Regular client increasing workload

I have been working as a contractor for this company. It is a non-profit company. They pay me a monthly salary. I do their graphic and web work. I first started as a one job, create their website project. Then they wanted to keep me as a steady designer. I now do work for them, I make them presentation decks, website updates, maintenance, social post designs, logos, etc. They pay me $3K a month. I started at $2k, and raised me to $3k a month to make them more of a priority. I have done that, I get them things asap, and a lot of last minute things.

I am an off site worker. I work way better at home. I go to their weekly staff meetings, which is every Monday. If I am being honest, I don’t need to be at these meetings as they tell me things that they can just email me about or call me.

They have an upcoming event, that is 2 days long. 8am-5pm. They want me there on both days all day. They want me to work with their social media manager, to create social designs on site. 1. I don’t want to be there all day for two days. 2. I don’t feel like I NEED to be there to do social designs. It is an event that I am not interested in, as I am not political like that.

Well I told them I can’t be there as those times will not work for me. But I can be on call as much as possible, and I even said I will come up with templates so we can just plug in images or text quickly when they need.

They responded with:

This is really important. (Social Media Manager) can’t do all of this alone and this is
huge for us for both in revenue for the org and importance for our
brand. We really need you present. How can we make this happen?
(Not at night, but all day on the 23rd and 24th.) We had agreed that
our company was your work priority and this is essential for us to do our job.

Any opinions? Thank you!


Everyone seems to be “ooo”ing and “ahh”ing over the $3k/mo. Let’s look at that logically….. $3k may not be all it appears up to be at a glance.

Yes a steady $3k/mo client is nice… but… let’s see..

  • There’s an average of 160 work hours in a month (40hrs/week for 4 weeks). $3,000 / 160hrs = $18.75hr. That is essentially a somewhat typical pay rate for an employee that is one or perhaps two steps above “entry level”.
  • It’s kind of a given that you aren’t actually putting in 160hrs a month. However, how many hours a month are you putting in? If you divide $3k by those hours, is it close to your freelancing rate?
  • Is this your only client? Are you under a contract with this client? How much revenue do you generate monthly outside of this client’s work? $3k means very little if you generate several thousand dollars a month in addition to that $3k. $3k may mean everything if you have no other income.

These are all very important aspects to figure out before deciding how to handle any client.

For example, if this is your only stream of income, well, you may want to go out of your way to keep this client happy and paying. That means attending this outing they want you to attend (with some additional compensation).

However, if this is just one in a stable of many clients, you can afford to be a bit less amenable to their demands at times. If for no other reason than you have other commitments to uphold. You clearly can’t complete that project for client B if client A wants you “on-site” for 2 full days.

An important thing to remind yourself is that you are not an “employee”. You are a business owner and decisions you make have to best for your business first, then the client.

I can’t suggest what you should do, however I know that when I start to feel obligated to do whatever a client asks of me, I’ve grown far too dependent upon that client and I know I should diversify my income stream a bit more. Relying too heavily on a single client for income is a recipe for disaster if you are a freelance worker.

In short… if your highly dependent upon this client’s revenue stream… do what they ask… and start looking for other clients. If you have other income, you can politely decline their request to be on-site for multiple days in a row since you have a business to run and you are not an employee.

Source : Link , Question Author : user2880855 , Answer Author : Scott

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