What's the best strategy to make sure you get paid what you're worth (whether by your boss or a client)?
The following answers are provided by the Young Entrepreneur Council, an invite-only nonprofit organization comprised of young entrepreneurs.
Be Willing To Walk Away
You have to know your bottom line, and be willing to walk away if a client is unwilling to meet it. I like to say, "That's lower than I can take, but keep me in mind if your budget grows enough to allow for professional rates!" Sometimes, when they see I mean business, they rise to the occasion.
Steph Auteri, Word Nerd Pro
Don't Give In To Discounts
Set your prices and don't discount your value by accepting a lower price. By standing firm in the value that you provide and seeking out the contracts or careers that recognize your value, you can avoid the discouragement of accepting a position that underpays. This, of course, assumes you are pricing your services fairly to the market and not inflating your self-worth.
Kelly Azevedo, She's Got Systems
If you consistently deliver excellence, there should be no question that you're paid what you're worth. Bosses want to reward people who are always thinking a few steps ahead and delivering amazing work. Clients want to work with people who are reputable, trustworthy and someone they can relate to. If you're always true to yourself and always throwing down your best work, the money will follow.
Sydney Owen, 3Ring Media
Be Honest With Yourself
Knowing what you are really worth is something that is hard to define. We all have ideas about what we think we are worth, but do we have a realistic backing for that amount? You have to look at your past accomplishments (beyond formal education) and come up with a real justification for the value you have assigned. If you can't do that, then how will you sell others on this valuation?
Roger Bryan, RCBryan & Associates
Tell A Better Story
Your perceived worth and value is directly linked to your personal story. Bosses and clients love to work with passionate, inspiring people who deliver the goods. So first, make your personality shine through. Let people feel how committed you really are. Help them understand why. Next, tell a story of the future state you've already helped to actualize and how your presence benefits all.
Michael Margolis, Get Storied
Make the Calculations
Make sure you keep track of the value you bring to the client or the organization. For instance, if you saved the company a significant amount of money that they would have otherwise spent, this is a great way to negotiate a pay raise or increase in rates. Bring these accomplishments to any meeting where you'll discuss pay and be prepared to show numbers and data.
Heather Huhman, Come Recommended
Value, Not Money
Make your case not about money, but instead about value. Present the value you provide in a very clear and concise manner. Whether you're asking for a raise or negotiating a starting salary, all your boss cares about is what you're bringing to the table. Numbers are proof of your success, so quantify your value so that your boss can too.
Brent Beshore, AdVentures
Show, Don't Tell
Don't tell people how great you are, show them. A company or individual can most effectively demonstrate their value by highlighting past successes. If you don't have experience to hang your hat on, take on a defined initial project to show them what you're worth.
David Gardner, ColorJar
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