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Freelance Isn't Free - Negotiation Planning

Posted by Andrew Hupert on Aug 31, 2017 10:44:31 AM

Freelancers.   Entrepreneurs. Startup. Digital Nomad. Side-gigs.  Are you negotiating good deals?

Self-employed professionals have become part of the global economy — and if this is you then you face an unusual set of problems.

The freelance business model isn’t terribly complicated. You want to find some interesting, challenging assignments, and then get paid for them. Sounds simple enough, right? What can go wrong?

FreelanceHistory.jpg

What Can Ruin Your Gig?

There are 3 broad classes of difficulties that freelancers face, and if you don’t find a way to manage them, then your success is going to threatened.   This is a negotiating challenge, and good planning always helps. (Link). 

  1. Aligning your goals with this of the client: What’s your WIN?
  2. Getting paid for your work: Freelance Ain't Free
  3. Control issues: Who's the Boss

Setting the terms of a freelance assignment is just another negotiation, and you have to prepare and plan in advance. The problem here is that freelancers aren’t typically in a position of relative power in the hiring process. The client things they have plenty of options – and they may be right. But that doesn’t mean you should roll over and accept any terms they offer.

Good freelancers demonstrate their expertise early and establish their value. This is the key predictor of your success.  

  • Your job is to project your personal brand as a unique asset – a highly skilled professional who can do difficult, high impact jobs.

  • He is framing the situation to position you as a commodity – easy to find, easy to manage, and easy to replace. To him, you are just another drone.


If you are fortunate, you will be able to position yourself as an expert or their best option for solving an important problem. But even if that’s not the case, don’t give up. With planning and preparation, it is still possible to win from a weak position.

Watch the FlashPoint Explainer Video (3 minutes):

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Next: Goal Setting & the Freelancer - What’s your Win?

Topics: Negotiating strategy, how to negotiate, freelance, Freelancers

Written by Andrew Hupert

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