Many prospective clients new to the ‘Freelance economy’ will use this season of pandemic to get the most from unsuspecting freelancers for less or even free.

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But does economy slowdown mean you should compromise with your regular rates and serve clients based on ‘their’ low budget that is below what you normally charge? Does this mean you should offer your freelance services for free?

Since Freelancing is a ‘open’ economy dependent of the best bidder, its crucial that one is keen as a freelancer so as not to compromise with value by offering services at a lower price.

It’s obvious, the level of spending by most clients as we speak has reduced due to fears that the pandemic may go for long.

While your priority now is a sustainable source of income, you should also look at the long term effect of offering your services at a low fee. This is a question of being ‘productive‘ as opposed to being ‘busy.’

Here are three things to to consider when before dismissing request for free work.

Your Work History with the client

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Photo by Suzy Hazelwood on

Have you been working with a client for some time? What kind of services are they selling? Which market are they serving? Have their markets or customers been heavily affected by the pandemic?

Keenly answering these questions will help you understand how to respond to your clients need for a discount. If the services you are offering still takes the same time to complete, then declining to give a discount might be the best option. This way, if the client withdraws their existing contract, you will be in a position to accommodate a new client who is willing to pay you in the rates you are asking for.

Nothing Changed. You Still work From home as Before.

While Covid-19 pandemic is here with us, Freelancers who used to work from home still do so. Its just that now, they can’t have their regular meetings over coffee with their friends or local clientele.

So, the point is; nothing changed. You still pay bills as you used to pay.

This answers the question on whether to offer services at half the price or for free. It’s up to you to decide if it is worth. Don’t be ‘Mr. nice‘ expecting the client will love you. This is business. So, learn always to say no to something that you don’t agree with.

Trust Your Guts. Be a Freelancer of Value.

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The only way you can gain financial freedom is setting your value high and being firm on it. People perceive that freelancers who charge high rates deliver quality with little or no supervision. In a time when economy is not doing well, few people can afford to hire you. So does it mean you lower your rates to match the demand? Absolutely NO.

Doing so is dangerous. In most occasions, when you lower your rates below your normal, you will have to do more work to meet your targets. At the end, quality will be compromised.

Again, this is the other reason to say No, without explaining yourself. Any client who values quality work will respect your decision.

And that is it from here. Do you get irritated when clients sends you an e-mail requesting you to do for them some work for free? How do you dismiss them in a professional way?

Share your feedback in the comments section below.

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Until next time, take care. Follow me on twitter @cheptiony

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