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Re: Frustrated writer

Community Guru
Petra R Member Since: Aug 3, 2011
11 of 19

Anne M wrote:

To assume that because I'm not based in the US or I'm not a native English speaker,  I don't deserve to be paid well for my work is super disturbing. 


Did I say that? (Hint - I didn't.)

 

Much as I often disagree with Brian, if you look at his professional background and portfolio, it is pretty obvious why clients pay the rates he charges.

 

Community Guru
Brian F Member Since: Jun 4, 2013
12 of 19

I know she's not in the US but she's Kenyan.  English is one of two official work languages in Kenya, so she's probably native in terms of her English.  Even for people like me, the quality of writing contracts is terrible though. People want to pay native speakers $10 or $20 a 1,000+,researched article or $25 a day I see for like 4-5 articles... I don't know where Upwork gets these people from who offer non-native rates asking for native speakers...


Petra R wrote:

Brian F wrote:

Sunny L wrote:

 

I think you should try by submitting proposals with half the rate, Yes $16/hour and see if you get some replies. Something is always better than nothing.


No offense but this answer is way off and makes a lot of assumptions.  I have been charing between $55-$90 for a few years, and I'm still getting work.


Ah, but you are a native English speaker and US based and have very different credentials. That is what (the right) clients expect to pay (a lot) more for.

 

They don't expect to pay anywhere near that for freelancers who are not native speakers, don't have your background and are not US based.

 


 

Community Guru
Petra R Member Since: Aug 3, 2011
13 of 19

Brian F wrote:

I know she's not in the US but she's Kenyan.  English is one of two official work languages in Kenya, so she's probably native in terms of her English. 


It's an official language, that does not make every person there a native English speaker. It's also a different "kind" of English. It's very obvious in some writers from Kenya (not so obvious in Anne's case.)

 

My point was more that there is a world of difference between the two profiles, backgrounds, credentials and portfolios which account for the difference in rates.

Active Member
Simon H Member Since: Nov 6, 2017
14 of 19

Hi Anne,

 

The marketplace is definitely more competitive now than it was even last year- I find myself applying for projects that have only been posted for an hour or two, with 15 proposals already having been sent for quite niche jobs... wasn't the case a year ago

 

And yes, there's a question about whether a client is more interested in quality work from a higher paid writer or a string of words by someone who can charge $5 an hour... but that's up to the client and what they need

 

The good thing about your published hourly rate is that you can adapt it to market conditions, but cutting it in half might be a little drastic... after all, you can tweak and change it when sending proposals.

 

My advice would be to try and be sending proposals when there's been less than 5 already sent (annoying to be online that much, but such is life), try and get a feel for the rates the client is expecting before messaging them and decide if you're willing to drop to that number in your proposal... and maybe get in touch with some former clients (you have lots that seem very happy with the work you did) and see if they've got anything going

 

Purely a race to the bottom with costs is never going to work well... you'll get annoyed, future clients will see you as being cheaper so won't pay as much, and it'll all become more effort than it's worth

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Active Member
Sunny L Member Since: Apr 28, 2016
15 of 19

Hi Simon,

 

After reading your message I almost agree with you on not decreasing the rate as that can destroy the marketplace and the platform itself.

 

BUT: I don't know how to message a client before even getting their first reply on this line of yours "try and get a feel for the rates the client is expecting before messaging".

 

I am not sure if there is a way to send a message to client before that "feeling" & getting their first response.

 

Also I just suggested the decreasing the hourly rate method, so that Anne can see if her proposals are not getting lost or ignored as she mentioned in the first / original post. My suggestion was just to see if there is some chance for clients to put attention to her just because of less hourly rate.

 

Thanks!

Active Member
Simon H Member Since: Nov 6, 2017
BEST ANSWER
16 of 19

Hey Sunny,

 

Oh yes, I agree... but there are some times you can get a feel for the client from the way they've posted, and from experience can deduce the level of work they have in mind, and what their budgets will allow... Then, of course, there's the budget they suggest in the posting and go from there....

 

I actually think Melanie might be on to something here, though- as counter-intuitive it may be, an increase in rate could be the way to go. With a long track record working on the site, some large contracts, and happy clients... this isn't a case of just getting noticed to get started... it's a case of getting noticed by the right people

Community Leader
Bettye U Member Since: Mar 6, 2016
17 of 19

"BUT: I don't know how to message a client before even getting their first reply on this line of yours "try and get a feel for the rates the client is expecting before messaging".

 

I am not sure if there is a way to send a message to client before that "feeling" & getting their first response."

------------------

Sunny, this is not done by messaging the client; it's done by looking at their history, what they've paid other freelancers for similar work. The only way you won't be able to tell is if there's no hiring history, or if they've only hired people to do wildly different work. Hope that helps.

 

BLU

Community Leader
David S M Member Since: Apr 24, 2018
18 of 19

Do-not-lowe-your-rate. Period. 

 

I agree with the commentor who said freelancing is about feast, famine, feast again. I've hit the same thing, and probably will again. It stinks. We all go through it for one stretch of time or another. Anyone who says they don't is lying. 

Community Guru
Tiffany S Member Since: Jan 15, 2016
19 of 19

David S M wrote:

Do-not-lowe-your-rate. Period. 

 

I agree with the commentor who said freelancing is about feast, famine, feast again. I've hit the same thing, and probably will again. It stinks. We all go through it for one stretch of time or another. Anyone who says they don't is lying. 


This is a very dismal perspective. Fluctuations are common in freelancing, sure. But, there are a great many freelancers who have built stable businesses and have downtime only when they choose it. Perpetuating the myth that it has to be a scramble and anyone who has created a solid foundation must be a liar is very, very bad for freelancers--when you lead them to expect nothing but struggle, they're far more likely to accept that state of affairs and never level up.

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