HERE AT THE LFB bunker, we're forever urging freelance members to use the info in the Rate For The Job and the Fees Guide, price their work realistically with a view to eating and such, and to always bargain for more no matter what the first offer is – don’t ask/don't get, ask/sometimes get etc.
Which assertive, if you will, principle of income-hiking leads on to a couple of handy recent anecdotes in the post-grad negotiation area where you take a broad view and allow But It's Not Just About The Fee. Two quite different set-ups where the freelance ended up satisfied by what you might call Bolt-Ons.
- Freelance A is asked to be a platform panel member at a fairly distinguished semi-academic do (the journo being on the popularising end as often occurs). It's about 90 mins, just a bit of an advance ponder as he knows the subject. How much are you offering? 250. How about 300? OK, we can run to that. Plus fares? Of course. Great... [and here's the Bolt-On gambit] and I'd really like to bring my wife and a couple of friends who are involved in this field too, how about throwing in three tickets too [they were 30 quid each]? Well, we're not paying their fares! No, of course, not. Then, fine, no problem.
- Freelance B approached a specialist magazine she knew paid terribly, because she wanted the credential of the commission in order to secure travel exes and press facilities from organisers of a conference in Turkey - where she had another story to chase outside the event. They offered "200 for 2000 words, less than a quarter of what she was used to in journals she regularly supplied. She tried, How about 300? And they refused as expected. But she took the commission because it got her there, and she could do the other story which really engaged her and she could sell to more than one outlet for decent money on her return.