Negotiating for Creatives with Katie Lane
There she is hello katy no use it's good to see you thank you good to see you two so katie is in portland, oregon and katie why don't you start by introducing yourself and telling the people what you d'oh you think I'm an attorney and a negotiation coach I work almost exclusively with freelancers and artists I my whole goal is helping people feel better about negotiating and I work a lot with clients to help make sure that they're protecting our rights and get paid fairly for the work it's a pretty great job beautiful and you know we've been talking a lot so far today about some of the challenges creative professionals have with negotiating with dealing with money why do you think it's such a problem especially with creative professionals I think that there is a myth out there that art is supposed to be done entirely for love and never for money and so you are supposed to be willing to accept whatever is given to you for this wonderful ability to do your art but that's not practical it...
's not reasonable and it's not respectful I think ah lot of artists understand there were and appreciate their value which is why they get so frustrated when clients go teo treat them properly but practicing asking for the things that you need practicing you know requesting like you said in one of your tips ask for more than what you actually need practicing those skills gives you a level of confidence and if he comes easier over time I think unfortunately a lot of artists and prevented to just start talk how to negotiate its it's not a skill that we teach a lot so you kind of have to figure it out on job great and do you have more negotiating tips that you can share with us off course I always have negotiating that's all right go and I really, really liked yours one of one of my biggest tips that I give to my clients is to always have a backup plan before you go into a negotiation understand what you will do if this particular negotiation doesn't work out and the reason why that's so important is because you will stay in a bad negotiation for a long time and accept less than what you're worth if you don't know what you would do otherwise if you have a backup plan you know that you have an alternative and you can say all right is what they're offering me as good as or better than my backup plan if it is maybe it's worth you know, accepting their offer if it's not I know that I have something better that I can do with my time that's either gonna pay me or allow me to work a project but I really wanted spend more time on on dh that was help you get out of a bad negotiation, so have a backup plan and think about that both for you start negotiating not once you're in the middle of it, another one that I also really like treating no as an invitation to ask questions a lot of times when freelancer here no from their clients, they they accept that it's just a shutdown in the conversation, and they can't they can't go any further in that direction, and instead of doing that, I really encourage people to ask why, okay, you can't accept that particular term or you thiss structure isn't going to work out for you. Can you tell me why? What is it about that doesn't fit with your rules or your interests? And get more information from your client about what it is that they're after, because with that information you might discover, oh, they're saying no for this reason, that actually doesn't mean a whole lot to me, so I can give on that part, but I can still get a lot of what I need if I just phrase my offer a little bit differently and actually let me pick up on that because we were talking a little bit earlier about what happens if you don't get the job, and that really is a perfect opportunity to also ask questions and ask why, what was it about what I offered that didn't fit and even if you never talked to that prospect again or never work with them again you have some very valuable feedback and they have no reason not to give it to you absolutely one of the things I think that makes negotiating hard is that you have to be vulnerable you have to be willing to ask questions and gather information but in every time I have done that I have I have learned more and I've been able to gain more and I've been able to get a better deal for myself in that situation or in the next one so you really do encourage people to do it even though I know it is scary it is not an easy thing it's really easy to say but I'm doing it I'm practicing that can really pay off and actually katie um I want to emphasize this idea of practice because and this there's a bigger picture here and it's an idea that I haven't really brought in yet which is a mindset whereby every single thing you do is just an experiment for the future right? If you do this to me is the secret to being detached from whatever is happening right now if you can say I don't care about this project I don't care about this client all I care about is that I learned something and I could do it better next time and if you can apply that to your whole business, it's such a more peaceful experience because the actual opportunity doesn't matter all that matters is what you learn absolutely this is your career, you know, on dure crew's gonna have a long life and you're going to do lots of different things and you're gonna have lots of different experiences if you focus too closely on a particular negotiation and whether or not it's good or bad, you miss out on a lot of the lessons that I can offer you and a lot of the options that he presented present you and actually just one more thing before you give us your next tip. I think that if you perceive each negotiation or each opportunity as an experiment, he will take more risks and try things that you may not have tried otherwise because you're attached and you really want that thing we say, hey, let me try this. I've never asked for this before let's see what happens when I do I mean, I think that's all right, more chips, please. Okay, uh, my next step is to remember that you're the expert. No, your stuff your client is coming to you because they want what you could do, they cannot do it for themselves if they could, they wouldn't be interested in hiring you so you actually know a lot more about what the work is going to inhale how much time it's going to take the skills that are involved you know a lot more about the negotiation then they do so don't come don't give in to the idea that they're the expert because they're the client and they have the money you are the one of the knowledge and understand the job so you're actually in the best position to negotiate on dh when I say no your stuff what I mean is understand how other professionals uh like you were understand what your peers were doing pay attention to how people are charging for jobs have their structure jobs I really encourage freelancers to do that working with other freelancers and it's not working it sounds like a bad word call it making friends find out what other people are doing and how they're handling those jobs so that you always have more ideas at the ready when you're when you're involved in new negotiations and this is a really interesting point because I've been talking about you are the expert in the context of marketing and content development and she's giving it a little other twist from a negotiation point of view which I think is a really important connection so thank you that was not planned one more tip and then we'll see if anyone in the chat room or in the room has questions for katie okay my last tip is treat negotiations like problems to solve not games to win negotiation really is a problem solving activity you have a client who's coming to you in need of work on need of advice to need help and you have the ability to help that diet when you're negotiating your fixed you're figuring out the problem of how you're going to work together what abel together in this pool and by treating it as a problem solving you call on your creative abilities more and you you are allowed to be more confident in the situation then if this is a game where you can win or lose the other thing is that if you treat negotiations is a game that's going you're gonna win or lose you missed the possibility of hurting the relationship before you even started working nobody likes to go through a very difficult negotiation with somebody who's treated them for lee and then have to work on a six month project with them so by approaching negotiations in a slightly different way that's not quite as adversarial where you're still looking up for yourself yourself you're still making decisions that are in your best interest but is not quite as competitive as a game you I have a better ability to build strong relationships with your clients and have successful projects plus you're also showing them what your boundaries are before you start working together and that you really be helpful down the road as as you start working and they want things that you just can't give and actually, um, this could be a little plug for you that's the point I want to make is that sometimes it is appropriate toe have someone else do the negotiation for you on your behalf because if it is a difficult negotiation and it could be a little problematic for the relationship that is to come that's why agents exist, but that is also why lawyers, eggs assist and katie is very affordable and she specialized in people, and I don't want you to think just because you're blah, blah, blah, you can't afford to have someone negotiate for you, you just might be able to yeah, absolutely and thank you very much for the fluffy people. Can I also write a block on negotiation advice specifically for freelancers, and people can read more about that works made for hire dot net beautiful all right, let's, see if we have any questions for katie way. We have a question from one of our viewers who's asking about when you're negotiating and you actually take a lower price say, because it's all about getting you exposure or connections or something like that, should you let the client know should you make them aware of the discount on write it into the proposal absolutely that's a really good question. I think too often freelancers will discount their rate or or make other concessions without explaining to client why that's being done if you are discounting your because the client contributed something more that connection or that that exposure is compensation, so it needs to be recognized as compensation and what things that you do by letting your client no, hey, I'm going to give you a discount because you are able to do this. You're telling them that that you being very clear with them about the fact that they have an obligation to follow through on that? I think a lot of times, clyde seo, I continue exposure, and you're gonna be I'm gonna be able to cure contact with so many people don't actually follow through with that by being really drafted the client, you put them on notice? Hey, I'm I'm giving you a discount because of this, therefore, you need to take this action. Allison has asked. Several people have voted on this to talk about kill fees on katie. Could you explain the wording to use to include a kill fee and your contracts? That's, we should explain what a filthy is shooting a filthy is a feat is the client decides to terminate a contract before the work is done, so you signed the contract and some time into the project the client says you know what I can't afford the city longer I need to terminate the contract is not complete the project the idea of the kill fee is that it is you some compensation for the fact that the clients just pulled out you may have already set aside time you've meant turned down other projects that you could have said yes to so the guilty is a way of compensating you for that one of the things that I recommend people do is call it either chelsea or termination fee and make it very clear that it is not you're not paying for the work that was done you are paying for the privilege of being able to get out of this contract early and for that reason I like too and determination section of a contract because then it's very clear that this feat is associated with terminating the contract I see three months or sometimes called filthy or project fee and a problem there is if you need to use that later on and it's not clear what the fuse for you can get into a disagreement with your client and then have to negotiate over whether or not they have to pay the fee and actually just to build on that I know a lot of people who use the deposit that they've gotten as the kill fee what do you think of that I think that's a great way of doing it because it it make sure that you've got that money in the bank, it doesn't require the client to they come back to you with another check, which is why fifty percent of parts of the front or large deposit up front is so helpful because what you're telling and what you want to tell your client and the contract is that deposits not refundable if you terminate this contract, really, that money is gone onda reason it's fun, it's, because you've terminated the contract. I really like deposits because it takes away one more step for you to get your month. But if deposits don't work for your business, for whatever reason, a termination fee is a really good way to go. Excellent. I, um, just wanted to know your experience. Payment schedules have been the most effective and avoid the most conflict, I think payment schedules that remind the client they have responsibilities are really good, so I like if you're going to do milestones so they pay you a certain amount of beginning and then you pay as the project progresses, time that payment to the client having to interact with product, so have them revue a document and give give their approval, and hey, because then you're tying the after payment. Two they're receiving something and getting benefit and it makes them be still psychologically like they are paying for the project when you have came and schedules that are tied more to time rather than the project itself, you run the risk of the client just treating it like another bill s so it's just money and it's not as clearly I tied in their mind to the work that you're doing so I like it like that I also also like getting as much money up front as you possibly can on dh I think everybody every every business is a little bit different, but the more that you can convince your client and help help remind them that they're paying for really good quality work the matter. What about non compete clauses? This viewer works in a very small city and they've often asked to sign one and they feel this locks that a good portion of potential clients out for them yeah, no I compete colossus can be really difficult. Each state has its own rules about the enforceability of non compete clauses, so I would encourage you to look into doing a little bit of research into how your state enforces non compete clauses you may find that the ones you're being asked to sign are enforceable on dh, so then you can either go back to the client say, hey, this doesn't work where we're living or you at least have the comfort of knowing that this is not for me to be enforceable against you should it ever come up but I encourage encourage for this educated from its uh they're not used to hiring fermenters noncompete they're usually much more helpful when you're dealing with traditional employee so if you could explain to them you know what? I can't sign us it's it's against my businesses policy for me the sinus because it means I can't work I am not going to end you confessed to them and say I'm willing to sign a very strict confidentiality agreement but as far as non compete I can't agree to that because this is my life then this is how my business rats although you could negotiate for a much larger piece of money and piece of work in exchange for exclusivity basically is what we're talking about yeah that's a really good point always remind your alliance that if they want something that is difficult for you to give they're going to have to pay for it in one way or another so there are always options on how you could do that but they need to pay for things that are valuable and you need to value what you're offering to them all right katie give your web just one more time. My website is work made for hire dot net and I also have a website called ace freelancer dot com beautiful, thank you so much, katie. It was great to have you here, thanks so much for having me on. Okay, we'll see you soon. Studio twelve, smile says. Katie is so well spoken and positive professional with great energy, and our viewers said, thank you so much, katie, for the great answer on the non compete. So she is smart with the extra goody in the extra goodies bundle is an article I wrote for how magazine called close the deal all about how to close the deal. Goes into much more detail about some of the techniques that I was talking about. It's at the bit lee link, which is bit ly slash command fees. Case sensitive, big c, big f.