Negotiation

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Jeans: One Teaspoon (similar here and here); Coat: Zara (similar here and here); Hat: Club Monaco; Shoes: Free People

This past May, I went out for coffee with my dad to ask him for some advice on a contract I had coming up. To give you some background, I come from an entrepreneurial family and my dad runs his own business, so needless to say I constantly run every business move I make by him. While talking to him, he said something to me that I thought was very valuable: don’t undersell yourself. While my dad’s business has nothing to do with fashion or blogging, I think it’s a lesson that can be applied to any career. So today, I want to talk about how to negotiate and why it’s so important to assert your self-worth.

I’ve read in two different books, Lean In by Sheryl Sandberg and The Defining Decade by Meg Jay, that the two groups of people that are most likely to undersell and hold themselves back are women and people in their 20s. As a woman in her 20s, I can admit firsthand that I’ve been guilty of underselling myself in the past because I’ve been afraid of other people’s perception of me. I’ve been told over and over again that milennials are entitled, not to mention the ridiculous double standard whereby a driven man is perceived as a leader and their female counterpart is perceived as ‘angry’ or ‘bossy’. However, over time, I’ve come to realize that knowing my worth realistically isn’t being entitled, and aggressively pursuing my goals doesn’t make me a ‘nasty woman’.

I’ve always been uncomfortable with negotiation. I hate confrontational situations and and pushing for things, but after this talk with my dad, I’ve made it a personal goal to never settle for less than my worth. The thing is in order to run a successful business, you can’t sit on your ass and take whatever is handed to you. You need to assert your self worth and ask for what you think you deserve. And frankly, if you position yourself as someone who is willing to settle, then that is what you will get. So below are my 3 tips for negotiating 101:

1. Don’t be rude
There is absolutely no need to be abrasive. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: kindness goes a long way, so always be polite, even in a situation where you’re negotiating.

2. If you are offering a service, explain your worth
Why are you worth what you are saying you’re worth? What value do you provide?

3. Don’t get discouraged
Sometimes things go your way, and sometimes they don’t. If it doesn’t work out, dust yourself off and take it as a learning experience.

Do you guys have any tips for negotiating?

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54 Comments

  1. November 18, 2016 / 1:41 pm

    This might be one of my favorite outfits you’ve ever posted! The jacket, the scarf, the hat, the shoes! I’m obsessed! These are all awesome tips too!

    http://www.rosyoutlookblog.com

  2. November 18, 2016 / 2:44 pm

    You look lovely! Thanks for the tips! 🙂 xx

  3. November 18, 2016 / 3:16 pm

    Great piece, Siff, and I couldn’t agree with you more! Are you able to elaborate a bit more on #2. What tips would you give for explaining your worth?

    I’ve also noticed when negotiating with brands that, if you counter-offer, some will counter again for an amount that is still less than what you’re asking for (as that may be their max budget). At that point, would you recommend insisting on your rate and potentially losing the opportunity, or agreeing to the lower rate?

    • siffat.h91@gmail.com
      November 18, 2016 / 10:38 pm

      There’s two different approaches to this, depending on what you’re asking for. In the case of big budget asks, like for example furniture, a flight or a hotel room, you should be explaining why what you’re offering is worth that product for free. What I mean by this is say for example in exchange for a product/flight/hotel room, you are offering one Instagram post and blog post – you should be able to justify the cost of each of those things as on par with what you’re being given.

      However, in the case of budget, you should be able to justify what you are charging based on your number of followers, and even more importantly, cost per engagement and a rough percentage of average engagement rate. I think these days engagement is super important, and if your pictures are leading to people interacting with and asking about brands, you’re creating true awareness. And of course the fact that there’s professional photography and editing involved are also factors when determining your rate.

      Hope this helps!!

    • siffat.h91@gmail.com
      November 18, 2016 / 10:41 pm

      Also, in regards to your second point, I think it totally depends on what you think is fair. If a brand’s budget is slightly short of what you’re asking for but you love the brand and want to build a longterm relationship, then you should do it. However, if what you’re being offered is nowhere close to your worth, then you should absolutely reject it.

  4. November 18, 2016 / 3:57 pm

    Those are 3 valid tips Siff! Rudeness truly never leads you anywhere, no matter the situation!

    -Didier
    http://www.didieryhc.com

  5. November 18, 2016 / 5:51 pm

    Beautiful post babe and I stand strongly with you on this topic. It’s so important, as we also give so much of our time, hard work and professionalism. We deserve to be paid for it. I’ve been meaning to read Lean In for a while now and I thank you for sharing some insight from it. It’s something so important that needs to be known! You are an amazing business woman! Xo, Adelina

    http://www.thecharmingolive.com

  6. November 19, 2016 / 8:38 am

    This topic is very dear to my wee heart because in my 20s I did a lot of styling, if not most of my jobs for free. I worked freakn’ hard but it wasn’t smart. The funny thing is I thought I knew my worth but looking back and seeing how girls in their 20s are doing it now, I realise I was clueless and tooootally undersold my talent. Hmmm tips- I think you should be honest with yourself. I.e. if you know negotiation is not just your bag, get a friend to step in for you. I’ll give you an example- I had a creative friend who got a colleague (who was more business savvy) to double up as her agent, so when it was time to negotiate prices etc, she would give the company that colleague’s details…
    It’s also a good idea to make Google/’X’ search engine your friend and get a good idea of what the industry rates are in your sector…
    Have a lovely wkend ( :

  7. November 19, 2016 / 12:29 pm

    It took me a while to learn that being rude isn’t the best technique when negotiating! 😉

    ANOUK

  8. November 19, 2016 / 5:43 pm

    Love your outfit!

    Kisses, DadieB. ~
    dadiebradshaw.com

  9. November 19, 2016 / 8:52 pm

    These are really great tips! You made a lot of valid points, and I think the bottom line is we just have to work harder as young women and make sure people see our worth. You look gorgeous, that outfit is beautiful, I love how camel and jean look together!

    Francesca
    http://www.vintagelillies.com

  10. November 19, 2016 / 11:31 pm

    You’re slaying girl!
    xx
    Karolina
    2014 Malbec ‘Auténtico’, Colome Salta, Argentina

  11. November 20, 2016 / 2:06 am

    I really like the black scarf with the jacket. It looks nice together, very chic and put together. I love how subtle the design of the scarf is. Also, your tips on negotiation are spot on. One other thing I also think is important is knowing and understanding the opposing side. If you have the ability to broaden your perspective it will help strengthen your own points too.

    ~Andrea Tiffany~
    aglimpseofglam.blogspot.com

  12. November 20, 2016 / 2:30 am

    This is something I’ve learned and have to keep relearning because of the world we live in. Great advice from your dad, and I love your insight on it too. You look so amazing too + I love your hat <3

    istylelooks.blogspot.com

  13. November 20, 2016 / 6:42 am

    great advice! freelance is hard work and negotiating can be hard to deal with. But keeping a great attitude makes all the difference!

    http://www.prettyinleather.net

  14. Iva
    November 20, 2016 / 7:24 am

    You look amazing!

    NEW BLOG ! please follow me : YOUNG BLOG

  15. November 20, 2016 / 10:08 am

    I can give you an other advice maybe to be patient in every situation!
    Also great post, great advice thanks for sharing Siffat

    http://www.stayclassi.com

  16. November 20, 2016 / 3:06 pm

    I love this outfit and I agree with you, there’s no room for rudeness!

    Rosy | Sparkles of Light Blog

  17. November 20, 2016 / 8:17 pm

    I definitely think I undersell myself. These are great tips. I’m constantly working on improving myself. I also love this outfit! That camel coat is gorgeous!

    http://www.rdsobsessions.com

  18. November 20, 2016 / 8:56 pm

    Love these tips. I really need to work on my negotiation skills. I tend to agree to too many things even if they don’t work for me.

    http://www.mydailywear.co.uk

  19. November 21, 2016 / 1:24 am

    I think if I didn’t come from a entrepreneurial family too…. or if I didn’t own my retail company I would find it rather difficult to all of sudden start making money blogging, and dealing with said financial responsibilities. I think this is a rather fabulous posting for those whom may be unaware with how to deal with contacts. On top this is a gorgeous look, I absolutely adore this luscious coat.

    Filipa xxx
    PlayingWithApparel.com | Instagram

  20. November 21, 2016 / 3:29 am

    Great post and look! Love your coat.
    Xx, Raysa

  21. November 21, 2016 / 4:07 am

    Great tips! I always think it’s challenging to explain a personal businesses worth, but it is so important.
    You look perfect in that chic fall outfit! The light brown looks great on you

    Carly at A Modern Mom Blog

  22. November 21, 2016 / 10:28 am

    First of all i absolutely love this cozy outfit.
    That being said, negotiation is such a hard topic to me. Sometimes i find it a little bit hard to counter-offer, and that kind of stuff. But these tips you’ve shared are heplful, for sure.
    Anyway i totally agree (as i’ve seen you have written on the comments) that engagement is everything nowadays.
    Maybe you could make a post on how did you know it was time to get full time blogging. I would really appreciate it.
    Have a wonderful week, dear.
    lefashionaire.com

  23. November 21, 2016 / 12:08 pm

    Love your grid print blanket scarf, so cosy! Perfect with the camel coat too 🙂

    You raised some good points about negotiating – it’s important to remember and demonstrate what value we provide in so many different scenarios! 🙂

    Hope you’ve had a wonderful weekend 🙂

    Away From The Blue Blog

  24. November 21, 2016 / 12:21 pm

    Gorgeous outfit!! Great advice, too! xx

    moorizZLA

  25. November 22, 2016 / 1:16 am

    Love your outfit and insight! Negotiating isn’t something I’m the best at, but I’m working on it. I know that if I want to grow my social media presence I’ll need to work even more on it. Have a great week!

    Blessings,
    Edye | http://gracefulcoffee.com

  26. November 22, 2016 / 1:32 am

    Negotiating is hard, but I totally agree with you! I’ve had problems in the past with agreeing to do things on my blog too easily, and not getting as much out of the arrangement as I could have. I’m much more strong willed now, and I don’t accept offers unless I’m 100% excited about them. Also, your outfit is so chic. You really have autumnal dressing down! xx

    Jessthetics

  27. November 22, 2016 / 1:38 pm

    You look amazing! Love the coat and the hat.
    This post is so helpful, we are used to underselling ourselves and we definitely should stop.
    Obsessed Fashion Blog

  28. November 22, 2016 / 7:30 pm

    These tips are fab, and it’s always important to be kind while wearing a thick skin.

    AAAAAND, love the fabulous autmn-wear. The watch + scarf + jacket combo is on point. Super chic, Siffat! <3

    http://laxmilifestyle.com

  29. November 23, 2016 / 4:17 am

    This is such a great post, Siffat! Not only do I ADORE your outfit, I love your topic as well! I, like you, am uncomfortable with negotiation and it’s so easy to use that as an excuse not to do it. You’re right though, knowing your value and advocating for yourself is a crucial part of succeeding in the business world, regardless of what you business is.

  30. November 23, 2016 / 3:41 pm

    Absolutely love these tips. They are so essential especially in the blogging world. Knowing your worth is so important. Thanks for sharing these tips. Also love your outfit darling.

    Bisous, Josie

    http://www.petiteandbold.com

  31. December 15, 2016 / 10:01 am

    you look so fashionable and gorgeous..stunning look..nice tips