RANT: My day rate is my rate, not your rate
It isn't often I get frustrated enough to write a ranting blog post but I've been getting pretty steamed up with some of the communication I've been getting recently from prospective clients.
I get a fair amount of email each week asking me if I'm interested in working on a project. Luckily I'm privileged to be busy right now and I'll usually - politely - decline. Occasionally, if the project seems of interest and I have the time to commit to it I'll write back outlining some initial thoughts, my terms of business and importantly my hourly and day rates.
Some may question the fact that I get down to money so quickly, but I've become quite adept at spotting emails where budget is likely to cause issues. Many of these emails even start with sentences like "I need some cheap Umbraco/TeamSite development work", so I think it is important to put my rates out there to save everyone some time.
Ordinarily if costs are an issue myself and the potential client agree that our working together on the project in question isn't going to work out and bid each other a polite good day. From time to time I'll get a reaction along the lines of "wow, that's expensive" and I'll usually take the time to explain that a hair stylist with 15 years experience is likely to give a better haircut than a trainee barber. This sometimes gets mistaken for arrogance but I do stand by the metaphor.
By this point you are probably thinking I'm charging silly extortionate rates but I'm not. I keep an eye on the market and charge a good value price that is fair for a contract CMS architect/developer with 12 years commercial experience.
So where's the beef? Well, more and more frequently I'm getting individuals who decide to confront me. These people try to tell me how to run my business and what I should charge. Here are some genuine quotes from emails that I've received in the past 6 months.
- "I could get that done for £300 with Joomla" - (A whole website)
- "You are being ridiculous - nobody will pay that"
- "You should be careful with the recession it is very likely that you will be out of a job soon"
- "You've wasted my time which I am annoyed about you should be more realistic about your expectations in future"
Those are a few of my "favourites" and there are many more but the point is that I am getting sick of defending myself when I shouldn't have to.
In order to end silly and futile process of people trying to dictate to me how I should earn my living, future such emails will be responded to with a link to this post and further - negative - correspondence ignored.
In case you are reading this as a result of receiving such an email from me here is all that you need to know. If you don't want to work with me then that is fine but never make the mistake of telling me what I am worth. If budget is an issue and you are prepared to compromise quality to reduce the price of your project I may even be able to recommend someone. What I won't do any longer is defend myself against personal attacks, such attacks will be greeted with a barrage - of silence.