The Package

I've done CEs upon CEs for simple solo projects to projects that involve suppliers and partners.  From low-budget requirements to high-budgeted bloody ones.  After 2 years of it, I can safely say I can coast through one costing bid to another with the greatest of ease --even when drafting costs is about the most alien thing I thought I would ever do.

The hardest for me, really, is costing my personal professional package.
When a client plans to take you on his pay roll (as a Consultant or as a part time creative or even as a regular employee), you're not only setting a price to your services, but to yourself.  And it's never easy to peg a price tag on your own person.  It's not just your performance or your output.  It's your probable future and how bright you want to make it.

Nobody likes surprises when it comes to money--not you, not your client, not your future employer.
I'm still grasping at straws on this one, but the most I can suggest is that you...
  • Do heavy research on your client before biting the bullet.  Get an inkling on his employment budget.  The last thing you want is to shoot too low (and be accepted and then feel robbed down the line) or shoot too high (and not be accepted at all).
  • Be clear on your expected responsibilities.  Gauge time versus effort versus compensation.  I do a cost-per-9 to 5 kind of thing.
  • Research online on rate cards of your same job description.  You could be using an old market value.  Be trendy and competitive.
  • Push for perks to solidify some kind of security or stability without going overboard.
  • Don't be desperate!  Give yourself some importance.  Make your future employer realize and respect your worth because you ARE worth it. 
  • Then again, don't be greedy.  Be open to further acceptable negotiations. 
  • Document the whole negotiation process.  Demand for a formal contract.  Everything must be in black and white, signed in blood, and sealed with a lipstick mark (oh wait, those are red).
  • Lastly, don't quit your other rakets.  That's just stupid.  Ever heard of discreet multitasking?  Learn it.
It's a hit or miss.  I'm not exactly proud of how some of my packages turn out.  But you can do better.  The trick is not just to be wiser, but to be clever.  Good luck!  I know I need it.


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