As a freelance ghostwriter, you’ll undoubtedly come across clients who will want more work done without adding pay. Some will add a few extra steps here and there, which may not seem all that grandiose. Next thing you know, your workload is double. So, what can you do if clients increase work but do not add anything to what you’re earning?
You Are a Business
The most important thing to remember is the client is always looking for the best deal possible. It’s part of running a business. However, you’re running a business as well and need to consider the same options.
It’s not the goal of every client to take advantage of someone, but trying to get as much as possible for the same price is always ideal. Depending on the situation, you may need to put your foot down when clients increase work.
After all, time is money. You should be getting what you’re worth in the grand scheme of things.
When Clients Increase Work…
When a client adds more to your “to do” list, it does no good to become angry or resentful. Think about this; how excited do you get when buying something from a grocery store that is on clearance or some other discount? It’s all about getting as much as possible for a good price.
Pay Attention to Your Contract
The first step when clients increase work is taking a look at your contract, if you have one. In some instances, you may have legal footing to address a lack of pay for more work. Then again, the client may have a clause that lets him or her increase the workload a certain amount over time.
When addressing contractual issues, be respectful. A lot of clients may not realize they are putting more of a burden on you as a writer. In fact, a large number of disputes are resolvable if you keep a cool head.
Depending on the work and the contract, you might also have the capacity to renegotiate pay. Just try not to be too greedy. It’s possible to renegotiate yourself completely out of a job if you’re looking for too much. On the other hand, you could also put more burden on yourself without proper compensation from the client.
It’s a slippery slope that you need to pay attention to.
Analyze the Increase Before Making It an Issue
Some additional work is insignificant to the whole. I’ve witnessed ghostwriters dumping some clients because the increase of work was going to add about 10 extra minutes worth of details to the job. You need to analyze small things like this before steaming up about the workflow.
Personally, I don’t view an additional 10 minutes as something to get bent out of shape over. That’s because I look at the entire client’s workload as a whole and determine how much I am worth per hour of actual work I produce. In some situations, I am grossly overpaid for my skills. In these instances, I don’t mind a little extra work.
However, you may come across clients who will add a significant amount to what you already produce. In that case, determine how much you make per hour now compared to how much you’ll make with the increase. This will help you determine if it’s worth the time to continue working with the client or if you need to renegotiate your pay.
Understand the Positions of Yourself and the Client
Instantly getting angry when clients increase work does you no good. I know one potentially good writer in particular who gave up on his dream because of anger. It often leads to misjudgment and a lack of rational thought. Understand your position with the client and why he or she needs more work.
As a ghostwriter, you should have an understanding of your skills and how much pay you get per hour of actual writing. Personally, I use a spreadsheet to track every word I type and the pay that goes along with it. If clients increase work, how much will it impact your day?
Some increases will be small and merely helpful to the client. Understanding where the client is coming from and why adding more tasks is vital to continued success will help you make future decisions regarding interactions. In other words, it’s best to simmer down and be understanding of situations before making rash decisions.
Sometimes Relationships Are More Important than Pay
In many situations, it’s often better to improve relationships rather than get a few extra bucks each month. Some clients may have future opportunities available to those who go above and beyond their call of duty. It helps in creating networks and boosting word-of-mouth marketing in the industry. You never know when an associate of your client may also need a ghostwriter.
Of course you don’t want clients to take advantage of your generosity. Many will try to squeeze out every task they can out of you. Bear in mind you have bills that need paid as well, and giving away too much of your time without pay makes it more difficult to keep the lights on.
You and Clients are Easily Replaceable
Because the pool of writers is so vast on the Internet, it’s easy to replace you in the worst-case scenario. Currently, online businesses are looking for constant blog posts and articles to get visitors to websites. As a result, the market for writers is incredibly large. If you push the issue, the client can go elsewhere. The trick is to deliver a high-level of quality to make yourself stand out.
On the other hand, clients are also in abundance for the same reason. If clients increase work too much without a competitive increase in pay, they are easy to replace. In some cases, you may even find clients that pay you more for less work than you were providing before.
The problem is you can easily screw yourself in the long run by dropping a client without securing a new one. If you’re budget is tight as it is, you may want to find a secondary client before dropping the first or renegotiating a contract. Besides, your current client may be more inclined to pay more if you have a more lucrative opportunity lined up.
It’s called a bargaining chip, and they often work well.
Renegotiating is Part of Business
Renegotiating your pay is part of being a freelancer whether you’re a ghostwriter or a graphic designer. If you demonstrate a certain level of professionalism and expertise, it’s much easier to get more pay if clients increase work. Keep calm and approach the situation with a level head.