- Those who argue over every penny.
- Well funded writing clients who recognize they’ll get what they pay for and want quality.
Obviously we all want more of the well funded writing clients who pay well without a struggle. The trick is to learn to ferret out who is who when it comes to paying writers well. The key is to listen carefully.
Writing clients who argue over every penny
There are some writing clients who are reluctant to pay no matter how much money they have. Although I can’t prove it, I suspect they treat all vendors the same way. Typical identifiers include:
- They start or ask early about your rates, often expressing they can’t afford much.
- Counter whatever rate you name with less – often arguing that they understand the standard pay is…
- Come back to you an hour or a day later explaining why they can’t possibly pay your rates.
- Mention someone they know who will write for less
These folks are quite different than those who simply state they can’t afford your rates. Those you can sometimes have a successful negotiation with.
But the potential client who argues for a lower rate right from the start and keeps arguing is better dropped. They will always believe you’ve over charged them, no matter how low you go. You don’t need them.
Well funded clients won’t nickle and dime you
Clients who are well funded and recognize that good writing isn’t cheap, are willing, for the most part, to pay what you ask. Even if they negotiate for a lower price, they do so in ways that let you know they are willing to pay without much fuss. They too reveal themselves early in your conversation, with statements like these:
- After a discussion of just what you’ll be writing, they’ll say, “okay, how much will that cost me?”
- Even before much discussion they’ll reveal their budget. “I hope to get this for around $xxxxx. Does that sound right to you?”
- When they add work they expect to pay more. “I know this project is likely to expand. How do you charge for additional work beyond the original scope?”
- You name your price and they respond, “Great. Do you want a check or will Paypal be okay?”
These folks are the best of clients. They’re clear on what they want and they’re willing to listen to your suggestions. In the initial conversations they focus more on making sure you understand the project than on the price. Which isn’t to say they aren’t price conscious, they are. But it isn’t their focus.
These are the clients you want. And the chances are they will end up doing more business with you, perhaps over years.
The takeaway here is to stop focusing on yourself so much, and focus more on what the potential client is actually saying as well as the way they are saying it. The client who is trouble at the start is apt to be trouble all along the way. On the other hand, the client who is comfortable with themselves and with you, and with talking about the project as well as the fees is apt to be the client you want now and in the future.
Got any stories to tell about either kind of client? Let’s talk about it in comments.
Write well and often,
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