Have you ever heard another freelancer talk about their fees and realised you’ve been selling yourself short? Or what about discovering how much others get paid and feeling awkward because you earn more than them? Or maybe you’ve never really talked to your friends and peers about earnings, because money chats can be super awkward.
Discussing fees with fellow freelance creatives can seem daunting, but remember that if it was up to everyone to earn what they want, we’d all earn millions per commission - but we don’t, and have to fit around the clients’ budget. If someone is earning more than you or if you’re earning more than your peers, it’s likely due to your solid negotiation skills (as well as your stellar work, of course) and sharing these tactics can help benefit the whole Creator Economy.
Whichever way you choose to look at it, freelancing is much better when freelance creatives talk more about their fees and rates.
Benefits of Discussing Fees and Rates With Other Freelancers
- It provides a real window on the current rates in your field: When you have money talks with your peers in the industry, you’re aware of the going rates. This information is very necessary for your growth as a freelance creative. Knowing what other freelancers in your field earn helps you bill your clients from an informed perspective.
- It gives you a clearer view of how much you’re worth: Being aware of what others are earning in your industry gives you a clear view of how much your work is worth, when you compare it to their years of experience and how the work they’re doing benefits the client in question. It’s easy to undervalue your work until you realise other people are getting paid more for very similar projects.
- It helps you negotiate better: Having a knowledge of what the real going rate is will only bolster your negotiation skills if a client tries to undercharge you.
- You’re helping other creatives out by opening the conversation:The more transparency there is in the industry, the more fairly everyone will earn. Everyone’s in this together.
Tips for Discussing Rates and Fees With Other Freelance Creatives
- Make sure they’re comfortable with the discussion: Much as it has been said that there are benefits in discussing rates and fees with your peers, you need to tread carefully. You should understand that not everyone will be up for talking about money. Be sure that the person you intend to discuss with wants to have that conversation. If they don't, respect their wishes and let them be.
- Let your motives be clear: Motives can be misunderstood when it comes to money talks. So, when broaching a conversation on fees and rates with a fellow freelancer, be sure to make your intentions known beforehand. This will help clear any doubts about your motive and make them feel comfortable enough to open up to you.
- Make sure it’s the right time and place: The time and place must be right. Someone might want to open up to you about their fees but not to a room full of other colleagues, friends and family. Also, there are times when people are generally more relaxed to talk about how much they earn while there are times they won't be open to the idea. Knowing the best time to broach money conversations is essential.
- Be open about your own fees: A good way to make people open up to you about practically anything is when you bell the cat and open up first. Trying to get sensitive information out of people when you have refused to volunteer any, might raise their guards. To get people to speak to you about their rates and fees, start by talking about yours.
Discussing rates and fees with your peers in the industry might seem awkward. However, overcoming the awkwardness helps you reap the benefits which include knowing what your work is worth and negotiating better. To hold these money conversations more effectively, you need to make sure people are comfortable with the topic, show your motives, be open about your own fees, and pick the right time and place.