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#Tip of the day from – how to negotiate freelance pay

Never be the first to mention a figure when negotiating freelance pay. That’s the advice of Joanne Mallon, a freelance journalist and specialist career coach for people in media who gave a talk at a National Union of Journalists meeting in Brighton last night.

“Avoid mentioning a rate even if you’re asked,” she said. “Tell them you don’t have a set rate and ask what their budget is.”

Her advice is to “use quite neutral language” and discuss money as an “object in the room”. Avoid asking “what are you going to pay me?”

If you are locked in stalemate in a conversation with a commissioning editor, give a range of rates, she advised. “Don’t be afraid to say no” if the pay is too low.

“Ask questions to establish yourself as a confident person,” she suggested.

Tipster: Sarah Marshall.

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