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8 Freelancer Negotiation Tips to Get What You’re Worth

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It’s time to upgrade your game with freelancer negotiation tips for getting paid what you deserve.

Whether you’re a freelance SEO content writer, a graphic designer, a full-time digital marketer or a person who offers a variety of freelancing services, you must have experienced that one of the hardest parts of the freelancing journey is finding clients that pay well.

You get a lead. You get them on a call and you offer your services. You propose an amount, but the client is not willing to pay you that. They say they don’t have a high budget, but do they?

Getting a lead in the first place can be a tad difficult, but if you don’t know how to negotiate as a freelancer, you’ll never be able to achieve your financial goals.

But no more.

Whether you’re starting out your freelance career or you are an experienced freelancer, below are practical 8 freelancer negotiation tips that you must learn to get paid what you’re worth.

A handshake, made possible by implementing good freelancer negotiation tips

Negotiation tip #1 – Create a win-win

When you’re negotiating as a freelancer, always remember that negotiation is not about you winning and your client losing. It’s about creating a win-win situation.

It’s all about you giving valuable services that’ll get a good return on investment (ROI) to your client.

If you think otherwise, you won’t survive for long in this business. So the rule here is to negotiate in a way that makes you and your prospect happy—a beneficial situation for both parties.

Negotiation tip #2 – Show them why you’re the best

You’re a skilled professional who is freelancing because you’re worth more than just working 9-5 with just one organization. You are a multi-tasker capable of doing complex tasks.

Show them that. Show them how creative you are and how strong your technical knowledge is in your field. Show them why you’re the best fit for this role. Make them believe if they don’t choose you, they’re the one who’s going to lose.

Know your worth and make your prospect believe in what you have to say. Once the rapport is built, it will become a little easy to quote your price.

Negotiation tip #3 – Never jump directly to budget

This is a really important freelancer negotiation tip. One of the biggest mistakes a freelancer can make is jumping directly to the budget, even before a rapport is built.

When you’re on the discovery call, never mention your freelancing rates before you’ve discussed what your prospect wants. You have to first build your value and understand their requirements, and then you can talk about the budget.

Doing so will show your prospect that you’re more interested in doing work rather than making a few bucks.

Negotiation tip #4 – Confidence is the key

Speaking confidently can be tough, especially if you’re not used to speaking with prospects. When you’re on the discovery call, be confident of what you’re saying.

If you’re on a video call, control your environment, keep a positive posture, and smile when you speak. Fake it till you make it to the end, but don’t fake your work experience. Be confident and be real.

A few people at a table work on freelancer negotiation tips with notebooks and laptops

Negotiation tip #5 – I versus We

When you’re discussing a project with your prospective client, don’t keep referring to yourself as “I.” Instead, say “we.” For example, don’t say, “I will help your blog rank on the first page of search engines.” Say that “When I get a chance to work on this particular project, together we can make this blog rank on the first page of Google.”

See how good the second statement sounds? Remember – you’re not working for your client, you’re working with your client.

Negotiation tip #6 – Always quote on the higher side

This tip has really helped me close many high-budget deals.

When you’re pitching your services or product, always quote on the higher end. Because no matter what price you quote, there’s a higher possibility that your prospect is going to try to bring down the price.

So why not start with a higher price in the first place?

Negotiation tip #7 – Give a discount

Remember point number 1. It has to be a win-win situation for everyone. If your prospect is not ready to close a deal on your given proposal rate, then offer a small discount.

Maybe it’s 20% off on your services for the first month. Maybe you offer free additional services for a particular package. A complimentary favor from your end will make them reconsider your proposal.

Also, it will help you build a strong relationship with your client, which means more projects in the future.

Negotiation tip #8 – Say “No”

This may be the hardest thing to do. After all these efforts, you finally get a prospect on a call but they’re unwilling to pay what you deserve. So what do you do?

You value yourself.

If your prospect is not willing to pay a minimal acceptable rate for your service, just say “No”. The End.

It may sound scary to lose a potential client, but that’s what you should do. Saying no to a potential client will show that you respect your time and energy. It will portray your confidence in yourself as a freelancer. In many cases, it will happen that your potential client may accept the proposed rates after you say no and begin to walk away. You’ll never know unless you try.

In a nutshell, never settle for less but don’t be greedy either. Always think of negotiation as a win-win situation where both you and your prospect are benefiting.

Conclusion to 8 Freelancer Negotiation Tips to Get What You’re Worth

No matter what freelance business you’re in – whether it’s digital marketing, content writing, photography, consultation, or app development – negotiation is one of the greatest skills that you need to master in the initial days of a freelance career.

Want to learn more freelance tips? Enroll in my free mini-course here.


Images by Tumisu and StartupStockPhotos

Ajinkya B
Ajinkya B

Ajinkya “Jinx” B is an SEO writer and strategist who has helped many businesses grow organically with his knowledge in SEO and digital marketing.

Having a flair for writing, he uses copywriting tactics wherever he writes—whether it’s writing a youtube script or an SEO blog! He is currently in the middle of publishing a novel and is offering his freelancing services to many organizations. He can be reached at or Linkedin

This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. 1, 4 and 8 jump out in my mind from my freelance writing days.

    First off, the collaboration is always a….collaboration. 😉 Two minds working together for the good of all. But one needs confidence and posture to get clear on ideal collaborations and to let go all other potential partnerships.

    If they want to pay less than your rate politely move on immediately. Uncomfortable at first but it gets easier with practice.

  2. Hi Ajinka and Sabina, I love the word we instead of I in negotiating. Great idea. I also believe in starting higher than you want because many will try to talk you down. Always think of all the work before and after too that is involved in a project.

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