More work for less pay

There is always a point in a freelancers life when, if the company is overusing you, that they decide to either hire in-house, or see if they can cut a deal, or both. The deal usually goes like this "Lower your rate or give us a fixed bid and we’ll give you lots of more work." Loosely translated it means "Hey, work harder for less, doesn’t that sound like a good idea?"

Well,does it?

It all depends on your situation. I have done it in the past. When I was first starting out as a freelancer, and I had my first major client, I took a cut in pay to get guaranteed hours. But guaranteed hours are not quite the same as getting hired. There is no requirement that binds a company to you. And so it was with this company. Although they wanted me three days a week on site, they sometimes had no work for me, when I showed up. I remember pulling an all-nighter with another project and coming in that morning to find there was only half an hour’s worth of work to do. And gradually that job ebbed away, and I went on to other clients and projects.

Another time I was offered a part time job, which is the case where taking a cut in pay for more work, would have worked. But I turned that down because I was trying to do less work on site.

I bring this up because it has happened to me again. After nearly a decade as a freelancer, a client was questioning my charges, and saying couldn’t I charge less, and then get more work? I told him no, and that he was free to go find someone who charged less who worked slower. I told him I felt my charges were quite fair, and no one else complained about the rate, and I would completely understand if he needed to cut costs and find someone cheaper, but I wasn’t willing to. Not at this point in my career.

So what would you do?

Leave a Reply