Everyone is different. Yes, it is cliche, but when it comes to negotiating a freelance project between buyer and provider, no transaction is the same.
It could be based on the employer or the actual freelancer, or what type of project is involved.
The problem is communication. In freelancing online, you are more often to step into a transaction with someone who may be from a different country, not speak your language as their first language, or even have similar religious beliefs.
It is important for both parties to remain professional and courteous. If a buyer or even the freelancer is rude from the get go of the project, it might not turn out to be a successful tranaction. OR, the project is completed and both parties never speak again.
Freelance Etiquette For the Buyer:
Remain professional. Thoroughly check the freelancer’s portfolio and make a fair and educated decision. If there are any questions, ask right away. It is better to ask them before the negotiations are completed, rather than remain confused and question later when the project has already began.
It is important to make sure that you as a buyer remain in good standing with your freelancer as a lot of the freelance sites offer ways for you to be rated and receive feedback. Also, think about it – your profile on those freelancer sites can be found on the search engines. SO if you have a company website associated with your freelancer site, you might be hurting your business reputation as an outsourcer.
There will be freelancers out there who are real duds, but the ones who are good, normally go above and beyond what the project requires.
Think quality rather than dirt cheap, but be smart about it. Freelancers have to make a living somehow. Be thoughtful on how long the project may take, how much effort may be involved, and even how much the cost of living it currently- even at minimum wage. In the case you are a regular outsourcing company, you may want to may sure you are charging your clients enough so you can pay your service provider adequately.
Last of all, buyer’s should be open minded of suggestions from their freelancer. It may be something more effective. At least make sure the freelancer knows you are taking their advice into consideration. While it is your site and you have your own agenda, some things might be better when new ideas are applied. It might not hurt to ask ahead of time what suggestions your freelancer has. It can actually tell you how knowledgeable they are. For example, in web design, if the freelancer can explain in detail how to approach they will apply certain methods to complete specific parts of project that are challenging, it really really is reassuring for the buyer.
Freelance Etiquette for the Freelancer
Remain professional. Yep, had to say it. It works both ways. While you do want to make the deal, make sure to give the buyer some type of outline on your work method. They want to be assured you are going to complete their project to their expectations.
Be open minded. If you cannot, do not even continue trying to make the deal. If you are not open minded about the project, especially in web design, then you do not have enough experience in design nor conducting business.
Be honest! This is a big one. There are so many “horror” stories and complaints out there about some of the freelancers that failed or even conned others. Make sure to be upfront about yourself and your methods. You could even face legal strife if something goes wrong because you were not truthful!
Charge honestly, but do not let yourself get steamrolled over.. Some of the freelance sites out there, there are a lot of people looking for very affordable service providers. It is necessary that while you have to charge to making a living, that you might want reflect on how much time you will actually be working on a project. A lot of the freelancers are usually people who have not gone mainstream. What is meant by “going mainstream”, in relation to a web designer, is that the designer has constant stream of clients and referrals that keep them from taking smaller side projects on the competitive freelance boards – they no longer really have to fight for projects.
The buyer is paying you to do a project for them – not a website that is yours that you got money to make. Some freelancers get so wrapped up and emotional about their work and forget- it is NOT their site; it is the client’s site. Make it how they want it to be. If you give them suggestions and they choose not to take your advice, then let it be. In the case you are right about your advice and the client changes their mind later, they may employ you again to make the changes.
Kind of like Burger King’s little slogan – “Have It Your Way.” Let the client have it their way in the end.
Overall, both sides of the freelance project must come together to make sure the task is done.
Have you ever had a bad negotiation as a buyer or a freelancer? – What happened?
What suggestions do you have for both sides of the freelance negotiation?