Cheap is not always bad... or is it?

26 July 2011
kitty on a fence
Working within a budget isn't as easy as it looks, is it?

The past few weeks had been stressful. A house contractor had bumped up his price estimate by at least 60 percent from what was normally agreed.

While there was still room to renegotiate, a realization came to light: Just because you're the favorite does not mean that you're the only option.

There are plenty of alternatives. As a freelancer, you're just one of the many others out there. In job boards, the superstar providers compete for the client's attention along with the newbies and the individuals with mid-level experience.

Based on observation, online clients with limited budget (which is usually the case) are often the hardest to please, the pickiest and the most demanding. 

If you're charging $75 an article, many will balk at your rates. If you charge too little, you raise suspicions that the content you produce will not be up to standards.

These people would look past things that up your price such as a long line of positive feedback and many years of experience. They will always try to check if you're willing to slash your professional rates . Not a rosy scenario, but this is reality nevertheless.

After all, what is the point of hiring somebody you cannot afford? Economics will drive the client to select the most practical and cost-efficient options available. In writing projects for instance, the most viable freelancers for the employer under a tight budget would be:

  • college students
  • fresh graduates
  • work-at-home moms

Fighting the "cheap" stereotyping has not always been easy for these freelancers. On the brighter side, clients find a lot of college students, fresh graduates and work-at-home moms easier to work with, more receptive to changes in the job scope and less demanding when it comes to payment.* 
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