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Should you ever reduce your writer rate for a potential client?

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I write a lot about setting your writer rate and how to increase it. But what about reducing it? More specifically, should you ever reduce your writer rate in the hopes of snagging a potential client?

Let me make it clear that I would never tell you what you should definitely do or not do as a writer. One thing I’ve noticed over the years is that what works for one writer doesn’t work for another.

I’ll offer advice and the tips that have worked for me, but I will never categorically say that you should or shouldn’t do something. However, when it comes to reducing your writer rate, I tend to take a hard line of not doing it.

It doesn’t matter what your current rate it. It could be a high rate or a low one depending on where you are with your business. However, I don’t believe in offering a lower rate for a potential client.

The only time I would ever do it is if it was for a one-off project that I desperately wanted. Or maybe if it was for a charity that would help with a great byline. There has to be something in it for me to reduce my writer rate for a potential client.

Reducing your writer rate tells potential clients something bad

You may think that when you reduce your writer rate for a potential client you show that you’re flexible. It gives the opinion that you’re willing to work with the client, which can be good for business.

The problem is that it tells the potential client something bad about you. It shows that you’re willing to reduce your prices for the client. If the potential client holds off a little longer, will you reduce the quote even more?

How desperate are you for the job? Reducing the rate shows that you could be relatively desperate, and the potential client could continue to try to reduce your prices.

I’ve seen this happen personally. When I was starting out, I offered reduced rates. I wanted the experience, but that experience didn’t come with a byline. In the end, I had nothing to show for my work except extra stress.

It wasn’t worth it in the end.

If you’re getting a byline and you’re starting out, you may want to reduce your writer rate. It could work in your favor if you get the proof that you have the experience. If you’re ghostwriting, don’t reduce your rate.

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Problem clients when you reduce your writer rate

While the potential client may not look to further reduce your rate after the initial success, there are problems to look out for in the future.

In my experience, I’ve found the clients who pay the least end up being the most demanding. They have little respect for the job you’re doing. They don’t care how many hours you’ve put in a piece of content. All they want is the finished product, and they will try to push their luck.

These clients I refer to as PITA client. I’ve had a lot of experience with PITA clients on Fiverr mostly, because that’s where people go for cheap content.

If you reduce your writer rate to get the potential client, that client is less likely to appreciate the job you do. After all, you’ve shown little appreciation for your own time by agreeing to reduce the rate.

Clients won’t want to pay your increased rate

Say you’ve taken a client at a reduced rate. You had an agreement after three months that you would raise your writer rate to what you usually set it.

All seems good, right? Then the three months comes up and it’s time to raise your rate.

The client is going to likely do one of two things. Either they’ll claim ignorance or not enough of a budget so you keep the rate the same, or they will just walk away. They’ll find another writer willing to work at the same rate you previously did.

You didn’t get anything out of that client in the end. You didn’t get the agreed upon rate after three months.

It’s often better to lose that potential client and find a client willing to pay your set rate. You’ll have a better experience with the client in the long-term. Then you can decide whether raising your rates after a while is something you want to do or you’re happy at that rate.

Should you reduce your writer rate?

Are you happy with the reduced rate?

Only you can decide whether you should reduce your writer rate for the chance of snagging a potential client.

Some writers I know will quote high. If a potential client can’t afford their rate, they have a rate in mind that they’re willing to drop to.

There’s nothing wrong with doing this. The potential client thinks that they’ve won, but really, you’re still getting the rate that you want. However, you need to be happy with that rate. If you’re not, then don’t be forced to drop to it!

There are clients out there for you, but you need to know where to look. We’ll get to that, I promise!

But this is why I never tell someone definitely not to something. I’ll offer advice, but I won’t judge if you decide to go against my advice. We’re all different, in different situations. If you’re happy with reducing your rate a little, there’s nothing wrong with doing that. Just watch out for the type of potential client you have.

MORE: Why you shouldn’t offer free writing samples to potential clients

Are you struggling with setting your writer rate? Do you get potential clients asking you to reduce your writer rate? Let me know your struggles in the comments below.