Sam writes about how to negotiate as a consumer. A great list, especially since they also apply to Contract Workers:
Talk to Someone Who Can Give You What You Want. Why talk to a notoriously cheapskate client looking for a layout artist when what you want is a lucrative contract worth your competitive copywriting skills?
Be Up-Front About What You Want. Don’t be embarrassed to let a potential client know what your services are worth. He’s expecting that. Just be sure not to sound too demanding, and that you can really deliver what’s needed.
Stay Cool. Don’t sound too excited. Phrases like “I must have this project” or “I really really really hope to work with you” leave you in a disadvantageous position. Unless you’re really willing to work for someone for less than what you’re really worth (like when you want to build a portfolio).
Confirm Your Understanding of any Agreement in Writing. Many people have good intentions, but easily forget them when they’re not written down for posterity.
Be Understanding. You want something. So does your client. It’s good to keep Frank Sinatra’s “My Way” in mind, but remember that agreements require meeting in the middle.
Never Make Threats. Even if you can deliver on your threats, why would a potential client bother working with anyone who relies on them?
All freelancers and contract workers, of any kind, should be at least decent at negotiation. Knowing how to negotiate is a great way to literally get your money’s worth. A fact of life is that our time is always limited, and you have to make sure that every second of your work is reasonably compensated.
The Importance of Discretion
Elber, who happens to be a freelance writer at assignment writing service, narrates the story of a jilted web designer. Apparently, Adam Derbyshire:
…was asked by Michelle Humphries, a member of the Ockbrook Big Band, to secure and host the domain name and to build and maintain two websites for her within that domain. One for the Ockbrook Big Band and one for the Michele Humphries Big Band.
I was not paid for any work nor for the domain name.
And since Adam is maintaining the domain, he effectively controls it. That’s why he’s been receiving emails sent to the domain, making him privy to the band’s internal squabbles. And what does he do? Seeking a little revenge, he posts the messages online. To be fair, he only airs the dirty laundry of his client, Michelle Humphries, showing how she was manipulating her bandmates to get her enemy forced out.
One thing that surprises me though is how quickly (or perhaps easily) Adam resorted to drastic measures. It’s only March, and this all started last January. Two months is hardly enough to escalate the situation. Yes, his client should have honored her commitment to pay for Adam’s services, and I don’t know what exactly went on between him and Michele, but the web designer has crossed the point of no return.
If Adam’s pet project gains the popularity he desires, his reputation may suffer. Many of the clients I’ve worked with have many secrets to keep, if only to keep the competition in the dark. Would they be willing to hire someone who publicizes everything at the first sign of disagreement? I think not. Even if Mr. Derbyshire is a talented contract worker (and I can see from the simple yet effective look of the hostaged website that he knows his design fundamentals), some people wouldn’t be willing to take the risk.
At the very least, Adam should’ve simply told others about the suspect reliability of his client, providing details relevant only to the project concerned. No matter how much he was wronged. Because by making everything personal on a public stage, he shows a lack of discretion. Which unfortunately may limit his appeal with potential clients―even if they have nothing to hide.
Categories: Business Marketing