A freelancer is a B2B (business to business) service provider as you are offering your services to another company. As a service provider, you must outline your rates, scope, and nature of your service to your client.
But there is a nuance when it comes to freelancing and a service-providing contractor:
- Freelancers are usually working alone and will often be the sole business operator.
- A good percentage of freelancers will usually come from developing countries such as the Philippines, India, and Indonesia.
Since a good majority of the freelancing workforce comes from developing countries, a lot of clients will have the preconceived notion that freelancers will usually have a lower rate compared to getting a native workforce. If might sound like they’re outsourcing, but it’s not necessarily the same thing.
Unless you have experience in negotiating and building a professional rapport with clients while you represent a company, chances are, you will need to fend for yourself in the freelancing world. As a freelancer, you won’t have the strength in numbers. Sure, you might be with an agency that can help you negotiate a rate with your client, but at the end of the day, it will be you who will be interacting with them.
Negotiating with a Client
Don’t worry. If you don’t seem to be having any luck in finding a client, someone will eventually come through. Whether you’re giving services on virtual assistance regarding international asset protection, data entry, or copywriting, there’s always a market that’s looking for talented individuals like yourself.
Most of the time, clients don’t want to spend too much on their clients. Either they are on a budget, or they’re just looking for cheaper labor. Either way, most freelancers have to keep in mind that salary can affect the productivity of an employee.
So how do we negotiate a reasonable rate with our client without putting them off?
Make the Interaction Personal
First and foremost, negotiations are all about the art of knowing when to take a good deal when you see one. You’re not putting yourself out there just to make friends with your client: you have the intention of offering your service to them.
Contrary to what most people think, having a personal touch to your client can help give you an excellent first impression. Know where your client is from and empathize on the projects and issues that they have in hand. There’s no hurt in building a bit of a personal relationship with your client. Of course, you’re there to have a professional demeanor, but you would be surprised at how you can easily make negotiations work by touching the hearts of your clients.
Don’t Sell Yourself Short
One of the most important parts of being able to negotiate a reasonable price is knowing your worth as a professional. For you to be paid on what you should be working on, you will need to let your client know that he isn’t just working with any amateur; he’s working with a professional with years of experience in their career.
If possible, show him a portfolio of your work, any official credentials that you might have, and testimonies of your works. It’s best to let your experience speak for itself.
Be Clear with Your Scope
Always be clear and aware of the scope of your work. If the client is hiring you for a one-time project, create an outline of the workload that you will do for them. That is to ensure that a timeline for the project is clear and coherent and that you won’t be exploited with even more projects that your client can just magically appear out of nowhere.
Set Everything in Stone
It’s essential to settle everything in stone by making sure that all the important details are in writing. A contract will ensure that your rate is solidified. You are protected on the scope of the work, pay, and nature of what you will do.
There will times that a client is not too compliant about signing a contract, but it’s always logical to stand your ground. Only start working when you do have a deal ready. As much as possible, do some research on the client or the company. Are they able to come through? How do they interact with other service providers?
Negotiate a consistent rate with your client. Afterward, ask if a continuous budget has been set aside for the position and the number of individuals involved. There will be times that the client isn’t the one who is ultimately making the decisions.
It all boils down to how you can sell yourself in terms of your experience, professionalism, and skill.