A question that often comes up in conversations with freelance writers: "Should I list your rates on your freelance writing website?"
My answer is yes. And to that, you might say...
“Won’t that dissuade the prospects from contacting me?”
“But I’m negotiable—listing rates makes me nervous.”
In this guide, we’re diving into four ways you’ll benefit from listing your rates on your freelance writing website, and how you can fully adapt this approach to your preferences.
1. Companies that can’t afford you won’t waste your time
A lead lands in your inbox. You exchange a few emails with them, set up a call, spend 45 minutes on that call, and another 30 putting a custom proposal together.
Their response: “Oh… Our budget is about half of what you’re asking for.” (Or even worse: they ghost you.)
If this happens once, it’s no big deal. But if it happens on the regular, you’re spending hours on leads that stand no chance of becoming a client.
(Unless you significantly reduce your rates for them, which I hope you won’t do.)
Making your rates, or their starting point, transparent means that the only people who will choose to contact you will be those with the minimum budget you’re asking for.
2. It makes your intake form stronger
If your intake forms ask for a budget and offer predefined answers as options, it means potential clients have to choose from the options you give them. There’s no way around it.
Here’s a great example from my dear freelance writing friend, Elise Dopson:
A similar, excellent one is by Kat Ambrose:
And freelance writer Kaleigh Moore even covers her rate per word and a minimum monthly workload required to get on her calendar:
This approach makes it clear: you’re confident about your rates, and they aren’t up for discussion.
When you don’t make your rates, or at least their starting point, clear upfront, you’ll be asked about them on the call with your potential client. That’s a tricky spot because you might feel tempted to lower them just to win the client (asking for a lot of money can be uncomfortable!). You may even straight up get asked to do the same work for a lower rate.
Setting the record straight before a lead even contacts you is the way to go to avoid these situations.
3. Be as specific or as flexible as you want to
There’s no one-size-fits-all for listing your freelance writing rates on your website—that’s the best thing about it.
If you have a standardized list of packages and rates for your writing services you offer to all clients, you can add that to your website. For example:
My rates are defined by word count and are as follows:
- Up to 1,000 words: $XXX
- 1,001 to 1,500 words: $XXX
- 1,501 words to 2,000 words: $X,XXX
- 2,001+ words: $X,XXX
Alternatively, if you still want to quote based on scope and level of detail, but want to set a minimum rate you never want to go below, you can do this, too. Here’s an example:
My rates start at $XXX for blog posts and at $X,XXX for ebooks and whitepapers.
This allows you to stay flexible and tweak rates as needed, but still set boundaries and repel those leads that can’t afford you.
4. You can increase your rates and communicate that on your website
There might be a client you work with for a while, then pause working with them, and hear from them again a year later. When that happens, you might be tempted to charge them the same rates as you did a year before.
And even if you share with them your new rates, they might come to you with a “But this used to be lower!” complaint.
This is where having rates on your website is helpful. Next to your statement of rates, whether you’re sharing detailed packages or a “My rates start at $XXX” approach, you can add:
These rates apply for all projects from January 2022 onwards.
Then, you can point your old client to this page. Along with that, communicate with them that you’re consistently evolving as a writer, strengthening your skills, building up expertise in their industry, and creating even better results for clients—and regularly raising your rates is essential to keep doing that.
There’s another benefit of adding the starting date of your rates to your website: new potential clients will see you’re in demand and that you increase your prices regularly because of it.
They’ll know having you in their corner is worth it, and if you’re a fit for the type of service they’re looking for, they’ll want to get on board before you’re booked out and/or raise your rates again.
What’s stopping you from listing your rates on your website?
If you were fearful of losing leads and potential clients due to having rates listed on your website, I hope I’ve convinced you otherwise.
Being clear, transparent, and upfront about your rates exudes confidence and makes your boundaries strong.
Questions? Thoughts? Tweet me anytime.