A client told me she’d pay me $25 for an event invitation. It was a family friend and I’m no pro but I knew I could make her something in Canva and she would think I was genius.
THEN she proceeded to tell me the church for the event was run-down and she’d have to pay for it to be cleaned up... so she could only pay me $20.
In what world did that $5 make the difference?
Client: What are your rates?
Me: They're clearly stated on my website.
Client: Yeah, but what are your REAL rates?
Me: The ones on my website.
Client: Really? I thought everyone marked up prices online to make it seem like a deal when you give a discount.
Me: Maybe that's a sales tactic, but I'm not really in sales.
Client: Oh. Would you consider giving me a discount anyway?
Client: Your generation is so entitled and doesn't know the value of hard work.
This after I'd sent them a reminder to pay my invoice - literally what I was entitled to for my hard work.
And how his "deciding you don't have to pay on time" not entitled?
I do HR consulting, with a focus on helping businesses establish training and development programs for their employees. I also do a bit of generalist HR consulting such as remuneration, performance management, etc. but my main business is training and development. Because of the pandemic, work has been slow so I started working night doing some lecturing at a local university.
I had one large business that is in the community services industry who I had been consulting with in performance management for the better part of two years. The Chief Operating Officer was very happy with my work (or so I thought), and we had a chat just before Christmas about what the next twelve months will look like for them.
COO: Next year, we are looking into developing our training programs for staff. We really want to make sure our staff are getting the best training possible.
Me: That's actually my area of expertise. I'd love to work with you on that!
COO: Oh, well we'll keep that in mind. We've actually hired another company to manage it, though. We know it's out of area for them so they're charging us well over $100k for it. We are expecting big things from it though - we know they can handle it!
I found out the name of the other company that was hired. They are a hospitality business that offers catering for events and does minor hospitality industry training on the side.
Fast forward to this year, and I meet with the COO to ask how things are progressing with what areas they need me for the coming six months. We begin discussing the business generally, and I ask how the training and development side of things are going.
COO: Not as great as we had hoped. We have needed to pay them another $75k because they keep complaining that the work we're asking them to do is out of their scope. Apparently they all need some special training.
Tonight I had my first lesson teaching intro in training and development. There were at least four people from this hospitality business present - two of them in chefs uniforms looking dead on their feet, falling asleep. Given I would have charged the large business about half of the $175k they have shelled out for their training programs, something tells me that they will be struggling to see value for money anytime soon.
Client: I want premium branding for my business so I can target high-end customers and charge more.
I sent a proposal with the price for the standard branding package. Not "premium" - STANDARD.
Client: No, that's too high.
I was putting together a website with e-commerce functionality for a big launch. I was well ahead of schedule with the website's functionality, but hadn't received any content. The day before it was due to go live?
Client: I'm sorry, I'm still waiting on the logo and all the copy.
Me: Look, I'm ready, but I'll need to make sure it's all in place before we go live or you won't have a website.
Client: Is there any chance you can just whip something up?
Me: ...No. I'm not a graphic designer, and I'm not a writer.
Client: How hard could it be?
Turns out, that attitude was the reason I didn't have anything to put on the site... because he hadn't paid the designer or copywriter yet.
And then, surprise! He didn't pay me for six months.
I posted an ambitious art project on my Instagram art account.
Client: Hey, I really like this art! Could you make an album cover just like it?
Me: Oh, uh, sure! I've never really done a commission before, but if you give me some specifications I'd be happy to discuss a price and try it out!
Radio silence. I guess the whole "price" thing turned him off.
Client: Your rates are too high. What we're offering is industry standard.
Me: I've been working in this industry for six years, and nobody else seems to have a problem with my rates.
Client: Well, you must be working with newer businesses.
Me: I've worked with a wide range of clients, ranging from new to very well-established.
Client: ...I just don't want to pay this much.
Initial contact was 3 logo concepts and 2 revisions for each concept.
Me: Okay, those 3 logo concepts are done, and we made revisions on each of them. I think we're done here, please approve the payment.
Client: What? I didn't say they're done. Your job is done when I say so and I don't like those designs.
I sent screenshots of his texts about how he liked the designs.
n If you want me to continue working on concepts that would be paid hourly.
Client: I'm not going to pay you anything. I will if you create more concepts. Maybe this time with a mountain and Comic Sans font.
I was a fool and created more concepts so he wouldn't give me a 2-star rating.
He, in turn, changed his contact information and underpaid me.