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Does your stomach tighten up when someone asks, “What are your copywriting rates?”
The initial “money talk” can be hard for some freelance copywriters (both experienced and newbies.) I’ve seen copywriters go from confidently talking about their successes to saying something like, “I charge $150 per page – is that OK with you?”
I’ve even seen freelancers talk to a prospect for hours, send them multiple emails and start brainstorming copy ideas…all without having the rate discussion. If the gig doesn’t work out, the writer feels burned.”Why did I spend so much time trying to impress this client when this person can’t even afford me?”
Does this sound like you?
If so, it’s time to get over the money stuff. Right now.
I get it. I really do. Talking about money can feel uncomfortable and weird. Growing up, the statement “you never talk about money” was burned into my brain. That can be a hard habit to break.
Plus, you want to bond with a new prospect, learn about their needs and build a relationship. Bringing up the money question can sometimes feel tacky or greedy. I’ve even had writers tell me, “I don’t want my client to think that they’re nothing but a big dollar sign. I’d rather not bring it up.”
Here’s the problem your rate reticence is causing:
1. If your rates are outside of what your client can pay, waiting until the last minute wastes everyone’s time. Not just your time – but your prospect’s time, too.
2. When you don’t sound confident about your rates, it’s like a flashing red beacon that screams, “I may work for less if you ask.” If your prospects ask, “Are you sure that’s the lowest you can go,” it could a sign that you need to change your approach.
Here’s how boost your copywriting rates confidence:
– Give yourself a pep talk. If you’re an established copywriter, remind yourself of your client success stories. Remember that you really are all that and a bag of chips – and worth every penny!
If you’re a new copywriter, think of all the copywriting books you’ve read, videos you’ve watched and blog posts you’ve perused. You may not have success stories (yet,) but you’ve spent hours learning your craft.
– Practice giving a rate range like,”My rates are between $X and $Y per Web page.” Don’t just practice saying it in your head. Practice saying it out loud in front of a mirror until it easily rolls off your tongue. If you can bring up the rate range talk earlier rather than later, you can quickly prequalify your prospect and save everyone some time.
– Consider asking a friend to role play with you. Yes, I know it feels weird to role play. Just know that a little practice can make a huge impact.
You can even have your friend throw out different scenarios like, “Can you reduce your fees,” or “I have a lot of work down the road – can you discount your rate this one time?” The more you practice, the more confident you’ll feel when the situation really happens (And it will. Trust me.)
Does talking about money feel strange? Sure. Can you get over it and learn how to do it with style and grace? You bet!
Now go out there and land those clients!