Know Your Worth: How to Get the Best Rate When Charging Your Clients for a Project

We've all had lowball clients who expect the world, but can't manage to pay us the minimum amount we charge. In this video, learn how to not make that happen to you again.

Imagine this scenario: An up and coming business reaches out to you and tells you how much they love your work and that they would do anything to work with you. They tell you about their exorbitant vision and how they have a miniscule budget to work with, but they will pay you extra in exposure. 

Does the above scenario sound familiar? Thankfully, the folks at Indy Mogul teamed up with the founder and CEO of The Futur, Chris Do, to bring you a helpful and relatable video to help you not fall into the trap of charging too little for your next client project. Throughout the video, they cover sales tactics like the anchor bias, which is the first piece of information we or the client hears, and it's where a lot of decisions are usually based off. To see how a negotiation works, Chris and producer Moses Israel work through a potential real-world scenario and break down the process of how you can get the price you want.

One of the key things I took away from this video was that if you ever find yourself ready to hang up on the client because their budget is not adding up, one way to counteract this is to reward your client's loyalty. If they are a returning client or promise to (make sure to have it in writing) bring you on for subsequent projects, then you can reward your client's loyalty by reducing the rate and giving them a discount. By doing this, you not only gain the job, but earn their trust for future ones. 

What are the best ways you do that ensure that you are not getting underpaid on your next project? Leave them in the comments below. 

Eli Dreyfuss's picture

Eli Dreyfuss is a professional portrait photographer based in sunny Miami, Florida. He focuses on making ordinary people look like movie stars in his small home studio. Shortly after graduating high school he quickly established himself in the art world and became an internationally awarded & published artist.

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That's the way it works. Engage and show fairness before repeat work and then you can get more from me one way or another at a lower cost. First time is the money vs prove yourself, second time and thereafter, it's the savings now that both sides understand what is expected and how all the players truly work together.

I get your point and I checked that older logo post that I also looked at back then and yes, get paid for what you are worth.
I go out of town a couple times a year for a very intensive one day shoot where I charge over twice my local rate and I don't have to do any post work beside processing my raw files. Shoot is hundreds of miles away from NY, but the company is based in NYC and I charge a price they are used to. Like I said, they know as well as I do what those specific shoots are like; fast, intense and no second chance as the product is loaded on trucks as soon as you move to shoot the next one. I mean often only my assistants and are totally aware of what is asked. Even the people who work at the place don't understand what's going to happen that day and then they get totally frustrated as soon as we start. My deal is what I am asked to do, not worrying about disturbing what they assume is going to be a fun easy day watching me taking pictures. So when I get there, first thing, I plan where to set up and the order we will shoot things in the most effective way. That's when the crying starts and I hope they can overcome it because I have no option. It's going to be they get a call to adjust for the next time or we both get the call and I don't get call back, but if I manage to do all the work on time and the truck driver is released to do his driving that day, no one complains, no extra budget is needed and I get the call back. That is valuable when you have three parties involved and they pay for it. Think benefits, not cost. Cheap can turn very expensive fast.