How to Name Your Price-And Get it

Susan Hall

I wrote yesterday about the rise of contract jobs. Brian Mennecke, a management information systems professor at Iowa State University, predicts that technology will further boost the use of contractors because physical location no longer poses a constraint.


And analyst firm Foote Partners' namesake and CEO David Foote says of increased use of consultants, contractors and managed services:

... It's part of a systemic transformation of the IT service delivery models. Market volatility in skills and jobs will be the new standard in market behavior for years to come in our opinion.

The New York Times reported in mid-December that more than a quarter of the 1.17 million private-sector jobs added in 2010 were temporary positions.


So if becoming a free agent is or could be the norm, we'd better learn how to survive in that realm. Peter Shankman offers some good advice in a blog post entitled, "How to Get Paid What You're Worth." Shankman describes himself as "social media entrepreneur, angel investor, CEO, speaker, consultant and adventurist."


Among his tips:

  • You can always come down in price. You can never go up. In they're interested, he says, they'll make a counter offer.
  • Figure out how much your time is worth. It might change from client to client, but do the math.

  • Sometimes, taking a job for a little less will actually net you a lot more. He warns not to cut your price by more than 10 percent, but in cases in which you might gain a bunch of other clients, it can be worth it.
  • Finally, you're worth as much as you believe yourself to be worth.


Those leaving comments had some good advice as well:

  • Don't be quick to drop your price. Your services can come across as being lousy.
  • State your fee, then shut up. If you try to fill the uncomfortable silence with talk, more than likely you'll drop your price.
  • A musician said he charges not only for the time he spends on stage, but also the time it takes to rehearse, prepare, travel and look the part.
  • Know what others in your field charge.
  • Make a list of other things that are worth an equivalent amount of money. You might negotiate for other things you'd be willing to take in trade.
  • Submit a detailed proposal so those who want to comparison-shop can do so.


Do you have advice for getting paid what you're worth? Please share in the comments below.

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