5 Do’s and 5 Don’ts When Negotiating Your Freelancing Gigs With clients

5 Dos and 5 Don'ts When You are Negotiating Your Freelancing Gigs With clients

Day after day, more people are embracing freelancing as a viable career option across the globe. Studies predict that freelancers could make approximately 80% of the global workforce by 2030. Freelancing Gigs or Services are a great way for freelancers to make their way in to the world of freelancing. Yet is it easier said than done with all the obstacles along your way. Anyway, no need to worry if you feel like your negotiation skills could be costing you gigs. I’ve compiled a list of the dos and don’ts to guide you while negotiating your gigs with clients.

Tips to Consider When Negotiating Gigs with Freelance Clients

1.  Do ask questions from clients (It helps to clarify any doubts)

Asking the right questions helps in avoiding misunderstandings and makes a good impression on clients. However, avoid flooding a client’s inbox with questions, as it will make you appear unprofessional.  Remember these tips when asking questions from clients regarding your Gigs:

  • Try to understand client’s expertise level on the field of the Gig in discussion
  • Always relate to the area of the Gig in discussion
  • Be patient till client responds, before asking the same question again
  • Always get a confirmation from client if question is clear

2.  Do let clients know what they could be missing out on (They value constructive feedback)

According to the Workana Remote Work and Employment 2019 Report, 46.8% of clients find it hard to get freelancers with the skills they are precisely looking for. Therefore, during negotiations try to provide solid proof of previous achievements. Keep below points in mind when providing feedback to clients:

  • Always try to identify a client’s knowledge level before providing feedback
  • Identify any knowledge gaps of a client and try to provide valuable insight to client
  • Always relate to the Gig and highlight on how client could achieve better results with the Gig
  • Highlight previous Gig work references with similar clients to provide proof of previous success

3.  Do arm yourself with research (Back you Gig prices with proof)

Do you want to prove that the offer you are making is fair? Then, you could first consider asking friends how much they could charge for similar freelancing Gigs.

Also, allow the client first to share their budget. And finally, research online for testimonials and reviews on how other freelancers charged for similar freelancing Gigs. Follow these tips when gathering information on Gig prices:

  • Always look for freelancer reviews along with their Gig prices, because quality affects Gig pricing.
  • Have an understanding of clients’ budget
  • Present clients with multiple Gig packages to choose from
  • If client demands discounts try to negotiate on non-monetary benefits such as a positive review or future freelance work

4.  Do negotiate up, not down (And keep your stand)

Always aim higher when negotiating with a client. You could decide to sweeten the deal by offering something extra rather than lowering the price. For example, you may promise to give a discount if assigned a long-term project. When negotiating higher always stick to below points:

  • Make the client feel that he/she is getting value for money
  • Always relate to market rates for the same level of quality and show that your Freelance Gig price is still attractive
  • Always provide valid facts why you are quoting that price
  • Make sure you provide proof of previous successful work with in same price range  

5.  Be transparent in your Gig negotiations (And be genuine)

Hiring dishonest freelancers worries most clients. For this reason, it’s your responsibility as a freelancer, to be honest about everything concerning the project. For instance, during the interview, start by asking clients whether they have enough budget for the task.  Here is how you can stay transparent during negotiations with clients:

  • When you are in doubt always ask for clarifications
  • Do not hide or misinterpret any facts purposely
  • Be open on the expected outcomes of the freelance task. Avoid giving false hopes
  • Clearly mention, how will the Gig budget is allocated among each sub tasks

Mistakes to Avoid While Negotiating for Gigs in Freelancing

1.  Don’t underestimate your worth as a Freelancer (Not all clients like cheap services)

Setting gig rates is arguably the toughest challenge new freelancers’ encounter. You neither want to overcharge and miss out on gigs nor undercharge and end up unprofitable. According to 15 members of the Forbes Coaches Council, consider the value you bring to a client when setting your rates.  Consider below points in not to underestimate your worth:

  • Relate to previous similar Freelance Gig work you have undertaken and their pricing
  • Highlight on your qualifications and experiences and justify your pricing
  • Always refer to current market rates and justify your pricing
  • Stress on the positive impact you bring in to clients RoI by providing quality work

2.  Don’t agree to working terms that make you uncomfortable (And stay within your scope)

Accepting unfavorable terms is the biggest mistake you can probably make in freelancing. Some clients will approach you with unworkable deadlines or unsuitable project expectations. If you come across such clients, walk away rather than enduring the consequences that will come with your bad decisions. Remember these points when dealing with uncomfortable Gig terms and conditions of clients:

  • Always question the  client why such a term is needed
  • Try to provide alternatives which you are comfortable with
  • Relate to previous freelance jobs and explain why such a term is unfavorable to the project outcome
  • Explain why such as term could affect the quality of the project outputs

3.  Don’t be quick to make Gig decisions (And think twice when in doubt)

Rushing to make decisions leads to frustrating experiences. To illustrate, due to poor choices, 43% of freelancers end up encountering losses. Hence, always consider giving yourself time to think about the opportunity. At least, it will help you evaluate the negative and positive aspects to expect. Keep below tips in mind when prompted to make quick decisions:

  • Always think of possible alternatives to the current decision
  • Try to visualize clients’ feedback prior to making a decision
  • If you are in doubt, do not force to making a decision. Instead take a break and divert your attention to a different task
  • Try to recall any negative consequences of similar decisions taken with past clients

4.  Don’t be afraid to walk away from clients (You could always land on better Freelance opportunities)

The first step when selling your freelance services or Gig is to establish your goals and minimum requirements. You must make it clear that you are willing to walk away from the negotiations without selling. Otherwise, acting desperate will signal the buyer to keep on pushing down the price.  Follow these guidelines on this regard:

  • Always remember keep searching for freelance work for possible leads
  • Walking away from one freelance task could open up another task
  • Clients’ need time to finalize Gig decisions, therefore explain your stance and let clients’ come back to you
  • As a freelancer, always have multiple tasks and goals so you can easily divert into other freelance tasks

5.  Don’t be greedy when pricing freelance projects (And focus on quality)

Settling for the lowest possible rate in a bid to win the project will make it hard for you to find new better-paying gigs. On the other hand, charging extremely high rates might make it hard for most clients to afford to work with you. Therefore, it is advisable to settle for a fair rate that will favor both parties.  Below tips will help you choose the right path if ever you get to this situation:

  • Always focus on the quality you bring in to the client
  • Target to achieve a quality output that can leave a strong review in your Freelance Gig profile
  • Think long term prospects and adjust your decision making accordingly
  • Always try to achieve a “win-win” situation to both client and yourself

In Summary

Negotiating gigs with clients can be challenging for both new and experienced freelancers. Hence, failure to negotiate well can make you lose out on projects and slow your freelancing growth. Consider learning what to do and what to avoid when negotiating your gigs with clients. It could be asking relevant questions, making sound decisions, or even pricing your services. To sum up, consider improving your negotiation skills with above discussed Do’s and Don’ts and stand out in front of your clients.

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