Discounts, Deals And Free Samples: To Do Or Not To Do?

When a new product is launched in the market, the marketing company makes a marketing plan for the product. The marketing plan many contain discounts, deals or free samples or all three of them to attract customers and establish a base in the market. Similarly, when you are a freelancer you have to from time to time offer some enticing offers to attract clients. With more than 30% of the world population favoring freelance work over regular jobs the competition is tough out there.

Deals and Discounts are also a way in which you can keep your name in circulation. For example if your name is in circulation with deals or discounts for web designing then a client is most likely to hire you then go in search for freelancers whose names are not in circulation.

For freelancers the question of offering discounts, deals and free samples has often been a topic of debate. For some it is a great way to break into the market especially if they have just started as a freelancer. On the other hand, many believe that lowering your quote can harm their creditability as a freelancer. As a freelancer, it is very difficult to estimate the amount of work involved in a project. You can estimate but can never clearly define the amount of effort and time that will go into it.

So the question arises whether you should be doing it or not. The answer is it will depend on project-to-project basis. However, there are some good and bad points, which you can consider to make your decisions easy:

The Good

  • If you have very few clients or have just started then offering discounts and deals can bring you an influx of clients.
  • Free samples of your work will help the client judge your understanding of the project and therefore chances are that you might bag a long-term project.
  • Limited time discounts or one-time deals can get you some quick cash.
  • Discounts, deals and free samples are a great way to build a portfolio as a freelancer and gather some testimonials.
    They are a great way to get into a tight budget client.

The Bad

  • It may seem that you are getting desperate for work and therefore offering the discounts.
  • You might end up attracting clients who want to get a lot of work done by paying meager price, which might not look so good on your portfolio.
  • When you offer a discount, the client might think that you feel that your rates are not justifiable. This might come across as a wrong impression.
  • Of course, you have to use your judgment at times to decide the course of events. Consider the following factors
  • Your current client network
  • Amount of work that you can take on
  • Is it going to put you in loss?
  • Will it benefit you in other ways except monetary

I once had a client interview me for a writing job who wanted five free article samples before hiring me and the job was of a total of 10 articles! Needless to say, I had to decline the offer, as it was clearly a sham to get some free work done. In addition, you have to be careful of clients who do not release your payment until you do some extra work.

When you are offering any kind of deal or discount then make sure that you make all the terms and conditions clear to the client before starting. Remember the idea is to get them to offer you more work and not to think that you are willing to work for less.


About K Saravana Kumar

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