Here’s one of the big questions I get asked over and over again:

“How do I get killer projects, and negotiate the deal? What happens when we get into a dialogue and they want to pay me ‘this’ and I want to charge ‘that’. How do we resolve that?”

Let me give you a foundation from which you can easily land your project, and make sure you only ever work with the best clients and at the best rates for you.

I’ll share this with you in seven simple points.

 

#1 – Target Hourly Rate

Here’s something you should do before you ever even meet the client: determine your target hourly rate.

Set a financial goal, “This year I’m going to make X amount of dollars.” Say, $100K.

Then break that down, “Okay, to make that much money I’m going to have to work this many hours at this target rate.” $100,000 / 50 weeks / 20 hours every week = $100 per hour.

Now if you’re smart, you will bill by project increments (per email, per video, per article). Not hourly rate.

But you need to know about how much time each project will take you. That includes every hour you spend researching, marketing, following up with clients… all the time you put into your business.

 

#2 – Target the Right Clients

If you’re talking to clients who can say, “Ten thousand dollars for a project? No problem!” then you should be fine. 🙂

If they’re making over five million dollars every year, they’re going to have the ability to pay most hourly rates.

There’s some other criteria there, but you’ll get a feel for that.

The point is to feel confident: You know what your goal is and that they can afford you.

 

#3 – Ask Questions …

This is literally the foundation for your ability to upsell and cross sell.

Ask Questions. Be super curious and really sincere about wanting to know what they do and how they’re doing it.

Remember the Golden Rule: “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”

And remember the law of the harvest: “You reap what you sow.”

If you want more profit, if you want more income, if you want them to pay you more, then you must figure out how to make them more money.

You’ve got to give more profits, provide a revenue stream for them that’ll help them create a greater income.

And you won’t be able to provide that revenue stream if you don’t know what they’re doing and how they’re going after it.

 

#4 – Simple Proposal

Once you know their needs and goals, you put together a simple… I emphasize simple… proposal.

Some writers go through step one, step two, step forty… every micro-detail of their writing process. In my opinion, that’s not a proposal. I think those detailed, line item giants are project outlines, like a gantt chart.

What I’m talking about is more like this:

A few years ago I had a company approach me about writing video scripts for an educational series.

“Joshua, we’re doing these educational videos, can you write the scripts? They need to be three minute long videos. We’re gonna publish them as these short training videos on our membership site.”

I was like, “Yeah, I would love to write those scripts.”

“Okay, we want 21 of the scripts, will you put that together?”

“Sure, no problem.”

Of course I asked them a whole bunch of questions and I sat down and thought it through (does it meet my target hourly rate, are these the right clients, etc.)… but this is the short version. 🙂

In the end I realized, okay, I can do this. So I sent back a proposal.

“Hey, thanks so much.

“I am confident that I can do this project for you, get it done by this deadline, and have it be a really successful project for you to fulfill your purpose for these project items [e.g. 21 video scripts], would $$$ [five hundred] dollars for each item [video script] be an appropriate number?”

I didn’t have to do all the math because I already knew about how much I should charge per item in the project.

And when they said, “Great”, then I sent back and said, “Okay, now here are the details of the project.”

The simple proposal helps them feel like you’re there to solve problems for them: When they start reading the proposal, it saves them time. And you also show that you can communicate complex ideas very simply.

The word “appropriate” is key in your proposal, because it forces them to take whatever their goal, dream, desire, or objective purpose is… compare it with the dollar amount you’re proposing… and then ask themselves, “Is that appropriate or not appropriate?”

And of course they’ll think, “Well, yeah that’s an appropriate amount, because we’re getting the lion’s share of the deal and we’re only paying a small investment.”

My client knew if those videos could help a small handful of new subscribers come through the door, then it was well worth their investment of five hundred dollars per video for the videos that I did.

I think I’ll stop there for today.

I could go on and on about this stuff, but take some time to think about those first four points I’ve shared with you.

Like and comment on this article so it become more likely to be seen by others who need this. Or share it with your friends!

I’ll give you the rest tomorrow.

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