[thelist] Freelance Web Designer

Green, Janet JGreen at DesMoinesMetro.com
Tue Apr 3 16:51:05 CDT 2001

>>>as a service and not a good, our
accountant said that donated website work is not a write off.<<<

I was told the same. Another good reason not to give away your work - you
may find you can't write it off like you thought you could. 

>>>Any advice from veteran freelancers about turning down clients?<<<

Yes - make a decision about *who* your clients will be and stick with it.
Simply tell them, "I have to be honest and say that I don't think I am the
best person to do this job." Then, depending on what they need compared to
what you can provide, offer them an alternative (here's where it pays to
have a network of peers you can recommend). Give them the name of someone
who you think can help them, even if it is the name of a local design
professor who has extra-credit-seeking students. (Be diplomatic here, you
don't want them to think you are dismissing their project as "student work."
Try, "I understand your budget constraints and I know that <name of school>
has students who are very proficient with the basics and might be willing to
take on the project as a class assignment.") 

Another strategy, if you like them and *really* want to work with them for
some reason, is to revamp your proposal so that your fee is lower, but you
are delivering less in terms of functionality. Say, "I can't really discount
my rates, but maybe we can scale back the project a little so the overall
cost is less. What parts of the project do you think can move to the back
burner?"  This is a basic principle of any business (even retail, where
discounts are rampant): if you buckle when they ask for a discount, they are
going to think you are over-charging in the first place, and you therefore
undermine your price structure. Never offer a discounted price without
reducing the scope of the project to accommodate the reduced price. Ask
yourself: why on EARTH would you deliver the same amount of work, spend the
same amount of time, and deal with a client who doesn't understand the value
of what you are providing, for LESS money than you need to make a living? 



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