Do you go into automatic self-doubt mode when a potential client tells you that your prices are too high? If so, you’re not alone.

“Maybe I’m in over my head. After all, I’m just writing for the guy. I’m not spinning straw into gold.” Think most freelance writers. And then they immediately offer a discount.

If you’re about lower your rates, read this first…

There will always be people trying to negotiate the price of your services. But that doesn’t necessarily mean you have to lower your rates. Don’t waste any time taking it personally or thinking that the client is questioning your personal worth. Usually when a client tries to get a discounted rate, it has more to do with THEM, than you.

So what to do when you hear these words:

“Can you lower your rates? This is too expensive.”

Just simply ask “Why?”

Whoa…they didn’t see that coming. Asking this question puts the client in the spotlight. Now they need to answer and justify their request.

And if you listen closely to their answer, you’ll be able to hone in on the real reason why they are asking you to lower your rates and steer the negotiations in your favor. Below are 3 of the most common ways clients respond to the “Why?”

Reason 1: They need to justify the expense to themselves

The client says something like “I know I can write these blog posts by myself and save the expense, but I really don’t have the time. Yet, I know how important Content Marketing is these days.”

Let them express their concerns to you. Then, reassure them that you understand and then remind them why they reached out to you in the first place. Emphasize their problem and how you can solve it for them. For example, “I totally understand you. There are only so many hours in a day. But if you hand over your content writing to a professional in the field, like me, you’ll free up so much time in your schedule to focus on things that only you know how to do for your business.”

Reason 2: They don’t know what freelance writing services cost

Another common reply is “I’m not sure. I don’t really know what the going rates are for freelance writing. It just sounds pricey to me.”

Here again, you can reassure them that you understand and then remind them why they reached out to you in the first place. Then, simply ask them what budget they had in mind for this particular project. You may be able to alter your pricing per page or per hour to match the sum they are willing to invest. Or, you could suggest delivering a smaller quantity of deliverables for a lower fee. For example, instead of 4 blog posts at 800 words each, offer 4 blog posts at 500 words each. For a detailed resource about freelance writing rates, read this post.

Reason 3: They are comparing you to someone cheaper:

If they answer with ‘Well, Jonny D. said he could do it for just 400 NIS,’ then you know the client is bargain hunting. In this case, highlight why your service is unique, emphasize why you are different and better.

Banishing self-doubt for good when it comes to pricing is not easy. May of us have mental blocks when it comes to asking for money, even if it’s in return for our hard work. So the next time a client asks you to lower your rates, stop to think for a moment before saying yes. Try the ‘Why’ exercise above and see if you finish negotiating with a better outcome than you have with clients in the past. And then tell me about it! I want to know if you these tips help you get paid the rates you deserve!

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