#198: Stop Complaining About Low Rates!

When I’m annoyed by something, I like to vent.

Sometimes a bit too much!

After all, it’s easy to complain when you’re frustrated. And it can feel good to let it out!

But lately I’m seeing a trend that’s not serving writers.

And that’s a growing chorus of complaints about bargain-basement rates.

I’m seeing things like:

“I just got off the phone with a prospect who’s only willing to pay $.05/word for a ghostwritten article they want to place in an industry publication. She’s out of her mind!!”

“A prospect I thought would be great to work with offered me $50 per 800-word blog post. And they want them turned around in two days. That’s crazy! Who are these people?!!”

Sure, it’s easy to get frustrated with this kind of thing. But complaining about it at length is fruitless (and dangerous) for a couple of reasons:

First, it undermines your confidence and ability to stay focused on what matters most. And second, it causes you to look at the problem the wrong way.

In this episode, I explain why low rates aren’t the problem you think they are.

And how you should start thinking about them instead.

The notes that follow are a very basic, unedited summary of the show. There’s a lot more detail in the audio version. You can listen to the show using the audio player below. Or you can subscribe in iTunes to get this show delivered straight to the Podcasts app on your smart phone, tablet or iPod.

When we talk about the market, market rates and rate trends, we need to recognize there’s no such thing.

There’s not ONE market. There are multiple markets (or multiple segments).

Just because one segment of the market thinks that $.05 per word is reasonable doesn’t mean that this is indicative of what’s happening everywhere.

There’s not just ONE market for writers — there are multiple markets. And low pay in one market doesn’t mean low pay in all markets.

Sure, there’s more competition than ever. But most of that competition is happening in the “bargain basement” segment of the market. (I talked about this at length in episode 9 of the podcast, way back in 2013 — check it out!)

This competition isn’t happening nearly as much in the “trusted expert” level (or segment) of the market, which is where you really need to be playing.

Let me explain further with an example.

My favorite burger restaurant in Atlanta is called Flip Burger Boutique. Their beef burgers are handmade and their pork is locally-farmed. All seafood is sustainable. All condiments and sauces are made in house daily.

They sport a full bar with an extensive wine and craft beer list. And the restaurant itself is comfortably and tastefully designed.

In short, it’s a fantastic place to eat.

But are their burgers cheap? Nope. You’re paying about $15 to $20 a burger, not including sides or beverages.

So do you think Flip Burgers worries whenever McDonalds opens a new location? Not likely.

So, yes, it can be frustrating to hear those kinds of offers from prospects. But you can work around that by:

  • Positioning yourself better
  • Being clear about the value you bring to the table
  • Implementing a better prospect qualification (screening) process.

And above all, stop complaining. Millions of people will want the cheapest possible meal and won’t drop $20 on a burger, no matter what. That’s fine.

Flip doesn’t give a flip that McDonalds and Wendy’s continue to grow.

And you shouldn’t care that millions of writers are willing to work for peanuts.

Stay focused on YOU — your goals, strategy and path.

Keep your eye on the prize. And let someone else worry about Happy Meals.


Plus … whenever you’re ready, here are 4 ways I can help you grow your freelance business:

1. Grab a free copy of my book for ESTABLISHED writers/copywriters.

You’ll discover how to quickly and predictably reawaken dead leads, generate new client opportunities and convert not-yet-ready prospects into freelance writing clients. — Click Here

2. Download a free copy of my new book for writers who are NEW to freelancing.

I’ll show you the 3 things you need to do to get your business off the ground safely and land your first paying client faster. — Click Here

3. Join my implementation program and be a case study.

I’m putting together a new implementation group this month. If you’d like to work with me to grow your income quickly with better clients (and become one of my new success stories). Just email me at [email protected] and put “Case Study” in the subject line.

4. Get a 1:1 strategy call with me.

Are you a 6-figure writer who’s trying to earn more in less time with less stress? Let’s jump on a quick call and brainstorm some ideas for getting you there. Just email me at [email protected] and put “Brainstorm” in the subject line.