In fact, come to think about it, where did we get the idea it’s impolite to talk about money in general? Most of us grew up with the notion that it’s somehow rude to talk with others about money. Which I suggest is a mistake.
While it might be offensive to brag about how much money, or how little, we’re making, when you consider the other kinds of information we share, like our weight, our love (even sex) lives, why are we afraid to talk about money?
We all use money, well or poorly. It’s an important part of the fabric of our lives, yet we act like we are ashamed to even mention the topic. Does that really make sense?
If we’ve worked a regular job, you learned quickly that no one is supposed to tell anyone how much they make. Which is ridiculous and serves to protect management more than anything else.
Think about it – what does the reluctance to talk about money get us? Confusion? Dishonest scams? Anything but clarity, that’s for sure.
Money and Freelance Writing Jobs
The fear of talking about money is particularly a mistake when such ideas make us feel awkward when it comes to negotiating pay for freelance writing jobs. Which happens much more than you might suspect.
I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve gotten asked how much a writer should charge for writing and the question is coached in terms of at least embarrassment. Why would anyone be embarrassed asking about fees?
When I look way back I remember that I also was self-conscious and uncomfortable talking with potential clients about money. I suspect some of this is rooted in the wrong-headed idea that money is the root of all evil. I’m with Mark Twain (Samuel Clements) who may have been the first one to say “The lack of money is the root of all evil.”
You’re leaving money on the table
When you don’t at least ask if you can get more money than offered, you’re leaving money on the table. To be sure, not every client will offer more, but many will be reasonably happy to bump your initial pay up a bit – if only you ask.
When you worry too much about what other people charge, you’re leaving money on the table. What I’m paid has nothing to do with what you’re paid, and shouldn’t. There is no such thing as a standard rate for any writing. Let me repeat that, loudly:
THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS A STANDARD RATE FOR WRITING!
When an prospective client tells you he’ll pay the standard rate, he’s talking about his standard rate and (maybe) trying to bluff you into taking less than you should. Even the rates in Writer’s Market are expressed in terms of low, average, and high. Average has nothing to do with standard, nor does it mean that’s what you should charge.
Such dattum is just that, data that doesn’t really tell you much about what you should be charging or give you any clue about how you should set your fees.
Talking about money should be comfortable
When you think about it, talking about your rates, the client’s willingness or lack of it to meet your price and the details should be a comfortable discussion, at least on your end.
Knowing your worth as a writer is key to your writing success. Practice with a friend, or read a book or two – maybe Barbara Stanny’s Overcoming Underearning or any other book you find that will help you let go of your fears around money and talking about it.
Truly learning to talk about money around your freelance writing jobs is almost guaranteed to increase your income.
Soon I’ll have a new ebook on Freelance Writing Jobs – get early notice plus a discount when you sign up.
Write well and often,