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Guide: How to treat Low-Paying Clients as Freelancer
This article is part of us Guide to Freelancing series “ – consisting of guides and tips to help you become a better self-employed person. Click here to read more from this series.
At the start of my freelance career, I would always face a dilemma when I mentioned my freelance job price. It was difficult for me, because on the one hand I didn’t want to lose jobs by quoting too high a price; on the other hand, I would also rather not be underpaid. That is the story many freelancers face during their freelance career.
Every freelancer had to settle for a low salary at some point (but more often in the early stages) of their career. It’s rare to find someone starting a freelance career with high paying jobs. That would come much later after she have already proven their credentials, credibility and worthback to menu ↑
It’s important for freelancers to learn to make sense of low-paying jobs. Such jobs have their own place on the professional ladder of success. These low-paying jobs act as a platform for greater success.
More importantly, the prepares you for better jobsIt too teaches you the intricacies of the freelancing profession
Whether you are a designer, a writer or any other kind of freelancer, Low-paid jobs allow you to be more relaxed and work with more freedomA certain amount of freedom helps in building your expertise.
Remember, low-paying customers are more tolerant, allowing you to learn as you work. High-paying customers are not that forgiving because you are expected to deliver high-quality results for the price they pay you.back to menu ↑
The benefits of lower expectations
I still vividly remember when I started in my freelance career. I had trouble finding regular jobs, except for one client who would give me regular jobs. I may or may not get jobs from other clients, but I will always have my hands full with jobs from this client. She had enough, and she paid me small amounts, but she kept me busy, and more importantly, she pointed out my mistakes
I had the opportunity to correct them and perfect my profession. And the results were clear. I improved and better offers came in. And then I realized that my a low-paid customer had taught me the tricks of the trade, even without me asking for it.back to menu ↑
High-paying jobs are usually reserved for experts, those who have proven their skills and learned their trade. Those who are now ready to unleash their skills and expertise in highly professional (and sometimes cutthroat) environments.
Obviously, it is never easy to get high paying jobs on a regular basis unless you have been there for a number of years and have established your reputation and career as a freelancer
However, once they had a few high-paying clients, many freelancers (whom I personally know) start to take it easy. They are leaving their old, low-paying customers thinking they now have the experience and credentials for better customers.
The results became apparent over time. While these freelancers enjoy their newfound glory, they will only complete their assignments from high-paying clients and then remain inactive for a long time, waiting for their next high-paying project to fall on their lap.back to menu ↑
Losing their touch
Because they are going to work less and wait more, they have now done so fewer opportunities to practice their skillsSome are losing their edge and winning traits, and worst of all, the lack of jobs has made them lazy. That’s something freelancers should be aware of.
Freelancing is not just about getting projects and making money, but also about understand the beauty of freelancing and the discipline you need to be in the businessIt is also a profession that is networked and based on mutual respect.back to menu ↑
Why stick with low paid customers?
If the question here is, “Do freelancers need to get rid of low-paid clients completely after getting high-paying clients,” the answer is definitely no. The fact that not all freelancers can get high-paying jobs on a regular basis, is reason enough for them to stick to low-paid customers as well.
The fact also remains that there is always a shortage of well-paying jobs. These jobs quickly fall into someone else’s lap as soon as they arrive. Therefore, it is not recommended to delete low-paid customers from your contact list.
Even if you’ve started getting high-paying clients, keep working for at least a few low-paying clients. You never know when you can get a dry spell. Freelancing uncertainties can catch on up on you and they are very real sources of concern.back to menu ↑
Find a balance
Nonetheless, you need to find a balance in selecting which project to take up and reject it. There is a fine line that distinguishes highly successful freelancers from mediocre freelancers.
The very successful strategically their career and always make full use of their precious time and every opportunity. They understand that opportunities can dry up up soon, and therefore, they build a database of clients and work to satisfy them all. They know how to deal with crunch times, and almost always have their hands full.
Freelancers who have had moderate success can fall into the trap of being overconfident. It is true that they will try to seize high-paying opportunities, but when they do get one, they actually believe that more of these opportunities are just around the other corner, ready to knock.
Even if they don’t believe it, this is how they behave when they start neglecting their previous low-paid customers. These freelancers can face acute job shortages and will likely learn that the hard way it takes time and effort to build a good customer baseback to menu ↑
Improve your rankings
The success formulas change very quickly in a freelancing worldFor those who have just gotten into the practice and only have one or two high-paying clients, they also need to keep a large number of low-paying clients so that they don’t have shortcomings at work.
In the meantime, they have to keep improving their reputation and working to get more high-paying customers, which is never easy even for established veterans. If you are a highly skilled freelancer, you will be able to get better clients over time.
Besides, never spoil your relationship with your customers – you never know when times may change and you may need to contact your old customers again.back to menu ↑
The story may vary per freelancer, but to me, low-paid clients were responsible for my progress. And I am still grateful to them. Once you have established yourself in the profession, it may not be possible to work for one or more of them, for the long term, but it is important that you acknowledge their contribution.back to menu ↑
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