Freelance Rates: Asking For vs. Accepting a High Fee

I still struggle with asking for a high fee when setting freelance rates. I don't mind accepting a high fee, but it's hard to ask for one.

If you are one of the dozens of people who read this blog, you know that I make a living as a professional blogger. And it's not a bad living, either.

However, I know it could be better.

This post is another in my ongoing exploration of why I don't have many high-paying freelance jobs.

Over the weekend, I had two more potential clients approach me about my freelance rates, asking what I charge. Since I don't have a freelance rate card, I can experiment a little bit. And I do experiment a bit. But I am also less comfortable asking for high freelance rates as opposed to simply accepting what comes along.

Accepting High Freelance Rates

As I mentioned in my book on professional blogging, I have been paid more than $500 for 500-word blog posts. Clients offered a fee. And I took it.

It's another story altogether when I'm actually asking for that much. And I haven't asked for that high of a fee — even though I know writers who charge that much and more.

Accepting a high freelance fee is much easier than asking for a high fee. At least it is for me. It's easier for me to let someone else place a value on the worth of my services than it is to tell someone what I'm worth.

Telling Others What You're Worth

I do get kind of diva when I feel like someone is devaluing my work. But, even then, I put up with a lot. Someone needs to lowball me pretty hardcore before I get upset enough to insist on higher pay. Sometimes I just decide it's not worth it.

But why stick with this kind of trouble? There might be things holding you back from charging what you're worth.

What's Holding You Back?

My problem is that I'm stuck in that place where I see others asking for more, and I wish I could ask for more, but I'm afraid to. Here are some of the things that I think are holding me back:

  • I don't think the client can afford it, so I pitch a lower, more affordable price.
  • The potential client is a friend — or at least someone I know from around the blogosphere — so I feel inclined to give a discount.
  • I'm afraid the client will say no. Even though I don't really need more work, I sometimes still worry about what happens if I were to lose a major client. This fear encourages me to ask for a little less in order to secure the work.
  • Fraud syndrome is still an issue for me, and I'm not actually sure I have the “right” to ask for a higher rate.
  • I'm still not comfortable with hustling for the high-paying gigs. It's a lot of time, and involves some risk, and I'm a little too lazy/busy with current work to go out there and and get it done.

Getting over that reluctance to ask for higher freelance rates is probably one of my biggest challenges as a freelance writer and professional blogger. I know I could be asking for more, but it's much easier to cross my fingers and hope that someone offers me more. Which is something that I need to move beyond. Because, of course, part of success is going out there and making it happen for you rather than just accepting what others are willing to offer.

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