There’s another one again.
A prospect wanting content below your minimum rate. It’s the third one this month. What gives? You obviously have a stellar portfolio and are even working with influencers and writing on big platforms.
So, when another prospect contacts you and it looks like a good fit – it’s in your niche – you suddenly become disinterested because the pay is too low – even after negotiating with them.
You don’t mind too much, but you do want at least another gig or two to fill up your content calendar, so not landing another gig does hurt a bit, financially.
Maybe you should have taken that low-paying gig. Here’s why.
Lower-Paying Gigs Can Improve Your Business
A lot of my client list have been grandfathered in. This means, the rate I quoted them a year ago, is still the same rate today.
Why am I not raising my rates with most of these clients?
Simple. They provide consistent work to me and have referred clients to me.
These are my top tier clients and I don’t plan on changing my rates since I get more than enough work from them. But, there have been times when I’ve taken on gigs below my minimum rate.
1. If the Gig is in My Wheelhouse
There’s a good chance I’ll take on a lower-paying client if it’s in my wheelhouse. Now, this isn’t all the time, but if it’s super easy for me to write it, then I’ll take it.
For example, Twiniversity – a popular site for moms with multiples – contacted me to write for them.
The gig is writing about twins and parenting. Wh-what? Of course I’ll do it. Why wouldn’t I? The site is well-known, has a huge audience and I can promote my Twins Mommy site. But, the pay is shy of my minimum rate. For this instance, that didn’t matter. Just being on their platform is enough payment for me.
2. If the Gig Provides Consistent Work
Would you rather get an extra $300 every month or $500 on an ad hoc basis? The ad hoc client pays you within your range, but the $300 a month client does not. Yet, you end up getting paid more on a monthly basis if you go with the lower-paying client – because they are consistent.
Sometimes it’s better to get consistent work at a lower pay than inconsistent work at a higher pay. Knowing that you’ll always get paid is reassuring to a freelance writer, right?
The life of a freelance writer is inconsistent so hold on to those consistent gigs as much as possible.
3. If I Know the Gig Will Lead to More Work
I recently landed a gig on a popular blog. While the pay is good, it’s not within my range – but that’s totally OK because every time my post is published, I always get inquiries for my writing and land more clients.
So, if you know that the lower-paying work will lead to higher-paying work, take it. It’s just another way to grow your income.
Lower-Paying Gigs Can Mean a Break For You
I don’t know about you, but sometimes writing for my high-paying B2B clients takes a lot out of me.
There’s often a ton more research involved, more writing involved, more screenshots, more links, and just more work overall.
So, when I get to write a 500 word blog post on awful digital manners, it’s a treat for me. I can link to YouTube videos and don’t have to use screenshots, for example. It’s easier to write these types of posts and it’s quicker too.
And when my life is already pretty stressful as it is as a work-from-home mom, these lower-paying gigs are often a breath of fresh air for me.
Lower-Paying Gigs Can Help You Break Into a New Niche
As a new freelance writer, you may not know what your niche is. Maybe you have three niches already, but none of them are very lucrative. It’s okay to explore other niches.
But, to do that you might have to start at the bottom of the totem pole so to speak. At one time, I wanted to explore the WordPress niche. I heard there’s a lot of work in this niche and that it can be very profitable.
I was able to land a couple clients in this niche, but I couldn’t command my high rate since I didn’t have any samples to show and I had no credibility as a WordPress writer. So, I lowered my minimum rate.
That helped me secure samples and clients easily. I could then use those portfolio pieces and client testimonials to help me establish myself in the WordPress niche.
Although I never pursued this, a lot of freelance writers follow these same steps to break into a new niche.
Lower-Paying Gigs Can Mean Writing for a New Audience
Can I tell you a little secret?
A lot of highly popular websites either don’t pay for their content or pay very little. Huffington Post, for example, doesn’t pay their contributors.
But, freelance writers and bloggers all around are desperately trying to land a guest spot on HuffPo because they know the benefits outweigh the whole no-pay thing.
Mainly traffic back to their site and new client work. But, there’s also one more benefit to writing for gigs below your minimum rate – you reach a new audience.
The more people that see your post on these big websites, the better chance you’ll have at landing better writing gigs.
Sharon Hurley Hall had this happened to her. She wrote a review and mentioned Buzzsumo. Buzzsumo contacted her and invited her to write for their blog – for free.
Her Buzzsumo post then got picked up by Business2Community and has been shared many times. This post reached a new audience for Sharon and she ended up landing clients from this opportunity.
It’s Totally Worth It
Freelance writing is my main – part-time – gig. I’ve worked with dozens and dozens of clients over the last almost two years of doing this.
I’m in the trenches still, and will continue to work as a freelance writer because I love it and I think it’s a great gig to have if you want to work from home.
So, I’ve learned that not all high-paying gigs are worth it. There are many better lower-paying gigs out there that can really help you grow your business.
Next time a prospect emails you with a lower rate, take a look at their profile. Do they have a popular site? A big audience? A huge social media presence? Are they in your niche? Will it help you land more clients?
If the answer to all of those is yes, then take the gig!
Over to you – how has writing below your minimum rate helped your freelance business?