Wordpreneur Notebook • April 21, 2021

Avoid competing on price.

I haven’t written about freelance writing—one of the things I do—in a very long while. Time to do it again. A lot has changed in the years since I last wrote about it, in communications and the resulting opportunities (yay Internet!), but in a morbid way, this COVID thing is also fueling the rapid growth of the remote gig economy.

But a lot of the basics and tips of this business—its principles—are exactly the same. That’s why they’re called principles. There are also a lot of noobs about who may not be aware of much of this stuff, so let’s get to work, shall we?

Note: Although the focus here is freelance writing, a lot of what you’ll see here will be useful for freelance anything. So, whatever kind of freelancer you are, you may want to monitor these posts.

We’ll start with this simple one:

Avoid competing on price.

The fact that if you’re competing for jobs against freelancers in other parts of the world who:

  • live in a geo area with a lower cost-of-living, and/or are…
  • used to operating and surviving in a local market with much lower rates for your kind of work

means, you will lose every time on those bids. And in many cases, you’ll lose by a significant amount.

You’ve got to compete with something else, and we’ll likely touch on that in later posts.

But setting all that aside, here’s something a lot of new freelancers may not be aware of or consider: You don’t want that kind of client anyway.

A real PITA, clients who operate that way. If you think you can get them to later raise what they pay you once you’ve “proven yourself and your worth,” that rarely happens.

That they operate this way is even like taking a peek into their core values. High chance you’ll experience a lot of other negatives dealing with clients like these, like demanding, even abusive, behavior to issues getting paid, etc.

Maybe it may be worth playing with these kinds of jobs and clients when you’re just starting out and want something in your portfolio you can possibly parlay into jobs with better clients. But do your due diligence if this is your objective. Their “end product” may be crap (also likely), and you can’t add crap to your portfolio, so if that’s your goal, that’s a crappy waste of time and energy. For pennies.

If you choose to ignore this warning, good luck with that.

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