See You Five Years Later, Alligator
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I have a true story to share with my fellow freelancers. Who knows, I may even find an answer to a question that's bothering me, in one of your comments. So, without further ado, let's see what we can do.
Just the other day I noticed a new message in my Freelancer Inbox. You may ask, what’s the big deal about it? We all get dozens of new messages every single day. That’s right. But, there was something special about this message. It came from one of my very first clients. I haven’t heard from this client in five years! It was a one time project. I did my job. I got paid. I got my five-star review. We said bye and moved on with our business and freelance lives.
All freelancers know that there’s only one reason a client says “hello” again. He or she wants you to work on a new project. Am I right? So, as you might’ve guessed, I felt proud and privileged. I must’ve made a pretty much strong impression that has lasted for five years. Now, my client probably wants to hire me again. That’s just great! Or is it?
While waiting for my client's next message, I used an opportunity to freshen up my memory about our past project. It was an eBook. I was curious. I did the math. If he were to ask me to write the same eBook today, he would have to pay five times more! Why? It's just the way the things are right now. In the meantime, I have worked on more than a thousand projects. I have built my flawless reputation and got hundreds of five-star reviews.
Don’t get me wrong. I didn’t become greedy. I had humble freelance beginnings. My very first project was worth just two dollars! I did nothing wrong. Over time, if you work hard and gain additional experience, you can raise your prices. You aren't a rookie freelancer anymore, but an experienced pro. The price should follow your professional success and development. Right again?
Here's my problem. If I use the five-year-old price from the beginning of my freelance career, then I'm not going to be happy about it. What's the point of working on all those projects and so many five-star reviews, if your price never changes? I want to be rewarded for my hard work and efforts. My price should reflect my experience and skills. What's wrong with it?
The option number two. I use the current price. I don't have to be a rocket scientist to know for sure that my client isn't going to be thrilled. What if he says something like, is this the way you're repaying my loyalty? I feel like, what I do, someone's going to get hurt. Either it is going to be my client or me. How about a compromising solution? I'm not going to charge five times more but "only" three. How about that?
What would you do if you were me? How would you solve this problem? Is there a win-win scenario to make both parties happy?