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Ask HN: Freelancers, are you lowering your rates?
26 points by Zelphyr 4 days ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 13 comments
I'm curious to know if any freelancers out there are either lowering their rates and/or being asked to by clients? If so, by what percentage?

[random advice from the internet]

If you're considering lowering your rates as jobs become scarce, it makes sense to recognize that the best likely result is fewer jobs at lower rates with higher rates of cancellation and non-payment. The higher rates of cancellation and non-payment are in part due to the general economic situation and largely due to the inherent undercapitalization of projects requiring lower rates to move forward.

The opportunity is moving upmarket and chasing better clients. Those with good capitalization structures. Or to put it another way, join the race to the bottom in better paying market segments. Doors open when everyone is shopping around.

I haven’t lowered my rates. In freelancing, it’s normal for a lot of people to be charging less than you. I don’t think that has changed.

Clients care about the value they’re getting, so I focus on providing good service. Once a relationship with a client is established, the client’s best move in a crisis won’t be to replace the person they know and who knows their systems with a stranger who charges marginally less per hour. It’s more likely that projects will be put on hold for some time.

If your client/prospect asks you to lower your rate, have a conversation with them on why they request that. Do they need N% cost saving? Perhaps you can you work N% less than. Or negotiate longer contracts (or longer notice periods to stop the project) in return.

It could be that more professionals in your market (either freelance or employees) are becoming available, changing the demand-supply, which would normally lower the rater. Part of your rate is likely based on the scarcity of your craft. If that changes, don't be too proud to change your rate. But also don't just accept a lower rate without questions.

Or negotiate features of lowering your rate.

I have had a few clients ask to defer work. Normally the only way out is to draft a new SOW (and pay some penalty) or cancel and pay a penalty. I have made an exception and issued 90 day holds on our agreements at the end of witch they can either resume or pay termination costs.

I have a few clients who are now paying MORE (new contract) due to the change in the nature and scope of work. I have been doing a bit of "soft consuming" with folks adapting to working from home. Some non technical teams just don't have the know how or experience to work remote. The nature of remote work has shifted as well. Basics have become problematic as many are in transition.

No! As long as demand stays where it is (clearly, it may not), hold the line. My experience during 2000-2002 (the internet collapse) and 2008, it really depends on the niche. Much has changed and I fully expect big business to take advantage of the situation. Hopefully, a diversified skill-set will enable a more stable earnings picture.

I'm not a freelancer, but what I'm seeing on corp finance side, I'd recommend that you do not take on significant AR. If you can, push for increased payment frequencies if you have the opportunity. Myself and my peers are turning off payment to vendors/contractors until further notice, even if they have not been notified yet. Lawyers are telling us most contracts can basically be thrown in the trash under the economic circumstances.

No absolutely not. As others have mentioned, there are also potential scenarios where this crisis ends up having positive impact on the freelance market. Short term contracts can be attractive for companies in turbulent times with unclear future.

My contract ends in April. Indications before the crisis were that it would be prolonged, but I am not so sure now since their business will probably suffer.

The last week especially I have been getting a lot of messages with offers, so its really hard to say.

With more companies switching to remote work, I'd expect the opposite.

Nope, but I'm keeping a close eye on everything. We'll see what the situation is in June when my contract is up for extension...

Not there yet, but I am getting indications that clients of large consultancies are activating the force majure clauses of their contracts to basically end them the same day.

This is going to be very messy.

No, I get more than enough requests as it is.

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