Negotiating rates can be a stressful endeavor because you are being asked to stand by what you say you are worth when someone is questioning you or wanting to pay you less.
The first step is to do your research. Talk to others in your business to find out what reasonable rates would be to approach the project you are being asked to propose on. Be sure to ask the client lots of questions as well to understand every facet of what you are being asked to do in complete details.
Second, add in your value that comes from your experience or expertise that no one else can bring to the table.
Third, line item every single thing out. For example; if you are being asked to write an article a month – put a dollar value on each article. Or on the length of each article. If you are being asked to do 10 social media posts per month, put a dollar value to each.
Fourth is to pitch and immediately talk to the client about the pitch. Be willing to answer any questions and explain any details they want further information about.
Fifth, if the client does need you to change your pricing, you can now do so without devaluing your rate. Just accepting work at a lower rate says “I didn’t really think I was worth what I said I was originally.”
So it can be approached as in this example using round numbers.
Client wants 20 social media posts per month. You are charging them $4000 per month which equates to $200 for each post you do. If they client comes back and says they are only willing to pay $2500 per month, then you can say that equals to about 12-13 posts per month. This way you are holding to your rate and not devaluating yourself.
Finally, you must be willing to walk away from the project if it is just too low or too much work for the payment.