Lizzie Penny advises how to negotiate rates

Lizzie Penny, co-founder and joint CEO of The Hoxby Collective, goves advice to freelancers on how to negotaiate their rates.

What advice can you give to freelancers about negotiating your rates?

This is a common area of discussion within our community at The Hoxby Collective, so if you are struggling with this as a freelancer, you are not alone!

First, do your research to understand the going rate, for your industry and level of experience. As a starting point, carrying out a simple Google search will bring up various studies and guidelines. In addition, talking to fellow freelancers within in your industry is key to gaining a deeper understanding of what clients are willing to pay in the current market.

Sometimes discussing money with peers can be seen as ‘taboo’, which is where having a community like Hoxby to draw on can be invaluable. We’ve found that our community is so supportive, so it’s the perfect place for people to ask the hard questions and get honest feedback from others.

Second, when you are in active negotiations with a client, know your worth. If you have done your research and know that the price you are proposing is fair for your services, have the confidence to propose it without any hesitation.

It’s common (especially for female freelancers) to go into a negotiation with a client and start discounting your rate straight away. This not only gives the clients an opportunity to get a cheaper deal from the outset, but it also devalues the quality of your services. Of course, the skill of negotiation comes more easily to some people more than others.

There will always be someone willing to offer a cheaper rate, but as the old saying goes, ‘If you pay peanuts, you get monkeys’. If the client doesn’t see the true value in you, sometimes the best outcome for both parties is to walk away. Not every project is going to be the right fit, and that’s okay.