How To Negotiate
Listened to the recent podcast.
If you watched me listening you'd see me nodding along with what Lee, Jake and Will talk about on each episode.
If you follow me on these boards you know I'm not shy about discussing topics I disagree with.
By the same token I want to make sure I highlight when I violently agree with something said on the podcast. In this last I had just that reaction.
Negotiating with clients is an art in itself. One that should be studied by freelancers. An art that shifts depending on where you are in your career (I have a LOT of thoughts on this) In this podcast a couple of golden nuggets are dropped that I want to draw attention to.
It started at 47:00 when Lee observes about a price quote:
"You can always come down. You can't go up"
But it really gets going when at 50:30:
Will discusses the value of the illustrator putting out the first price number. Essentially aiming high with the understanding that the client will negotiate down.
----------------YES! One hundred times YES! --------------------
This is negotiation 101. The person who puts out the first number sets the tone for the negotiation. It's called "anchoring bias" For more check out this 10 episode series NEGOTIATION ACADEMY
Anchoring Bias is covered in episode 1.
When starting out as an illustrator I see no problem asking a client "What's your budget?" and then negotiating up slightly (there's that anchoring bias working for the client).
An illustrator is too new to the field (or perhaps a new niche of illustration) to know what the going rates are. FYI, that's the value of the Graphic Artist Guild's Pricing and Ethical Guidelines. It let's you know the range of fees that other pro illustrators have gotten for similar projects.
But 2 - 3 (maybe even 5) years into your career you should STOP asking "What's your budget?" By then you should have a reasonable idea what your work is worth in the niche you are working in. You should be able to propose a licensing fee in such a way that it reflects the reasonable value of the work to the client AND that it is flexible if needs be.
I know that the fear is so often: "If I put the number out first then I might be leaving money on the table"
But I would counter: If you let the client put the number out first then you ARE leaving money on the table. As the client will never make the full budget available.
Asyas_illos last edited by
@davidhohn thank you for throwing in your two cents, I always enjoy hearing a “fourth” perspective! Also off topic , but do you have plans for another deep dive book breakdown?
@asyas_illos Glad you find my various POV's useful. The podcast is great but doesn't allow for the kind of back and forth and more detailed discussion you can get on these forums.
As for additional book breakdowns, nothing is planned, but I leave the scheduling to the SVS admin. As I watch the various rollouts it sure seems like there's lots going on!