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Write From Home
Kim Wilson
P.O. Box 4145
Hamilton, NJ 08610

E-mail: kim @ writefromhome.com

If You get FrustratedMake It Profitable!
by Brian S. Konradt of BSK Communications and Associates

Some clients are just plain difficult to work with—and it's not your fault. But it winds up to be your problem. One day you will meet the "client from hell" who pushes for unreasonable deadlines, has poor communication quality when it comes to explaining what exactly needs to be done, and will vent his anger or frustration out on you if a job isn't up to his standards. ("Rewrites" do not exist according to this type of client—he expects perfect copy on the first shot.)

One way to remedy your frustration when working with a client from hell is to charge more. You have every right to. I call this the Frustration Fee. It's a better alternative than turning down an assignment that will pay your next bill—and besides, the experience will help you work more effectively with other types of difficult clients.

How much more should you charge for your services depends on the situation—and what you feel like charging. Some freelancers charge an additional $5 per hour or add a fixed percent—like 20%—to the total bill. Here's when you should charge the Frustration Fee:

  • A client whom you have already done an assignment or project for and you know he or she is difficult to work with.
  • A client who wants you to redo another freelance writer's work because it's unsuitable from the client's point of view.
  • A client who pushes for an unreasonable deadline. If you're going to be up nights working on an assignment or project, you better make the client pay for your extra stress and effort.
  • A client who needs you for an assignment or project immediately — but you are already exceeding your workload. Make the client pay more if you're going to have to find time or work at odd hours of the day.

The Frustration Fee is supposed to help you vent your frustration and soothe your stress. As I always say: Extra pay can make your day more enjoyable.

Besides, charging more makes you more willing to accommodate difficult clients. Instead of calling it the Frustration Fee, maybe it should be renamed to the "Client Accommodation Fee" — after all, a copywriting business ought to be built with the client first in mind.

Brian Konradt is the owner and operator of FreelanceWriting.Com (http://www.freelancewriting.com), a web site dedicated to help writers master the business and creative sides of freelance writing. Mr. Konradt is also the principal of BSK Communications & Associates, a communications/publishing business in New Jersey, which he established in 1992.









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