If you’re a freelancer, raise your hand!
If you’re hesitant to negotiate, don’t be shy. By sheer definition of being a freelancer, we’re always hustling. And always negotiating. Seriously. Sometimes we don’t even realize we do it and yet, we’re still doing it.
According to a post on Freelancers Union, there are a few tips to keep in mind when negotiating. For starters, never say “um” and don’t let nerves take hold of your emotions. Stay calm, cool and collected and better yet, keep these six questions in mind.
1. What terms you won’t negotiate on. Before the meeting, figure out what is something you absolutely will not haggle over.
2. What terms would be nice and you’d like to push on. To that point, what would be nice to have? Flexibility with a deadline? Feedback after the first draft? Remember, negotiation doesn’t only include have to include pay although usually that’s the first thing that pops into mind.
3. What terms would be nice, but you’re willing to give up. Distribution rights? What if they remove your byline and include their company’s name instead? Is that okay?
4. The cost of the project in your time and opportunity cost. Major food for thought. What’s your time investment? What are you getting out of it?
5. The value of the project to the client, and based on this value and your cost, what you’d like to charge the client. How can you best leverage your abilities to fill their need? Prior to client conversations, figure out their value attached to this project.
6. The price you won’t negotiate below, if you plan on negotiating on price at all. What is your absolute lowest price that you won’t go below? Set boundaries before talking although they may tell you what’s in their budget and simply what is not. Negotiations may not truly occur if they don’t have a lot of flexibility on their end. Be flexible on yours but know what your bottom line will permit — or in this case not allow — as well.