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Help Negotiating with Clients

Active Member
Brendan R Member Since: Dec 14, 2017
1 of 9

Hi

 

I am new to Upwork and am continuing to learn about the platform and I had a question about engaging with potential clients. I submitted a proposal to a client and got a response. Their job posting was fairly vague, stating they needed some scripts developed for youtube videos and I recieved some sample scripts from the potential client.

 

As we were messaging, her demands seemed unreasonable. She needed 30 scripts developed in less than 2 days. Then it was 15 by the end of the day (stated in late afternoon), then it was how many and how fast. I responded that I could get 10 by the end of the next day, or all 30 if I could have the weekend. I got asked how many hours. I said 10-12, which since I had to develop the theme, do the research and write the script I thought was reasonable (they are short videos). She then said she couldn't do the rate from my proposal (which I used the rate tip to calculate), nor the rate on my profile (which was $4.00 lower) and offered me a rate at roughly half of what my proposal had been saying that others have worked for even less than that.

 

My question is two-fold. One, are there any tips for uncovering a scam before it hits this point. And two, what is Upwork's recommendation for negotiating rates? The rates she was proposing seemed unreasonably low and approached minimum wage in my opinion, and she had access to my profile and my submitted proposal before she started engaging me.

 

Any advice would be appreciated. Thanks so much for all you guys do!

Community Guru
Melanie M Member Since: Jul 13, 2016
2 of 9

I have no idea if it is a scam or if she is just cheap. As for negotiating rates, you don't have to negotiate anything if you don't want to. You name your price, and a client may  take it or leave it. If she says she has had others work for less, I suggest you call her bluff and tell her to go hire them then. Personally, I think the scope of the job you described here and limited timeline are totally unreasonable, and she should be willing to pay more, if for no other reason, for the immediate turnaround. I'd stick to my guns on my fee for this one for sure. If she really needs the scripts that fast, she doesn't have time to argue, and she'll pay. On the other hand, I might see red flags in this one and avoid it. Sounds like she could be hard to please since she is so unreasonable. Up to you, though.

 

Active Member
Brendan R Member Since: Dec 14, 2017
3 of 9

Thank you for your quick response and advice! One of the reasons I wanted to reach out was that she mentioned I "didn't have many Upwork hours" when she made her offer, and that gave me some pause before sticking to my guns. I was worried that if I stuck to my guns I would end up with a bad review before I even had an opportunity to get started on Upwork.

 

She was also all over the place in terms of scripts and timelines during the discussion, and that I would need to do the research and come up with theme, which I can do, but was not part of the original posting and of course adds to how long it takes to complete a project.

 

I am taking your advice and avoiding this one. Thank you so much!

 

 

Community Guru
Melanie M Member Since: Jul 13, 2016
4 of 9

Good idea. I would RUN from a client who starts off by saying that she sees I don't have many hours on Upwork. Translated: "Hey, you will be easy to take advantage of because you will put up with my crap just for the opportunity to earn a few bucks."  It also means that she is aware that a more experienced freelancer would be onto her game in a New York minute. She's hoping, as a newbie, you'll fall for it, though. I'd nope right out of there. There are some wonderful clients and jobs on Upwork. You just have to be patient and selective. It takes a while. Hopefully, you aren't trying to make a living this way quite yet!  You'll need a day job until you get your clientelle.  Good luck!

Active Member
Brendan R Member Since: Dec 14, 2017
5 of 9

Fortunately, I was a freelance political consultant for a number of years so I have some experience sticking to my guns on rates (consultant rates are the first ones candidates want to cut) which helps. I have a few local clients here in my hometown so I am not relying on Upwork yet. But I can already see the platform has great benefit as long as I remain diligent and mindful while I establish a clientele. I am also impressed with the platform's strong community.

 

Have a wonderful holiday season!

Community Guru
Melanie M Member Since: Jul 13, 2016
6 of 9

Thank you! Happy holidays to you, as well!

Community Guru
Richard W Member Since: Jun 22, 2017
7 of 9

Hi Brendan. As long as you haven't yet accepted a contract you can't be given bad feedback. So just drop this unreasonable client and move on.

Active Member
Monika S Member Since: Sep 27, 2015
8 of 9
Community Leader
Michelle S Member Since: Jun 23, 2017
9 of 9

When I first started on Upwork, I took small, fixed-rate jobs.  As long as I felt they were resonable, I took them.  No one has any idea how much I made per hour on these jobs that are posted in my job history.  I never negotiated, but most of the first few jobs I took had very specific guidelines so there was little to negotiate.  These days, I negotiate nothing. I tell the client how much it will cost and how long it will take.  If the client does not like my price, they are free to go elsewhere.  It is better for me to take fewer jobs/hours at a higher than than lots of jobs at a lower rate.  

 

If a client insists on trying to lower my rate, I just tell them I can't help them with the project.  I really don't have the patience for it and to me it is a red flag of things to come. This is especially true of clients who invite me to submit a proposal and then tell me rate is too high.  As you said, they saw my profile and proposal when they sent the invite.  If they didn't like my price then, they shouldn't have sent the invitation.

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