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Re: Standard rates and shocked responses.

Active Member
Dorothy H Member Since: Oct 25, 2016
1 of 11

Hi there,

 

I'm new to Upwork but have been working as a copywriter, both freelance and full-time for about 4 years. I am hoping to go completely freelance/remote and am giving Upwork a try.

 

I'm sure there are already a ton of threads on this...but a client asked me to give him my rate for a press release. I always stick to industry standard rates and have been a little shocked to see that some people expect less than 1 cent per word for a piece of writing.

 

I quoted my rate, which is mid-range according to the Editors Freelance Association. The response I got from the potential client was shock and then he tried to make me feel guility to charging too much (saying that I was charging more than someone's weekly wage. I live in LA and can assure you, $240 is not a week's wage). Is this par for the course on a site like Upwork? I don't want to lowball my rates as I see writing as a valuable skill that should be compensated accordingly.

 

The job called for intermediate level and hourly pricing. S

 

hould I just keep keeping on?

 

Thanks for any tips!!

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Ace Contributor
Toni K Member Since: Oct 12, 2016
2 of 11

Hi Dorothy, 

 

Welcome to Upwork! My opinion (again, only my opinion) is not to take on work that you don't feel good about. That can have many interprations. What I mean about this is that, if the client is asking for a reduced rate that is not in line with what you feel comfortable completing the project for... you're better off not doing it. Not saying this would happen, but it could turn out to be something that, due to a decreated price/rate, a person may not feel inclined to "give their all to". If lowering your rates to meet the client's budget does not "sit well with you", then I would personally pass. If one is not acceptable and enthused to "put a good foot forward" (despite a lower rate than what they would normally accept, in order to get that "first project"- again, not saying this is the case), it may not be a good fit for either party. I don't know if you have other projects that you've worked on, or if this is your first potential project, but it can be tempting for a freelancer to lower their rate in order to gain that "first project". Don't go against your gut- is my personal opinion. If something doesn't sit right with you, it could be for a reason. Don't get me wrong- I'm not saying that is the case with all projects. However, you're right in listening to what you feel sounds right accroding to your experience, skills, professionalism, etc. 

 

I've taken on work for a *slightly* lower rate when the project scope interested me professionaly and personally. But, it was something that I was comfortable in doing. (Just my own experience.)

 

 

Community Guru
Preston H Member Since: Nov 24, 2014
3 of 11

Dorothy, you're new to Upwork.

 

The potential client was "shocked" at your rates?

You were surprised that a potential client acted like a goofball?

 

Not every client is a good match for you and your niche. It's not a big deal. There are lowballer clients here, but you don't need to work with them.

 

Don't worry, you'll get used to it.

 

I charge what I charge. If a potential client doesn't want to pay my rate, I don't spend time thinking about it. Why should I care?

Community Guru
Kat C Member Since: Jul 11, 2016
4 of 11

@Dorothy H wrote:

Hi there,

 

I'm new to Upwork but have been working as a copywriter, both freelance and full-time for about 4 years. I am hoping to go completely freelance/remote and am giving Upwork a try.

 

I'm sure there are already a ton of threads on this...but a client asked me to give him my rate for a press release. I always stick to industry standard rates and have been a little shocked to see that some people expect less than 1 cent per word for a piece of writing.

 

I quoted my rate, which is mid-range according to the Editors Freelance Association. The response I got from the potential client was shock and then he tried to make me feel guility to charging too much (saying that I was charging more than someone's weekly wage. I live in LA and can assure you, $240 is not a week's wage). Is this par for the course on a site like Upwork? I don't want to lowball my rates as I see writing as a valuable skill that should be compensated accordingly.

 

The job called for intermediate level and hourly pricing. S

 

hould I just keep keeping on?

 

Thanks for any tips!!

 

First, I do agree with what's already been stated: Charge what you're going to charge. 

 

Also balance this with the reality that many Upwork clients (not all but many) disregard industry rates for writing. I've written elsewhere about the Upwork job posting which stated $1 per 100 hundred words was the "industry standard." Not for professional writing (I follow EFA rates as well)!!

 

So, while I'm sure the shock has possibly worn off by now (yours rather than the clients), given the fact there are many people who will take those jobs regardless of how egregiously low they are, and every day there are "writers" who onboard to Upwork, find your niche as a writer. Work that angle. There are a plethora of copywriters on Upwork who make a great hourly; but, there is sifting to do through all of the lower end postings.

 

I ran into the same "shocked response" a month or two ago. I about tripled what the guy was asking to write a full length novel. He called me rude. I gave him a professional "whatfor" and then blocked him. So, yes, it's not unusual for clients with whom you do not want to work (ultimately) to act in that manner (for the reasons stated above). 

 

Edited: For the 4Cs haha!!

 

Community Guru
Preston H Member Since: Nov 24, 2014
5 of 11

re: "Also balance this with the reality that many Upwork clients (not all but many) disregard industry rates for writing."

 

As a client, I simply pay people their posted rates. I have no knowledge of or interest in "industry rates."

 

The secret that you might not realize is that many clients don't really care what your rate is. They just want your help to get some work done.

Community Guru
Kat C Member Since: Jul 11, 2016
6 of 11

Well, there you go...straight from one of the client/freelancer combos...


@Preston H wrote:

re: "Also balance this with the reality that many Upwork clients (not all but many) disregard industry rates for writing."

 

As a client, I simply pay people their posted rates. I have no knowledge of or interest in "industry rates."

 

The secret that you might not realize is that many clients don't really care what your rate is. They just want your help to get some work done.


 

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

Dorothy H wrote ... The response I got from the potential client was shock and then he tried to make me feel guility to charging too much

 True conversation:

 

Client: "Why do you charge so much?"

Me: "Because I can."

 

End of conversation.

Community Guru
Kat C Member Since: Jul 11, 2016
8 of 11


@Petra R wrote:

Dorothy H wrote ... The response I got from the potential client was shock and then he tried to make me feel guility to charging too much

 True conversation:

 

Client: "Why do you charge so much"

Me: "Because I can."

 

End of conversation.


Exactly. 

 

Thank you, Petra. 

 

 

Active Member
Dorothy H Member Since: Oct 25, 2016
9 of 11

Thanks for the feedback and words of advice and encouragement everyone!

Community Guru
Jennifer M Member Since: May 17, 2015
10 of 11

@Petra R wrote:

 True conversation:

 

Client: "Why do you charge so much?"

Me: "Because I can."

 

End of conversation.


 lol Mine's probably not as lulzy but similar.

 

Client: Oh, you're an expensive writer

Me: You wanted a developer and you're a developer so you know real ones don't come cheap.

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