20+ Free Diverse Stock Photo Sites for Your Site

20+ Free Diverse Stock Photo Sites for Your Site

These websites make selecting quality stock photography easy.

Unfortunately, finding free stock images that show people from underrepresented backgrounds can be a pain. These databases and websites showcase a solid collection of inclusive stock photography. Most of these sites are free but a few are available for a fee or a suggested donation. Many of these sites require attribution so don’t forget that.

People of Color Stock Images

Women Stock Images

Disabled Stock Images

Body Inclusive Stock Images

General Diversity Stock Images

LGBTQ+ Stock Images

And I suggest using these resources to include more marginalized voices in your work.

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5 Basic Email Templates for Freelancers Negotiating Higher Rates

5 Basic Email Templates for Freelancers Negotiating Higher Rates

You deserve to be paid more! Ask for the rates you deserve with these templates.

Time to talk about one of my favorite subjects: negotiating a higher rate. As freelancers, we’re business owners, and it’s on us to value our work, time, and skill set. The reality is, you don’t get what you don’t ask for. And if you’re not asking for more money, you’re never going to get it.

Every freelancer needs to regularly raise their rates, but this is especially true for women. In 2019, HoneyBook found that female entrepreneurs are making 26 percent less per project. Men are 4.5 times more likely to earn $150,000 compared to women; comparatively, And Co discovered in the same study that most women surveyed make less than $25,000 a year.

I find negotiating rates easier over email, and that’s easier to do when you’ve got templates to turn to.

1. Negotiating rates on the first assignment

I prefer to not quote a rate because then it’s a game of mind-reading bingo. What if I don’t ask for enough? Would the client find this low or high? Instead, I put the ball back in the client’s court to see what they say.

Hello!

I’m excited to take on this [project/article]. Is there any room in the budget for a higher rate?

Thanks,

[Your name]

2. Negotiating a higher rate for regular assignments

Sometimes you need to revisit the rate on a regular column or writing assignment. Every few months, or after a few articles, ask your editor for a higher rate. Also, make sure that you’re keeping your editor happy by meeting deadlines with clean copy and having good communication with them.

Hi [Editor],

I love [working on this assignment/writing this column]. So far, I’ve done [examples]. I was wondering, is there any room in your budget for a higher rate?

Thanks so much! I love working with you.

[your name]

And I love this one from Tim Herrera:

“Thanks again for this assignment! I just wanted to ask: We’ve done X, Y, and Z stories together, and I’m wondering if with this new assignment we could revisit my rate? I’d love to be at around [rate]. Thanks!”

3. Negotiating a lower scope of work 

Sometimes a client doesn’t have the budget to raise the rate. If you’re still interested in working with them, you can try negotiating a lower scope of work instead. But only do this if you really want to work with them — otherwise, say no to any assignments with them.

Hi there!

I would love to work with you, but that rate is below my fee. I’d like the rate to be around [price]. 

If that’s not possible, I would be happy to connect you with another freelancer who can accomplish this work.

Thank you,

[Your name]

Note: When you have a good client who isn’t paying enough, it’s time to let them go and refer them to another freelancer. If it’s a bad client who isn’t paying enough, throw them into the abyss.

4. Raising your rate because the scope of work has risen

Sometimes an assignment will exceed the scope of work you’ve agreed on. Don’t give them free labor.

Hello!

I’m confident I can accomplish your goals, but this is outside of the scope of work previously agreed on. As per our [contract/email], I will deliver [x] per [date]. I can do [requested scope], but as it is outside of the contract, there will be budget changes. Are you okay paying more for the [outcome]?

Thanks,

[Your name]

5. Raising your rate because it’s time, quarterly, or at a specific time of year

Hi [name],

I adjust my rates every so often to account for market inflation and new skills, which also allows me to provide you with better service! As of [date, my rate will be [price].

If this new rate doesn’t work for you, let me know. I can connect you with another freelancer who can complete this work for you.

Thank you,

[Your name]

Your Next Steps

Negotiation is a skill that takes practice. It takes time to get comfortable talking about money But you have to start somewhere. The next time you take on an assignment, ask for more. The next time a client or editor reaches out with more work, ask for more. You are running a business, not a contestant on The Price is Right.

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10 Steps to Take Now to Make Your Freelance Business More Successful

10 Steps to Take Now to Make Your Freelance Business More Successful

It takes time to build a freelance business, but a few simple steps can help set you up for success.

Setting up a freelance business can be intimidating. Here’s a quick list of a 10 things to do to set yourself up for success.

1. Update your website and social profiles

Anywhere potential clients can find you need to be updated to best reflect what you can do for them. That means taking a look at your website, social media accounts, and LinkedIn page, as well as running a quick Google search.

Your social profiles should have a quick elevator pitch about what you do, who you are, and a link to your website. 

Your LinkedIn should have your most recent work experience and a completed bio. List your accomplishments, capabilities, and certifications.

Does every link to your website work? Have you updated your LinkedIn with your most recent work experience?

2. Reach out to your clients and collaborators with thank you notes

It’s always a good time to thank your professional and personal connections! But the beginning of the year is a particularly great time to do this as everyone looks forward to the year ahead.

3. Raise your rates

You deserve to make more money. The new year is the perfect time to raise your rates. I know it’s nerve-wracking, but it’s worth your time.

Clients will typically understand. If they respond with a no, you can always lower the scope of your project to support a lower rate or part ways with them. Plus, letting go of low-paying clients makes time for ones with better pay.

A few ways to start this conversation with clients:

“Due to the high demand for my services, I need to raise my rates to X to continue accommodating you. I love working with your company and look forward to working with you in the future!”

“It’s been great working with you! I just wanted to let you know that starting [DATE], I will be increasing my rate to X. I’d love to keep working with you. I appreciate your business and look forward to working with you in [YEAR]! Please let me know if you have any questions about this new rate.”

4. Make a business plan

If you’re a freelancer, it’s easy to get caught up in the hustle of chasing after clients, submitting work, and running around like a hamster in a cage. But like any entrepreneur, you need to have a business plan set out for yourself.

Ask yourself these questions:

  • What are your long-term goals?
  • What are your dreams?
  • How do you plan to grow your business?
  • What is your target audience? Who do you want to work with?
  • What is your marketing plan?

This is the time to dream big.

5. Make a list of clients, websites, brands, and collaborators you want to work with in the future

Think about the clients you want to land and the clients you want to keep. This list should include anyone you want to work with. Shoot big! Then follow them on social, familiarize yourself with their sites, and take a look at their content calendar to see where you could fit in.

6. Make a commitment to take time for yourself

When you’re chasing down deadlines for multiple clients, it can be hard to carve out time for yourself. But you have to make time for yourself — no one else will do it for you. Otherwise, you’re just running toward burnout.

7. Invest in your education

If you don’t make time to invest in yourself, you’re investing in your future burnout. Make time to learn and invest in your education.

This can mean whatever you want! If you want to learn about SEO, find an online course or certificate program. If you want to learn about finance, read a book. If you want to learn about embroidery, go for it!

You don’t have to necessarily pay for this. There are lots of free resources available and many libraries offer free access to tools like Lynda.com.

8. Review your payment options including your credit cards, debit cards, PayPal, and Venmo

Whatever payment option you use, make a habit of reviewing it every month. Mistakes happens, so watch for errors and unused subscriptions. You should check for any business purchases you’ve forgotten so you can claim them on your taxes. You can also review what rewards your credit card offers, as rewards credit cards can help you maximize everyday expenses.

9. Calculate your monthly expenses

You need to calculate how much money you need to survive to plan your future. This isn’t a budget: it’s a bare-bones list of essential expenses. Making this list gives you a chance to review what you need (and what you can live without). This list should include:

  • Rent or mortgage
  • Health care insurance
  • Car insurance and payments
  • Electricity, water bills, etc.
  • Retirement
  • Investments

Take that expense list and add 30%. That’s your minimum goal.

10. Track and automate your business processes

Make your life easier by automating your business processes. This frees up your time so you’re able to focus on revenue-building tasks like landing new clients, marketing, and completing client work. This could mean using an invoicing service to send invoices automatically instead of manually, or implementing an email tracker to see when your emails are opened.

You should also have a process for onboarding new clients. This could be as simple as sending them a welcome email or just adding them to your calendar. Hiring an accountant or using a digital bookkeeping tool can save you from updating a spreadsheet.

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