Never Work for Low Rates – Part 1

Namaste friends and freelancers,

How are you doing today? Hope everything is on track and you are growing in your goals. My wishes and prayers are always with you all. Let’s start the day with something I always wanted to talk about. And since May Day is near, this is the appropriate time to talk about this point.

Daily Blogging Challenge: Day 5, May Day Special!
One of the highly popular ways, chosen by many newbies to jump start their freelancing career is to work for a lower price than the average market price prevailing in their niche. You would also be surprised to know that many freelancing Gurus advise their pupils to take this path and promise them a lot of success. Today, I will tell you why you should not do that!

Most newbies go to google and search for the average rate per hour in their niche and then come back to their freelancing profile and set their own rate to something lower than that. This is very common. Along with this, while bidding for jobs posted on various freelancing sites, newbies often quote a price far lower than the average bid, so as to attract the probable client. All these, with a hope that they can beat the competition and win a project or two, to get started.

Let me break this myth. Low price is NOT the way to go!

Pricing is a very important element of the marketing mix and I agree that along with a good product, a correct marketplace (place for marketing and selling your services or products) and a lot of promotion, pricing is also an integral part to start off, sustain and grow your freelancing business. But that should be ‘Correct Pricing’ and not ‘Low Pricing.’

While low pricing can earn you a project or two, it will not help you to sustain your online business. There are various reasons behind this truth.

Reason 1: The Game of Low Price

The truth about this game of low price is that whatever low you price yourself, there would be someone else who would be ready to take away your job for a lesser price. You cannot beat everybody. Everyone has their own freelancing goals and based on that (and a few other factors, to be discussed later in this blog) they set their rates. If there is someone who has a less ambitious goal, she can easily set a lower price than you. At times, there are people who would want to do a certain job or project for absolutely free of cost, just to gain experience and grow in that niche. Can you beat that by lowering your price?
Hence, you cannot win the game of low price.

Reason 2: Your Self Esteem

When you work for a lower price than the work deserves, you somehow lower your self-esteem as well. I agree that getting work is more important than having a great self-esteem. If you do not have food in the stomach, what will you do with high self-esteem? I agree! But take it this way. If you know that you should be paid more for a job that you are doing, somewhere in the subconscious mind, you will feel guilt, even if you do not realize it. This guilt would not take you far on your journey. At a certain stage, you will not be able to take it anymore, when you will see that many people around you are doing the same or similar jobs for much higher price than you are, even though they may not have as many expertise as you do. This will ruin the inner peace and will make you want to discontinue the work.
This is why you should not work for a price that harms your self-esteem. It is not sustainable in the long run.

I will continue this discussion tomorrow and we will look into the third and the most important reason of why you should not work for rates lower that what you deserve. There’s lot more to say and this is already growing long enough. See you tomorrow. Stay tuned!


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Thanks a lot,
The Indian Freelancer
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