Freelancers often find it difficult to talk about rates and money, especially when it comes to negotiating a price. It seems really complicated and is intimidating to some.
But like it or not, making sure you get the rate you deserve only makes for good business. And, you can turn yourself into a tough negotiator. Remind yourself your fees are also a reflection of your perceived quality. Charge too little, and you risk coming across as a low-quality, commoditized freelancer. Remember that most people understand the concept of you get what you pay for. So charging a sufficiently high amount reinforces the idea youre able to command this sort of premium due to the quality of your services, says career coach and personal branding consultant Joseph Liu.
Do be afraid to charge high, especially if you are willing to negotiate a rate with your client. Remember that charging a higher amount also allows you to be in a position to deliver the highest quality work. Theres nothing more discouraging than feeling underpaid, which can manifest in your work, notes Liu. “Remind yourself of the significant time, effort, education, and experience youve invested to get where you are now. If you dont value yourself highly, you can bet others will not either. You need to believe in what youre selling in order to convince others to do the same.”
Use the tools that can actually help you figure out your rate. The freelance landscape is incredibly competitive, not only because of the sheer volume of freelancers out there on easily accessible platforms like Upwork, Fiverr, PeoplePerHour, or Freelancer. Most services you find there are highly substitutable with plenty of freelancers willing to do the same task faster and cheaper. As someone whos hired plenty of freelancers myself, Ive had firsthand experience with quickly turning away from freelancers whose prices are too high, offer Liu.
Tips on negotiating
–Be tough without being rude and inflexible. Approach the conversation with positivity and confidence. You dont want your client to feel cheated but that they got a good deal–and that they will like working with you.
–Ensure you are familiar with the competitive landscape of fees out there, not only so you can make a well informed decision about what to charge, but also so you have the confidence to stand firm on your fees, suggests Liu.
–Dont wing it. Be ready with your pitch, your numbers, your stats. You want the client to think you are prepared in all situations.
–Back it up. Have solid reasons and examples as to why you should be paid what you are asking.
–Listen to what your client is saying and work with her needs. Dont just bombard her with a bunch of figures. Make this a conversation.
–Sometimes it isnt just about the money. You may negotiate other aspects of your contract for your benefit. Maybe the client will offer to promote your company on their social media sites in exchange for a good rate, or maybe they will refer their clients. So dont just focus on the money aspect, look at the whole picture.
–Help educate your clients to why youre charging what you do. Often, clients underestimate or simply dont understand how much goes into a particular deliverable. Taking the time to explain the complexity or time-consuming nature of whats involved will help them understand why you cant lower your fees, says Liu.