Over the last few years the freelancing sector has been growing rapidly. One survey estimates that around 57 million Americans freelanced in 2019 alone. The benefits of freelance work are easy to see: freelancers are able to control their own schedules and workload, as well as choose which clients they work for. However, this independence brings a lot of responsibility, and not all workers have experience negotiating their pay or dealing with clients.


If you’re concerned about negotiating freelance work that both compensates you fairly and satisfies your clients, here are some things to keep in mind.


Know your rate
One of the main challenges of freelancing is deciding how much to charge for your work. There are several ways to go about this, depending on your work history and how new you are to freelancing. You could use your previous job’s salary as a starting point for how much you’re looking to earn, or budget out your finances to determine a rate that covers what you need. You will also want to decide whether to charge by the project or the hour, which may depend on the specifics of the job. The most important thing is to have an idea of what you want to earn before you negotiate.


Choose your clients carefully
As a freelancer, you’ll want to attract as many clients as you can, and it will be tempting to jump at every opportunity you get. However, it’s vital to only take on the contracts where you can deliver for the client and be paid at the rate you want. Before taking a job, be sure that the client is clear about what they want and what they’re willing to pay. If a client is uncommunicative or unwilling to negotiate, you may want to look elsewhere.


Build a relationship
As a freelancer, part of the job is building relationships with your clients. Their trust and confidence in you is essential if they’re going to take you on as a contractor. When negotiating, be professional and give the client a sense of your personal brand and values. Focus on what makes you uniquely qualified for the job, and try to establish some common ground. Good relationships with clients will make negotiations go smoothly and possibly lead to more work in the future.


These are just a few points to consider when negotiating work as a freelancer. Your approach may differ depending on your financial situation or the field that you’re in, but negotiating successfully is essential for any contractor. If you have a plan, you’ll be able to keep both yourself and your clients happy.


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