How To Increase Your Rates & 5 Types Of Clients That Pay More
By James Crook / July 8, 2016 / Comments: 0
Starting out, or advancing in your freelance writing career can be a bit … nerve wracking … at the best of times.
Whether you’re making the shift from a standard 9 to 5 job, or you’re trying to get paid more as a freelance writer, you’re probably dealing with a lot of frustration about how you can actually make more money, and find clients who are willing to pay higher rates.
This guide is intended to help you not only increase your rates, but also locate the types of business owners who are more than happy to pay a higher premium for higher quality work and a reliable freelancer they can send consistent work to.
To Get Paid More, You Have To Ask For It
The biggest mistake I made as a freelancer was undervaluing myself. I was more than happy to take on work at 2 cents per word — and even less, sometimes by discounting my own rates for larger projects.
Then, I made a shift in my mindset. I decided that I wasn’t going to take on any more low paying clients, and that I was going to increase my rates. Dramatically.
So I did just that. I went from charging a minimum of 2 cents per word, to asking for 5 cents per word for all new projects, and even 10 cents per word for some higher end clients.
Do you know what happened? I lost a majority of the cheapskates who refused to pay those rates, but I ended up finding a new client base that was a lot easier to work with, and actually expected to pay what I was asking in order to get a decent writer.
Find The Right Types Of Clients
I did lose a lot of my existing clients in the shift, though. That’s when I realized that I was shooting myself in the foot all along. I was working with business owners who weren’t actually business owners yet. They wanted to be, but they just weren’t at that point when I was working for them.
The new types of clients that I found actually owned legitimate, established businesses who needed a consistent stream of content, and had the budget for it. They weren’t trying to be a business owner, they were already turning a profit in their business, and had been for years.
Finding those clients wasn’t exactly straight-forward, though. To be honest, I didn’t know they existed, or the error in my ways — by means of working for lower end clientele.
I did learn a few quick ways to find the clients who were ready to pay me the big bucks, though.
Avoid Fiverr At All Costs
The biggest key takeaway from this is that you need to avoid working on Fiverr, at all costs. If you could delete your profile on there, I’d tell you to do it as soon as you get done reading this.
It’s a race to the bottom on that platform. If you can write coherent sentences, with proper grammar and spelling, and can accurately research the content you’re writing, you deserve more than to be spending your time on Fiverr.
Writing On Upwork
Upwork is at the very bottom of where I would recommend writers start out by charging more money. There are a lot more business owners on Upwork, but alas, a lot of them are still cheapskates.
A quick hack for weeding through the cheap, wannabe business owners, and filter down into the legitimate companies who have an actual content budget is to do a search for “writing” or “copywriter”.
Then, set your minimum job to $250. That will show you only projects that pay more than $250. Once you’ve done that, send out as many proposals as you possibly can.
You’ll get a few bites, and get paid more per project so you can focus more of your hours on one thing, instead of hunting down new work every other day.
Finding Better Paying Clients On Your Own
When you’re ready to spread your wings and really get paid what you’re worth, there’s a few specific types of clients you’re going to want to start seeking out, though. There’s also a few key places where you can find them hanging out at online.
The two biggest sources of new leads for your content creation services are in forums and in Facebook groups. You’re looking for forums and groups that have existing business owners in them, though.
Internet marketing forums and related Facebook groups are the prime targets for these types of clients. They spend their days on the platforms, and are always in need of new content. All you have to do is offer helpful advice, and let people know what you do, and the leads will come out of the woodwork to contact you.
Step Out Of Your Shell To Find More Consistency
Forums and Facebook groups are great for finding new work, but if you want even higher paying clients that have $10,000 per month budgets for new content, you need to branch out of your comfort zone.
That requires actively reaching out to business owners and letting them know about you and what you do. For this strategy, you may even have to leave your house from time, to time.
I’m talking about reaching out to web design agencies in your local area that either already have a blog that could use some work, or run an active blog that needs to be fed more content to keep it going. You can easily charge higher rates to local businesses because they’re professionals who automatically expect to pay more.
Web design agencies are the perfect targets for this type of approach, because all of their new and existing clients need what you’re offering. Every website they build needs content, and you can be their go-to writer if you approach it right, and position yourself as the expert with a portfolio to show them.
Finally, making a list of the top 100 companies you want to write for, and then reaching out to them through email or social media is a great way to pick up rewarding gigs that you love to write about, and still get paid decent coin at the same time.
It Does Take Work, Though
You can’t sit back and expect higher paying work to come to you.
It’s a sad fact that as long as you’re asking 2 cents per word (or less) you’re only going to get 2 cents per word. Clients aren’t going to magically open up and start paying you more money. That’s not how business works.
So you need to take the strategies I’ve just laid out for you, and proceed forward relentlessly until you get what you want — higher rates, and better clients.
If you don’t have a portfolio already, get started on Upwork. Then, branch out to finding clients on forums and Facebook groups to help build your comfort levels and get a few quick wins under your belt.
Finally, break out of your comfort zone (hard to do sometimes, I know) and reach out to local businesses, web design agencies, and your top 100 prospective clients to let them know who you are, what you’ve done, and what you can do for them.
It will pay off big, I promise you.