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How to make sure that the client understand my costs in advance?

Active Member
Humam H Member Since: Nov 15, 2019
1 of 5

I am strangling with a problem that when I make a proposal to a job posting, I state my hourly rate. When the client start to interviewing me and after we agree on the technical aspects of the job, he offer me a price that is much less than my proposal.


For example, I proposed with 40$/Hour. We both agreed that this work needs 1 month of full time work. The client asked me to estimate the total cost as a fixed price contract. I did the math and I offer him 8*23*40 = 7360 (most probably I will offer around 5000$). The client got truly shocked and says something like "My budget is less than 300$! Your price is very high!"

This happens sometimes after 2 days of discussions. I really want to eliminate those type of client from the first moment. However, I do not want to be rude and write in my proposal something like "PLEASE READ CARFULLY MY HOURLY RATE BEFORE INTERVIEWING ME!"

Do you have any advice? How do you handle this situation so you do not waste your time?


P.S. I am not trying to underestimate any client with low budget for a project. The budget of the project is determined by the client based on his situation. My problem is when they are trying to hunt freelancers blindly and seems to not even reading ours proposals.


Community Guru
Preston H Member Since: Nov 24, 2014
2 of 5

I don't think you should ever change your hourly rate to fit a client's budget.


But maybe it is possible to change what you do for the client.


If the client's budget is $300, you could tell the client what it is that you can do for him for that amount.

Community Leader
william b Member Since: Jan 3, 2015
3 of 5



Unfortunately this is a very common problem.

The reality is that many, many clients are seeking Top Rate work at Entry Level rates and it's up to the FL to hold firm to what you know your labor is actually worth in your market. 

This is difficult but hopefully creates a healthier market for all.


Having said that, when a bottom feeding client is being especially persistent (exactly like your example) and intent on wasting your invaluable time, I generally snuff the exchange with a polite reply along the lines of-

"Thank you for the opportunity. Unfortunately that rate would mean a tremendous loss of money, and more importantly, time for me. If budget is your primary concern, perhaps you might want to explore an Entry Level freelancer option. Thanks again."


This always ends the exchange promptly.


Work smart, work safe!

Ace Contributor
Filomena S Member Since: Nov 14, 2019
4 of 5

Hi Humam,


I had some situations like this at the beggining and I had to adjust my communication to avoid that.

What I usualy do, and it results for me is:


- I keep in mind that I'm conductiong the conversation;
- I always ask about client expectations to confirm if the client want anything besides what is stated at the job offer;
- I also write something like "If you don't need any additional services I will be glad to be your freelance for $XX.XX/hour and help you during your project as stated at my offer.".

Community Guru
Joan S Member Since: Mar 18, 2019
5 of 5

Humam - You really need to be very careful and pick and choose a client you want to work for. There are often very good clues in job posts as to what a client is willing to pay.