Freelance advice

How to Negotiate the Best Contracts as a Freelancer

With more and more companies choosing to outsource work, it’s a great time to be a freelancer. The flexibility and work-life balance are some of the awesome perks to look forward to. However, one of the drawbacks of freelancing can be the often daunting task of negotiating your own rates. 

Not all freelancers have the advantage of expert contract negotiation training. Yet, almost any freelancer can use a few tips to maximize their earnings and increase job satisfaction. Consider these five tips for negotiating your best future freelance contracts.

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Know Your Client’s Perception of Your Value

What’s the right price for your service considering the value you will bring to the client? As part of your pricing strategy, consider what your talents and training bring to a contract. 

Set your freelance rates based on the client’s perception of what results your expertise brings in. For instance, is there a projected sales increase as a result of the service you’re proposing? If there is, instead of charging per hour, you can propose charging based on projected sales value. When structuring your offer, ask yourself these two key questions:

  1. How will your work benefit the client?
  2. What are the positive effects of your work on the client’s revenue?

For example, a promotional video for a small business may only have a limited impact. In comparison, an online sales page for a Global 500 company could result in high earnings. So, be sure to set prices that reflect the impact your services will have. 

Rank and Prioritize

Negotiations can be tense, and you may not get everything you wanted. So, it’s crucial to rank your wants and needs and identify steps you can take to achieve your goals. 

Just as important, rank your client’s wants and needs. What are those items that cost you little to nothing that the client holds in high esteem? 

Lower in your priorities, list the smaller benefits you can do without. Against each item you are willing to concede, name a concession of almost equal value you would ask your client to give up. 

When prioritizing, train yourself to think about what you can say no to without collapsing constructive negotiations. Understand what you can say yes to without compromising your results.  

Once you have established your priorities, prepare to defend them. Get ready for a give-and-take discussion when negotiating your contract. For instance, you can agree to transfer licenses and copyrights for a higher amount in royalties. 

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