6 Unexplored Things Freelancers Must Negotiate To Support Their Career


If you think being a freelancer is easy… it’s not.

We can give you many reasons why and unlike what most of you think that freelance career is flexible and freedom, it is also unsteady and worrisome.

Okay, let’s take this for a reason: when business professionals do exceedingly well at their jobs, they get an increment or an incentive, or they get to negotiate for a higher salary during their next appraisal.

But, when freelancers perform exceedingly well at our job, we don’t get this kind of privilege, do we?

Why is this Happening?

In fact, the scenario is worst; many freelancers we know actually are pacified to work free or provide extra than what was asked for. In a 2016 study done by Approve.io, it was found that around 70% of the creative freelancers were proposed or forced to work for free for their clients. And among that 70 %, 80 percents were photographers and graphic designers.

Regardless of experience, creativity, and innovation, the amount average freelance designers earn is typically under $60 per hour. Although not every company we know take freelancers for granted, most corporates still consider freelancers as job seekers who aren’t qualified enough for a full-time job.

Okay, Coming Back to Our Topic:

What we are trying to get is you as a freelancer should not work for free, ever. But this post is not about working for free. This post will talk about the supplementary payments that you can negotiate (apart from your fixed rates). This supplementary income is not something that you should ask for instead of your payment, but it is definitely a way to get compensated for your extra hard work.

Why should You Negotiate?

Many project managers and editors looking for freelancers don’t have the kind of money to pay us. We cannot negotiate there. However, when that happens, you can negotiate for these alternative compensations, which can be a good way to make your efforts worthwhile.

Even in 2018, we have seen many freelancers totally getting underpaid for the quality of work they provide or the experience they have. None of you should ever settle for a lower rate or accept any kind of complimentary supplements unless it will tremendously benefit you.

We have stated here 6 types of supplementary payment options that freelancers can also try to negotiate if they see benefits in a low paying gig or if they think it’s worth a try.

1. Social Media Shares

This is very much value if you are a freelance writer; you can talk to your clients if they would like to share your content on their social media accounts in the form of payment. A freelance designer, photographer and even developer can also use this negotiation approach.

This option has two benefits: one, it acts as a business promotion for your client, such as learn more shares and likes on their post, it will furthermore help your client to fill up their social media feeds; two, it will give your name the much-needed recognition and it will give you a practice for material traction.

2. Fill Out LinkedIn Recommendations

LinkedIn recommendations are similar to testimonials or favorable references from your clients or past employers. Recommendations help your prospective clients to evaluate your quality of work that directly relates to the projects you have completed.

If at all a particular client is unable to or not willing to pay what you have asked for, you can negotiate with them to fill out a LinkedIn recommendation for your project, upon completion. It will add value to your profile, especially if your client is a well- known company or brand.

3. Provide Access to Subscriptions

Almost all freelancers depend on expensive tools, software and external resources for their projects. For instance, designers often use Adobe tools to work on graphics and animations, writers use grammar checkers, plagiarism scanners and readability checkers to make sure their documents are of top quality, other freelancers use research materials, journals, magazines and other subscription-based websites for industry-specific work.

All these additional expenses may sum up and bore a hole in your pocket, especially if you aren’t getting paid that well.

That’s why it is okay (and sometimes necessary) to ask your clients to purchase or share such subscriptions, tools or software for your access. By negotiating such services as a substitute to higher payment can help you save a little more.

4. A Free Fitness Membership

This is more valuable for freelancers who are in the fitness industry, like physiotherapist, fitness instructors, yoga instructors, and personal trainers. Many companies offer gym membership for their employees as a stress reliever, so why can’t you ask for the same if your client is not willing to pay a higher price?

You can negotiate with your client to pay for Fitness Membership or enroll in their own club or gym free of cost. Staying fit is not a bad option, even for freelancers. It is a natural stress reliever and will also give you clearer thoughts and a better resilience.

5. Invitation (or Ticket) to Conferences, Business Meetings or Events

Although conferences& events allow you to learn new developments, network with potential clients and check out your market from a closer point of view, they could be the costly affair, particularly if travel and stay are involved. Since freelancing doesn’t offer the luxury of paid time off or free employee tour or sales meeting, negotiating for this supplement is the only way for you to go and get exposure.

You can ask your clients for conference tickets or expenses coverage and in return provide them a review or a report describing new products and services that might help them strategize their business plans better. This is an ideal way to support your career growth, without having to invest a lot.

6. Permission to Showcase Completed Projects in Portfolio

One of the saddest parts of being a freelancer is doing projects which cannot be claimed as yours. This is usually referred to as work-for-hire arrangements. This can lead to a pitiful portfolio creation. You work for others as ghost workers and ultimately someone else takes the credit. That’s why you can propose to your client if they can allow you to include completed projects or some part of the project into your portfolio as a supplementary compensation.

You really didn’t think about all these right? Now that we have opened an additional income door, don’t forget to comment your views and share this article with your fellow freelancers.