Money Talks: I’ll Show You Mine

Let’s talk about money for a minute.

(Did your skin just climb off your skeleton and crawl under the table? Call it back. I’ll wait.)

Financial conversations are key to successful freelancing. After all, you can be the most prolific writer or the most creative designer, but if you’re not paid fairly for the work you produce it’s a hobby, not a career. The problem is . . . nobody wants to be the first to name a price.

I’ve read tons of articles that say the freelancer should never name a price first. But, if I’m not to name a price and they’re not going to name a price, we’re never going to get any work done because we can’t agree on a price that we’re not talking about!

Is it just me or does the entire working world feel like a giant game of “chicken”?

So, in the name of getting work done, I’ll take a deep breath, close my eyes and show mine.

If I’m able to get an idea from the possible client about their budget, I will. Most of the time, though, companies don’t want to tip their hand. And, rather than not being in the game at all, I do my research and submit my quote.

Yes, I’ve left money on the table.
Yes, I’ve been told that I’m out of the company’s price range.
No, I don’t feel bad about it.

If I avoid naming a price at all, I won’t work. And, I love working! I love helping people share their message and sell their products and services. If that means that I win some and lose some, that’s great for two reasons:

  1. I believe in the law of big averages and know that everything evens out over time.
  2. It means that I’m showing up and participating – which is WAY better than working a job I hate and dreaming about being a freelancer.

To the writer or designer who doesn’t want to show yours first: do your research, know the going rates and averages, but above all else, know your worth.

Understand and communicate the unique skills that you bring to the table, because that’s YOUR competitive edge and selling point. If your prospect isn’t interested, that’s okay. It’s a disappointment, not a death sentence.

Take a deep breath. Feel sad. Reflect on what you could and would change about the experience. Then, keep going.

There are countless companies who want and need your time and talents. Find them . . . and fearlessly name your price.



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