you must learn from it and avoid making it again, thats all the truth there is.

    If you make it again and again, then I would start to get worried.
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  • Profile picture of the author Janice Sperry
    I don't provide services like you do but I do hire others. I would never think about asking them to do additional work without paying them.

    You can make it sound positive when you renegotiate.

    Something like this... "My services are in demand and I need to be more specific with my clients. I also need to raise my fees but I will currently keep them low for people I already work for. Here are the low fees for my services for my current clients."

    Special price for current clients only:
    ___ to write an article.
    ___ to upload the article and enhance it with H1, bullet points, quote boxes, etc.
    ___ to find a corresponding image.
    ___ to upload, resize and keyword title the image.
    ___ Special deal for all of the above. (Save ___%)

    Be proud of what you do. You are not greedy or trying to scam someone just because you are asking for a fair price for your time and services. As the quality, turn-around-time, and efficiency of your work improves you should never hesitate to renegotiate your fees. Smart outsourcers know the value of getting quality workers and want them to be happy and diligent.

    Outsourcing always involves some training, communicating and negotiating in both directions. It can be win-win in most cases.

    Never communicate or negotiate from a "desperate slave" mentality. Negotiate as an "in demand professional that will go the extra mile for appreciative and reasonable clients."
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    • Profile picture of the author pinkknight
      Originally Posted by Janice Sperry View Post

      I don't provide services like you do but I do hire others. I would never think about asking them to do additional work without paying them.

      Never communicate or negotiate from a "desperate slave" mentality. Negotiate as an "in demand professional that will go the extra mile for appreciative and reasonable clients."
      Lost in translation. Just wanted to show my appreciation. Instead, I must have created this image of a guy with a silly "yes sir what's next" look on his face. All comments lead obviously lead me to this inevitable conclusion. Yet, I'm so glad to hear that no all clients are like that. Your comment's first lines were like - I don't ask for free work. Very helpful. Also a precise "to do" list. Appreciated.
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  • Profile picture of the author aizaku
    give him or her the new bill or fire this client..


    but you need to set a good working relationship ASAP.


    -Ike Paz
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  • Profile picture of the author allancaeg
    You're a great writer.

    This is such a great storytelling piece. You should get a much better gig.
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  • Profile picture of the author CabaMate
    You need to keep track of all of these acts of kindness.

    Add them up, be aware of how much time you are giving away, is he giving you anything in return?

    Of course there are clients or projects we will give a little more for, we all do that but you're just being taken advantage of.

    I would include anything you have done for this instance and outline it on your invoice clearly and then if you don't feel comfortable charging him don't this month, just add the hours and give a 100% discount.

    But I would do this, call him and say that you've had to look at your processes and you will have to start charging for any additional work by 15 minute blocks. If you warn him and tell him and future work will be charged he might change his tune.

    You're going above and beyond and this sort of 'extra' support is just costing you money. I'd be charging it and I wouldn't be apologising for it either.
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    • Profile picture of the author pinkknight
      Originally Posted by CabaMate View Post

      You need to keep track of all of these acts of kindness.
      .
      Think that a forum member a comment or two earlier just mentioned a bill. An additional bill for each and any additional act of "kindness." Oh, that sounds right.
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  • Profile picture of the author Kate Davies
    You're not alone. I can think of at least 3 clients I have done this with in the past, and got out of each situation differently.

    With one, the next time he asked for an additional task I emailed him to say 'yes, fine, we can do that but as we have already over-run on the budget there will be extra fees. The extra cost will be XXX, please confirm that you're happy with that and I'll schedule it in'. He wasn't happy with the extra cost and asked me to explain why a simple change (in his eyes) could cost so much. When I explained how the extra cost was made up, he decided he didn't want the extra task done afterall.

    On another occasion, I said to the client something along the lines of ... "I'm not sure if you realise, but we have gone beyond the original brief. Can we have a chat about what services you need on an ongoing basis and then I can give you a quote for the revised workload". He was fine with that, we had a chat and got a new deal in place.

    And with the 3rd one I could tell it was never going to change, he was a time sucker, looking for freebies and always would be. So I decided not to work for him any more.

    If you want to carry on working for this client, then open the conversation. He'll either realise that there is more involved than he first thought and decide your help is worth the extra cost or that he doesn't really need you to do it afterall. Either way, it'll be a win for you

    Kate
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    • Profile picture of the author pinkknight
      Originally Posted by Kate Davies View Post

      why a simple change (in his eyes) could cost so much. When I explained how the extra cost was made up, he decided he didn't want the extra task done afterall.

      And with the 3rd one I could tell it was never going to change, he was a time sucker, looking for freebies and always would be. So I decided not to work for him any more.

      Kate
      1 + 3 !!

      When I have to do it then it's SIMPLE, but when I expect to get paid for it then it is COMPLICATED. Such a cliche. Saving all my love for the right client, lol. #2 will make it all blue, lol. Great! So grateful.
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  • Profile picture of the author ryanbiddulph
    Hi PK,

    My kindness helped me travel the world as a pro blogger, and also landed me on Fox News, Virgin, Forbes and Entrepreneur Sure ain't hurt me LOL.

    Your kindness is your #1 attribute.

    Another attribute you are cultivating: having posture

    I am kind. I am generous. I have posture. So if I have a non-match, I don't take on the client.

    If I take on a client who ain't happy I simply accept payment, render service, wish them the best and release them for good.

    Sometimes, the kindest thing you can do for yourself and your client is to sever an old, worn-out relationship immediately.

    Food for thought.

    Remember though: be kind, but see your Source as something beyond clients or money or work. Let all that go quickly when it ain't working. Keep focusing on being nice, having posture, and vibing high

    Ryan
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    • Profile picture of the author pinkknight
      Kindness with an attitude. Sounds like a plan. Got me thinking, that's for sure. Thx.
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