Thursday, June 10, 2010

How Low Can You Go!

Are Cheap Clients Really Worth It?

Imagine your freelance business is booming! Your have potential clients pouring in left and right, as well as big projects to complete. As a freelancer, your on cloud nine until suddenly you hit a drought season. Now you have to push more aggressively to grab a freelance project. You ante up the marketing efforts, build your brand more, and suddenly you get a prospect or two! Unfortunately for you, one of your prospects are crabbing at the pricing & negotiation phase, and your faced with a dilemma: Lower your price or Lose your prospect. In my opinion, this is a lose/lose situation on the freelancer's end.

I previously did a post on pricing, and how it is always important to factor your costs and the current market in your prices. When you let a customer talk you too low in price you are seriously doing yourself and other respectable freelancers in your field a serious disservice. I always suggest to stay clear of the penny-pincher clients. There are four main factors that are a dead give away to the penny-pincher:

1. Prospect wants projects completed before they even made first contact with you, and signed the appropriate documents (if necessary).

2. Prospect professes to have worked with others in your field who charge significantly less.

3. Client fails to pay for the completed work on time. Payment arrangements always an issue.

4. Client is rude, impersonal, demanding, disrespectful, selfish, and overall just cheap!

If your prospect portrays any of these traits, don't even bother to waste your time. I recently had a client, whom of which, I completed a logo, and a flyer for his business. We have known each other for years, so I was not as stringent as I was with my regular business practices, and that was my biggest mistake. He griped about all of my prices, which I gave him price breaks on account of our friendship, and to make things worse, he was extremely disrespectful as far as the value of my work is concerned. He seen my work as something for fun, simple, and more of a leisurely task. This lack of respect for what I did as a graphic designer made him argue about price even more.

To make a long story short, I turned down further projects with this client because he was simply not worth it. As a designer, artist, or whatever trade your involved with, you must always remember the value you add to any project for any client. Is is priceless or worth pennies? How low can you go? I say low enough to seem like your somewhat flexible with them, but high enough to satisfy your value your time as any professional would. What are your thoughts on this topic? Remember as always, your comments are both appreciated and encouraged!

Since the tender age of twelve, Schaumin Chanel Alexander has been creating fashion illustrations, and designing Womens wear apparel. Shortly after graduating college with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Fashion Design & Marketing, she began freelancing her talents. SchauminChanel is the main designer and chief operator of Creative Conceptz Ltd., a company dedicated to freelance fashion design.


Anonymous said...

i love this...this so very true...

Uma Preve said...

That is so true!

MyBlog said...

I agree with you! This reminds me of an article I posted on my blog. Sometimes I wonder if these people realize the time it takes you to create your designs. Your designs are very beautiful. You could read the article here:

SchauminChanel said...

Thank you for your comments! It was a disheartening situation for me, but it also taught me a lesson. Never let a cheap, needy client devalue your services or brand. @ My blog I have RSS'd your blog, and will check out your article! Thank you for visiting

nyc lu said...

i think its so cool that you're blogging about this sorta stuff!

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