There’s always that moment when a producer or production manager challenges you on your rate. These freelancer price objections are phrases like:

  • Will it really take that long to set up?
  • That’s more than most people are charging.
  • The budget can’t really stretch to that.

They are looking for ways to get you to drop your price. However, I have a tactic to combat this erosion of how much you charge.

Countering Freelance Price Objections

First, listen to all of their reasoning, where they’re saying your rate is out of their budget for whatever reason.

Second, empathise with them. This is as simple as saying:

“Yeah, I know there’s pressure to bring shoots in under tight budgets.”

This helps build rapport with them, one of the stepping stone to building a good client relationship.

Third, turn the conversation to what they need out of the shoot day, to make the project a success. Try something like:

“But what else is important, beyond the cost of the shoot day?”

  • If they don’t come up with any answers, then try prompting them:
  • swift set up time
  • great footage
  • relaxed atmosphere on the shoot
  • creative shots
  • fewer problems in post

By now you should be in a discussion about what they’re really worried about on the shoot. Note these down as you go.

Don’t go Defensive

Be sure not to respond to each of these as they come up with them, that simply sounds defensive. One freelancer I used to hire at Napoleon Creative was like that. Any time I was creatively critical of their work, they spluttered with excuses about how it should have been, why it didn’t work etc, etc. I understood what the challenges were, I just wanted to offer my opinion, and look for ways not to repeat the same mistakes next time.

Countering the objections

Once you’ve got the list of their concerns, respond with something like:

“Well, I’ve got a lot of experience, so you know I’ll light something well. I’ve also lit so many shots that I can be swift when needs be. I’m also great at putting contributors at ease.

All this means paying my full rate means overall you’ll get better footage, so you’ll be saving time in post. Would that sound good to you?”

It would persuade me as a producer. Someone who knows my challenges is always good to have on my team, and I’ll pay full fare for it.

Found this useful?

If you’ve found these freelancer price objections tips useful, then you will enjoy my Creative Career Builder course.

Join my Creative Career Builder Course to learn more

If you’d like to experience what coaching with me would be like, book an initial call. It’s free, and we can talk about your challenges.

Gavin Ricketts is a Producer/Director with over twenty year's experience. His courses on finding work in the creative industries has helped hundreds of Film and TV Crew win more work.

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