Over the years I have said no too many clients, and skipped over a lot of jobs that I didn’t really want to bid on. I often turned the jobs down because I was busy, or I didn’t like the budget that the client said they had to work with. In the past year, however, I’ve started taking a different approach. Today, I NEVER turn down work. I always make the client reject my proposal. There is a big difference, and it can work to your benefit big time.
What’s the Difference you ask?
Well, here is a situation. I’ve had a potential client come to me (responding to a post I made on some forums) asking if I wanted to write for him. The job was fairly straight forward, writing web content for their site in the financial/investing niche. He was offering me $10 per article (about 500 words each). For most writing the minimum I will even consider is $.025 per word ($12.50 per article), but at this time I was already busy with other work. In addition, I have worked in the financial industry for 13 years, so I typically ask for more per word for my expertise.
Rather than simply telling this client that I couldn’t work for him, I let him know that I would be happy to write these articles, but it would cost $30 per article. I didn’t expect him to accept this, and that was entirely fine with me. Unsurprisingly, he said that he couldn’t pay that much and went on his way looking for another writer.
But wait…There’s more.
About a month later, this same gentlemen emailed me again about a new writing opportunity. He had partnered up with someone else, and was now working on a make money online/ internet marketing services site. He knew he needed high quality content, and remembered me from the month before. He offered to pay me $22.50 per article for this site, which I was happy to accept.
The ‘moral’ of the story is, don’t just turn down people you don’t want to work with at the time. Always try to build at least a beginning to a relationship with them, because you never know what work they will have in the future.
I’ve had similar stories to this where the person who I didn’t end up working for recommended me to someone else who had a larger budget. Also, when I’ve applied to jobs in public forums, and I bid significantly higher than the person’s job posting offered, I sometimes get a message from someone else who read the post and was interested in hiring me.
So, the bottom line is, if someone contacts you to see if you will work for them, the answer is always yes. As long as they tailor their terms to meet your requirements. If not, always wish them the best of luck, and don’t burn bridges. You might be working for them in the future, you never know.
Exceptions to the Rule
For the sake of full disclosure, I do turn down some work. When people approach me for topics that I’m unwilling to write about, I let them know immediately. I won’t, for example, write adult material or certain types of religious/spiritual material (if it conflicts with my beliefs), and I won’t write ‘hate’ material. When people ask me about any of these types of topics, I politely explain to them that I don’t write in that topic, and thank them for considering me.