I did quite a bit of freelancing before I got a full time job at a communications agency. I got a call from one of my graphic designer friends asking if I could please take over a project she was supposed to start as she really didn’t have the time. I felt bad as she was going through a tough time at that moment so I said yes.
I set up a meeting with the client, and after 2 hours talking with what can only be described as the most disorganized woman I have ever met, I said goodbye and told her I would send her a quote on the numerous items that she had asked for. Her parting words were: “please don’t charge me a lot!”
The items included: 2 separate business card designs, 3 brochures, banners, e-mail signatures, signage and posters.
I worked out a quote based on an hourly rate which was very reasonable, since she mentioned she was struggling with money.
A few days later I get a phone call.
Client: Hi. I saw your quote and I did a bit of research. I know people who charge R100 per hour for design work, so I think you should give me the same rate.
Me: Well my rate is based on many factors so I am unfortunately not able to reduce it.
Client: I tell you what, if you only do the business cards, brochures and signage for me AND charge R100 per hour, I will refer you to all of my business contacts. I know a lot of people.
Me: I can re-quote you on producing just those items but like I said, my hourly rate is not negotiable; it is in fact, already discounted because you mentioned your financial situation was a bit unstable.
Client: OK. So here is what we do: you do the work for me at the rate I want to pay you and then we can talk about doing future projects together. I have a lot I want to do. Besides, if I could find someone who was willing to do it for cheaper, then you should be able to do it for cheaper as well.
Needless to say, I declined the job.