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Re: The rate debate

Community Guru
Kathryn B Member Since: Jul 22, 2015
11 of 73

@Tiffany S wrote:

@Kathryn B wrote:

 

 

 

 

"A client who sees that a person is willing to work for less than minimum wage will typically not view that person as a serious professional."  I agree, that is often the case, and even my own rates are low in comparison to some.  I just eventually looked past that perception, because I'm ok with my rates and figure if others want to judge, that's on them.  It doesn't stop me from wondering how others see things though, so sometimes I just get out there and ask.

 

Thank you, as your answers are very well thought out.  I also agree, there are some awesome people here who do take the time to make suggestions to others.  There is nothing wrong with it, it does help, and they are successful.  My concern is more about why we worry so much about what other's charge though.  As you said, the "ruining it for others" routine is a load of B.S. and we all know it.  So, in the end, why do we still do it?

 

 


 Thank you for the considered response. 

 

I can't speak for anyone else, but the only reason I care about anyone else's rates is that I care about everyone's success. That may sound silly and even disingenuous, but it's the truth. I've done a ton of mentoring of young writers, offering free writers groups and workshops, etc. and when someone says, "I can't make this work," my inclination is to help them figure out why.

 

If someone says, "I can't get a good job" and I look at their profile and discover that they've made a weak marketing pitch or that they have multiple typos or grammatical errors or whatever, I mention that. If I think they're excluding themselves from good markets with their posted rate and their past jobs, I mention that. That's all. I don't like to see people struggle unnecessarily.


 THAT.  All of it.  It does not sound silly, nor disingenuous in the slightest.  It is precisely what I was asking.  What I understand from your answer is that:

 

  • You care because you want to see them do BETTER.
  • You care because someone cared about YOU doing better before and it rubbed off.
  • You want to help them to improve an already latent ability.

Kudos, because that is so very selfless and hopeful that it darn well deserves it.

~I am only here when I can tolerate having my eyes blasted, my privacy treated like a joke, and my temper pushed to it's limit. For all other times, please request alternate contact methods~
Community Guru
Rene K Member Since: Jul 10, 2014
12 of 73

Interesting topic.

 

I have only one question: why would someone charge 1 cent per word if they can charge ten times more? More generally, why wouldn't one up their rates to their own ceiling. Which is the limit after which they earn less money than before?

 

Wouldn't you guys agree that all this discussion boils down to this simple equation?

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"Where darkness shines like dazzling light"   —William Ashbless
Community Guru
Wendy C Member Since: Aug 24, 2015
13 of 73

For those of us who work on fixed priced jobs, of course your quote is reflective of the specific needs of the job. Doing it any other way would be foolish. Obviously this approach necessitates being able to gauge the time required to do the job, including factoring in client communications, etc.  Which, by the way, is an acquired skill.

 

Certain genres of work are best suited to fixed jobs - writing and art being the most obvious. Concurrently, IT and web design are more suited to hourly - especially the former.

 

One size / one set of logic does not fit all skill sets.

 

Community Leader
Lisa B Member Since: Dec 29, 2015
14 of 73

"For example, my rate fluctuates. I place proposals on a case-by-case basis and charge what I feel is necessary to cover my research time, drafting, editing, proofreading and any images I need to source or take myself."

 

At least in the copywriting world, it's also about the value the work brings to clients. While a Facebook ad might ony take one hour to write, if it converts well, it can bring the client mega bucks in new and repeat business. Same with sales pages, landing pages, websites, email campaigns, etc.  

 

So, the writing time is only one factor, and not necessarily the most important one. 

 

Also, you mention you calculate your rates based on research time, etc.... but at least for myself, there's living expenses, taxes etc. that need to be tacked on. 

 

But perhaps for some they already have those expenses covered by other sources and can afford to charge extremely low rates.  

 

 

Community Guru
Jennifer M Member Since: May 17, 2015
15 of 73

OP, out of curiosity, are you just some housewife making side money or are you the sole provider in your household?

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Community Guru
Kim F Member Since: Aug 26, 2015
16 of 73

Irrespective of how much money anyone *needs* to make, having a low minimum rate of $3 and low rates being common affects people's perception of Upwork.At least some people will see it as a site for finding people at rock-bottom prices so they'll look elsewhere if that isn't what they're after. So what other people charge does matter to me - but not necessarily on a person to person basis.

 

And an elite isn't necessarily bad. If there's an elite party, I want to be invited.

Community Guru
Jennifer M Member Since: May 17, 2015
17 of 73

I ask because it seems to be the housewives buying their husbands beer with their side money who always have this "oh rate doesn't matter look at me I'm doing so well!" attitude. But then you look and what they make wouldn't be enough to live in Podunk USA even in the ghetto and to top it off most of them have kids so you know that their $500/month is just their own little pat on the back with no real substance. 

 

Big difference between being business minded and thinking you are just because you made 5 bucks one day off of internets.

 

Also big difference between "if I don't make money, I will lose everything" and "my husband pays the bills anyway." I have no respect for the latter when they come here and post their nonsense.

Community Guru
Kathryn B Member Since: Jul 22, 2015
18 of 73

@Kim F wrote:

Irrespective of how much money anyone *needs* to make, having a low minimum rate of $3 and low rates being common affects people's perception of Upwork.At least some people will see it as a site for finding people at rock-bottom prices so they'll look elsewhere if that isn't what they're after. So what other people charge does matter to me - but not necessarily on a person to person basis.

 

And an elite isn't necessarily bad. If there's an elite party, I want to be invited.


 To be fair, any content curation site is seen as a place to find people at rock-bottom prices.  This was thought of MediaPiston, Freelancer, Fiverr, Craigslist, PeoplePerHour, mTURK and a plethora of others.  In some cases it is true, in other cases it is not.

 

I do understand your view, but again, if a client overlooks a site or a freelancer for having a lower rate, they run the risk of being wrong.  I've purchased $400 boots just to have them fall apart in a month and $10 boots that have lasted four years now.  The more expensive service isn't always the best, we all know that.

 

I respect your view and the fact that you look at it in a "big picture" style rather than each person's rate.  It certainly gives another point of view to see things from.

~I am only here when I can tolerate having my eyes blasted, my privacy treated like a joke, and my temper pushed to it's limit. For all other times, please request alternate contact methods~
Community Guru
Tiffany S Member Since: Jan 15, 2016
19 of 73

@Rene K wrote:

Interesting topic.

 

I have only one question: why would someone charge 1 cent per word if they can charge ten times more? More generally, why wouldn't one up their rates to their own ceiling. Which is the limit after which they earn less money than before?

 

Wouldn't you guys agree that all this discussion boils down to this simple equation?


 I don't actually think it's quite that simple, because I think people's perceptions of their own ceilings (and, more to the point, the impact they believe others have on their ceilings) plays a greater role than the reality.

 

I doubt that anyone, offered $100 for a project, would say, "Nah, I'll take $10" (unless it were for a charity or a friend or there was some personal reason like that.) Instead, I think the problem is that most of those taking $10 simply don't believe anyone is going to pay them $100.

 

I don't know whether this is true in other fields or not, but I know that as a writer it took me a long time to develop a solid understanding of the value of my services. Writing was all I wanted to do. I was doing it whether I was getting paid or not. Getting paid to do it was like getting paid to breathe, or eat chocolate.

 

It took a very strong mentor fairly far along in my career to twist my orientation around to thinking about the value the client received rather than the (almost non-existent) cost to me.

Community Guru
Wendy C Member Since: Aug 24, 2015
20 of 73

Tiffany wrote ".... thinking about the value the client received rather than the (almost non-existent) cost to me."   It seems to me that by the time an individual is confident enough in his/her skills to freelance and a buyer is confident enough in the individual's ability to produce quality results that basic business practices - i.e., common sense being among them - no one should be offering the aforementioned .01 per per word.

 

Those of us who have been lucky enough to have been advised or mentored at some point by more experienced freelancers were not new to what we purported to do.  We were new to freelancing via a platform ... but we sure as heck were not novices at our trade.  

 

I believe this is the situation you found yourself in. You were already a proven writer.

 

Buyers should not be expected to act as training grounds for an individual wanting to learn 'how to do it'.  That's what volunteering at a favorite cause is designed for.

 

 

 

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