What's on the iPod: Unbelievable by Diamond Rio
Rough day yesterday. It wasn't that the work was difficult. It was that everything transpired to get in the way.
Two client phone calls withing one and a half hours = nothing getting done until noon.
Impromptu call from a client = another 30 minutes unable to touch must-do projects.
I managed a radio script in the morning before the phone started ringing, but I was working past 5 again in an attempt to get ahead of the workload. The phone rang again -- another client, another project, another interview. These smaller projects became harder and harder to do as the phone -- and the other projects-- started to encroach.
I was reading something on a forum about rates. The writer was asking how to handle it when your client lowers your rate. Those who know me already know my answer:
Your clients should not be setting your rates. You should.
The writer is newer to the freelance world, so I can fully understand the oversight. However, those who answered her were not, and in only a few cases did anyone point out that she shouldn't be accepting lower rates.
So what's wrong with this picture?
Writers are passing on misinformation.
One writer said magazine work was dead.
Another said that clients dropping rates was just a sad fact of the business.
Still another thought it was a sign of the times and the writer should just roll with it.
One writer actually said it was time for her to raise her rates. Amen to that writer.
Then there were writers who thought any work during a recession was a gift.
Please, take back your "gift."
So let's try clearing up a few misconceptions:
Certain areas of writing are not "dead." I wanted to tell them just how much they're wrong (by way of my own example), but I don't like telling people how much because it always comes across as pomposity. But if an area seems dead to you, either you're not doing it correctly or your rates or ideas don't coincide with that particular area of focus.
Lower rates are not a fact, sad or otherwise. I've raised mine this year, as have many of you. I'm working more than I can handle, and I know a few of you are, as well. A client who lowers your rates is not a client worth keeping.
Recession be damned. This is my best year ever. Don't use the excuse (or any other) for justifying your lack of work. Something is amiss. Either you're not marketing enough or you're targeting the wrong level of clientele. Aim higher.
It is indeed time to raise your rates. If you work with people who are counting every penny, you will always be struggling with them over price. Instead, raise your rates in order to eliminate them from the competition for your time. Focus on attracting clients who value your services.
Any work does not constitute a career. Survival mode is not any way to run a business. Accepting "the way things are" is foolish at best. Expect more and settle for no less than what you deserve.
What misconceptions are you hearing parroted around?