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Raising your writer rate vs. keeping a client: What’s best for you?

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You want to raise your writer rate, but your client can’t afford it. Now you have two options:

  • Raise your rates anyway and lose your client
  • Keep your rates the same just to keep your client

Which is the best option for you? Is there a right or wrong option?

I hear so many writing mentors say that you should ditch the client. Raise your writer rates and look for a new client. But this can be a scary step to take.

And it’s not a step all freelance writers are willing to take. It may not be a step you can financially take right now.

What do I advise?

My advice is different to a lot of writers out there. I’m going to tell you to think about what you really want to do.

The honest answer is that I’ve done both.

There have been times that I’ve raised my writing rates anyway. I’ve ditched the client and looked for other work.

In other cases, I’ve kept the rate the same and stayed with the client, but I’ve looked for other work at the same time. The minute a better paying client came around, I moved onto that client.

In the latter instance, I didn’t want the uncertainty of not having any work at all. I didn’t want to worry if I could make my targets or feed my family. The rate may have been poorer than what I wanted, but it was better than having nothing at all. I’ve always made sure I quote my new rate to any other clients.

But there are some who will tell you that you should ditch the client without anything to fall back on.

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Why ditch the client before having work?

There are times that walking away from a client can be the best thing for your mental health and your business. There have been times I’ve taken the risk of raising my writer rate and moving on without anyone to move on to.

Sometimes you can have a PITA client. This is someone who works you to the ground.

They may not pay you on time or may haggle lower prices each and every time. They want you to be around 24/7 and expect you to make substantial changes for no extra cost without even thanking you for it afterward.

These types of clients aren’t my cup of tea. The first hint I get of a client like this, I will start looking for other work. This is when you could choose raising your writing rates over dealing with this type of client again.

This type of client zaps energy out of you. You don’t have the time to find a new client while working with them, so you need to ditch them right away and put faith in your skills as a marketer. PITA clients can also make you hate your job, and that shouldn’t be the case!

Raise Your Writer Rate vs. Keep Your Client

Why not raise your writer rate?

There are times that you’re going to raise your writer rate for new clients, but keep your current one at the lower rate. At least for the time being.

There’s nothing wrong with doing both if you have a client you like.

You may not be in a position to just get rid of your current client, but you want that pay rise. You need the stability of work right now. So, you keep the client at the old rate, but keep looking for other clients.

Once you find a new client to replace your old one, you need to revisit the pay rise. Quote your new rates. If the client can’t afford it, that is your chance to say “thank you, but goodbye.” Some clients will find the budget for you and others will look for a new writer.

It really is going to be dependent on your current situation. What I will say is you should never get into a situation where one client is the bulk of your income. One thing can go wrong and you lose that client, which means you’re scrambling to replace the income.

MORE: 3 quick tips to raise your writer rate on micro-job sites

Take your time to think about your situation. There’s nothing wrong with keeping your current client at a lower rate for the time being. Raise your writer rate for others and then replace when the time comes.