Question for freelancers/independent contractors

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by GanChan, Sep 19, 2010.

  1. GanChan macrumors 6502a

    Jun 21, 2005
    I'm a freelance copywriter in a bit of a fix, and I thought I should get some opinions on how to best handle this situation.

    I have a client who regularly sends me requests for uncomfortably large, cumbersome website-writing jobs that tend to be heavy on technical information and require lots of outside research. (I'm primarily a marketing-copy "sizzle" kind of writer, myself, but I can write this other stuff when I have to.) He expects to pay the same flat fee as my marketing clients get for a small, relatively simple website job (I charge flat per-project fees because most clients hate surprises), and he complains loudly when I try to bill extra for all the research and extra hours I must put into material that falls outside my area of expertise. I don't want to be nasty and "fire" him as a client, but at the same time I don't want to keep losing money by working twice as many hours as the job fee covers.

    I'm thinking that the most diplomatic way of handling it would be to simply inform him that I'm "removing large-scale website jobs from my product line" and offer to refer him to other writers for those situations. That way he's still welcome to submit requests for smaller jobs if he likes.

    What would you do?
  2. rprebel macrumors 6502


    Aug 22, 2010
    Where the bluebonnets bloom
    Once, a client of mine wanted to set up a large network in his law office. At the time (10 years ago), that was beyond my expertise. I referred him to a small company that did that and it worked out fine. He kept coming to me with all his computer problems after that because he understood that while I couldn't do that one large job, I still knew how to handle most everything else.

    Just be straight with him, and if he's a reasonable person he'll understand.
  3. shinji macrumors 65816


    Mar 18, 2007
    Find another freelancer who can do the job cheaper, outsource it to them, and keep the difference as profit.
  4. gameface macrumors 6502

    Sep 11, 2010
    Boston, MA
    Very simple, just explain exactly what you said here. Don't beat around the bush. Tell him that if he wants you to do it, he has to pay for your time. I am a freelancer (different field) and I say right up front "If this is your budget, this is what I can do. If you want more, you're getting billed more. I don't work for free". They know my day rate and it if takes longer I bill them. If they give you lip about it, tell them to try to find someone who will give them what they want for the money they have and reiterate that they are not going to be pleased with the final result and will end up paying the full price later to have someone do it right. This is a business and the client is trying to get as much as they can as cheap as they can. They are being tough and winning. Time for you to get tough or you will never make it as a freelancer in the long term.

    off and watch this:
  5. djellison macrumors 68020

    Feb 2, 2007
    Pasadena CA
    Write up a rate card and send it to him that explicitly details the price you will charge for the large jobs he wants you to do.

    Make the rate for that task big enough that don't mind doing it for that amount OR will scare him off asking you.
  6. Macky-Mac macrumors 68030


    May 18, 2004
    is your objective really to stop doing the large scale jobs? Or do you want to get paid a more reasonable fee for them?

    yes, just tell him you can't do those larger scale projects for the same fee as the smaller scale projects. Tell him what fee you need for the larger projects and let him decide if he wants you to do them or if he would rather go elsewhere..........unfortunately, if he goes elsewhere, you better prepare yourself for the possibility that the smaller jobs will also go elsewhere

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