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The Plight of a Brown Freelancer (with decent writing & a higher rate)

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Active Member
Ayushi V Member Since: May 9, 2016
1 of 30

Well we all know that the **Edited for Community Guidelines** charges less and also does not produce top quality simply due to their non native standards of English. There are sure hoards of them but then a few of them are brilliant writers and researchers.

But, it is the stereotyping that bugs me like this. With America under the seige of its own illusions of **Edited for Community Guidelines**, the incessant cry for native speakers in every job post does not sound very different from the former. 'Good' writing goes beyond the capability to form coherent sentences in a language and by that I mean - native writers can write awful pieces.

 

I am not really complaining here because I see no way around this thing. Clients will always first see my country which will open the floodgates of bad experiences probably. It just is that I am expected to charge a lower rate here. But, if I do charge a 30/hr like my western counterparts, I probably will not get hired because if you gotta pay that rate, then better hire someone who you inherently trust.

That is a badge I will always have on my head.

(Issa just an intense morning with me today ~\*_*/~)

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Community Guru
Preston H Member Since: Nov 24, 2014
2 of 30

Ayusha:
The problem is not you. And the problem is not genuinely skilled people like yourself.


The problem is all of the freelancers from your country whose work is really awful. That is why people from around the world (not just in the U.S.) have a certain expectation about the level of quality they can expect from typical freelancers who live in your country.

 

As your post points out, most of these "hoards" (to use your word) can not write or use English at anywhere near your level. If "clients will always first see my country" (which I think is often true), then they are considering where you live, not your complexion.

 

And just to clarify one other thing: If clients want to hire writers who possess native-level English language capabilities, or are native English speakers, that is a legitimate requirement for a writing job. This is not analogous to skin color.

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Active Member
Ayushi V Member Since: May 9, 2016
3 of 30

Yes Preston I see your point here which is why I specifically put in the post 'not complaining' because the work demands high standards of English. And I also know the fact that it is my country, not my color. It just happens that a huge section of non natives are brown. The entire SA area. So my choice of using the color in the title is more of a choice in a rhetorical sense. It is so that if a brown freelancer does read this, something snaps in their heads and they relate. And not just someone from my country but all the surrounding ones too.

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Community Leader
Kishor P Member Since: Jun 14, 2016
4 of 30

Preston H wrote:

Ayusha:
The problem is not you. And the problem is not genuinely skilled people like yourself.


The problem is all of the freelancers from your country whose work is really awful. That is why people from around the world (not just in the U.S.) have a certain expectation about the level of quality they can expect from typical freelancers who live in your country.

 

As your post points out, most of these "hoards" (to use your word) can not write or use English at anywhere near your level. If "clients will always first see my country" (which I think is often true), then they are considering where you live, not your complexion.

 

And just to clarify one other thing: If clients want to hire writers who possess native-level English language capabilities, or are native English speakers, that is a legitimate requirement for a writing job. This is not analogous to skin color.


Always keep in mind what Mark, Wendy and Preston said.

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Ace Contributor
Alison D Member Since: Feb 2, 2016
5 of 30

Preston:

 

I was perusing some threads in this community section when I stumbled upon this.

 

"The problem is all of the freelancers from your country whose work is really awful. That is why people from around the world (not just in the U.S.) have a certain expectation about the level of quality they can expect from typical freelancers who live in your country."

 

This sentence is a sweeping generalization that is both xenophobic and patronizing.

 

Seriously? You can speak to "all of the freelancers from your country" and the expectations of "people from around the world"? The "whose work is really awful"  does not come across as a limiting modifying phrase, especially when you later describe the freelancers as "typical."

 

I was thinking of remaining silent because I don't want to be skewered by the community gurus, but silence equals acceptance. I cannot accept this language.

 

Preston, I'm sure you respect all people equally and did not intend for this message to be read as disrespectful in any way. I, too, respect you, your opinions, and your right to express your opinions.

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Community Guru
Petra R Member Since: Aug 3, 2011
6 of 30

Alison D wrote:

Preston, I'm sure you respect all people equally and did not intend for this message to be read as disrespectful in any way. 


I would hazard a guess it was meant to be understood exactly as it was written.

And I agree with you.

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Community Guru
Mark F Member Since: Jul 10, 2018
7 of 30

Ayushi, I can't claim to truly understand but I can sympathize.  Just so you know that it is not all wine and roses on the other side there is a counter problem on this platform for people in my industry of why should I pay you $X when I get someone from {somewhere} that will do it for a mere fraction of what you would charge?  My answer is basically go ahead and do that and let me know how it goes.  And since I, like you, also charge significantly more than most other's in my industry and in my country I also have to fight the battle of why are you more expensive than Joe Bob?

 

I know what I am doing.  If Joe Bob knows what he is doing and he can deliver just as well as I can then one of us is making a mistake and I am pretty sure it's Joe Bob.

 

Again the battle we are fighting is not the same but I also think it is pretty similar and I wonder if  a lot of it is about the fact that a signficant portion of the people out there are not really worthwhile no matter where they are at.  They may even be good at what they do but they are good at doing as a someone's employee.  They don't understand they are running their own business, they don't understand they are selling and marketing to customers.  They think they are doing jobs for employers.

 

There are a lot of clients out there that don't seem to care (or don't know enough to) and just want cheap.  Those are not my clients.  Those are not your clients.  We have to sift through them and find the ones that actually work for us.  Having a high rate, success, and having bold. confident statements about ourselves will auto-sift a lot of them.  I don't know how many client's that leaves you but I can tell you there is not a ton out there for me.  But you have found some and I bet you will continue to find more.

 

If I were you I would rethink what you are saying in your profile.  You start with the issue of your nationality, it seems a bit defensively to me, and I think instead you should make a bold statement about your abilities.  The best way, I think...and clearly what the f' do I know, is to be such a presence they don't care where you are from.  People looking your cheaper countrymen will never see your profile anyway so why speak to it?

 

Anyone who thinks they can get you on the cheap is not your client and they deserve whatever they get.

 

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Active Member
Ayushi V Member Since: May 9, 2016
8 of 30

Thanks Mark for your advice. I sure will change that. I guess I was just doing an experiment there which birthed due to pure frustration!

 

 

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Community Guru
Mark F Member Since: Jul 10, 2018
9 of 30

There is nothing wrong with an expirement or the message (or the frustration) I just think you can do it in a more subtle way that might work better.  I might be more tempted to say something like...

 

The most important aspect of the work I do, for me, is quality so if you are looking for cheap labor then I am not the freelancer for you.

 

I don't know that it is any better but you don't even make the country you live in an issue until it is.

 

Stay as strong to your rate as is reasonable.  I also hope you stick around I would like to know more about your journey. This is actually something I have a hard time with, am I worth many multiples more than someone from another country and why?  The best answer I have come up with and it is entirely ego driven is that I am just that much better than everyone no matter where they are from Smiley Wink.

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Active Member
Ayushi V Member Since: May 9, 2016
10 of 30

Mark F wrote:

 

  I also hope you stick around I would like to know more about your journey. This is actually something I have a hard time with, am I worth many multiples more than someone from another country and why?  The best answer I have come up with and it is entirely ego driven is that I am just that much better than everyone no matter where they are from Smiley Wink.

Thanks Mark! I would sure stick around. Having recently found this community space, I realize I quite like it.
Haha, and as much as it is ego driven, there is a certain objectivity to it I guess. I personally hate the idea of being 'better' than others. It is very inherently capitalist. The reason I like Upwork is it has the power to go beyond this sort of capitalist sentiment by giving everyone a sort of space - a certain set of clients.

Even for those freelancers who do not have the best English speaking skills, there is a certain set of clients. These could be really small and new businesses which cannot bear spending that much so they prefer a rough draft of medium quality and then spend time editing it themselves.

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