This call will some one day. It’s inevitable. So you may as well prepare yourself now. It goes like this:
“Hi. I saw your work. It’s really good. I’ve got something similar here that’ll be really interesting for you [describes ordinary-sounding project]. The thing is there isn’t much budget only [paltry amount], so you’d be really helping me out here. Plus, it’ll look really good in your portfolio and there’s the chance of more like this in future.”
More what? Shit, underpaid work?
The obvious, stock reply is of course “go fuck yourself” but there’s ancient wisdom says you should never compose a reply in anger. The same probably applies here.
As a decent, human freelancer you’ve got a couple of here. You could say you’re not able to make a decision without all the information, send something through and let’s chat later. Or you could take the option I plumped for recently:
“Thanks for the offer but I’ve worked hard to earn a rate I’m comfortable with and this falls well short of it. What you’re asking for isn’t fair so I’ll have to decline. Good luck finding someone who’ll do a sterling job for that price dickmop.”
That fruity twist at the end is a ‘nice to have’; feel free to omit.
Remember, what goes around comes around
Try to be courteous instead. There’s nothing wrong with doing someone a favour. But not a risky one, on the cheap, for a complete stranger at extreme short-notice. If anything, these jobs should be pricier because they’re 100% hollowed hot potato stuffed with lashings of molten dog shit.
When you freelance, you’ll come across these people from time to time. Steer clear.
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