Working as a freelance writer often means you need to set your own price for at least some of the work you do. Of course, you want to make money, and the client wants to save money. How can you employ negotiation strategies that get you what you want within reason? In no particular order, here are ten proven ways to accomplish that goal.
1. Build a Portfolio
If you want to ask for more money, you need to show that you’re worth it. Have a portfolio ready to go, and show this to clients as proof of your skills and writing expertise.
2. Make a Contract
Whenever you come to a verbal or written agreement with a client, you must make an official contract. The client should be aware of all the work you will complete for the price and that you will charge an additional fee for extra work.
3. Don’t Waffle
When you are asking for a particular price, don’t skate around the issue. You don’t need to explain why you want a particular rate; you just need to show proof that you are worthy of it. Creating doubt in the client’s mind is not what you want to do.
4. Per Word Rates
Negotiating per word rates often means you’re literally dealing with pennies. However, for a large order, those pennies can really add up. If you want forty cents per word, and the client wants to pay thirty-five cents, state that you are willing to meet in the middle.
5. Per Hour Rates
It can be hard to do per hour rates in the freelance world because the client does not really know if you actually spent that much time on the project. As a result, consider saving a per hour rate for someone with whom you’ve worked in the past.
6. Offer Different Time Limits
Let’s say that someone wants to pay you significantly less than what you want. You want to take the job but cannot work for that amount in the time period the person wants. State that you are willing to lower your rate, but it will take double the time.
7. A Business Email
Sometimes, people assume freelance writers are students who are looking for extra work. Set up a professional business email, so people are aware that this is your full-time or part-time job. When they don’t see that, they may try to take advantage of you.
8. Be Firm
If you say, “I’d like X amount, but I’m willing to work for Y,” then you are immediately opening the door to the lower amount. Just state what you want.
9. …But Flexible
At times, especially when you are in the beginning of your freelancing career, you are going to have to take lower paying jobs. In order to build up a portfolio, this is often a necessity.
10. Break It Down
Maybe the client does not understand why you’re charging a certain amount. Break it down for him or her, and explain how much time, research and dedication it will take to do a thorough job.
Using these negotiation strategies should help you to get higher paying jobs in the near future.