• Carlos P. Beltran

How to Get Bigger Budgets for Freelancers - Negotiating with Networks


"Experience plus quality of portfolio equals credibility, which in turn equals More Money per piece"

The first thing we have to understand is that most networks have set budgets for their online efforts, and they typically manage their budgets within a range, The following webcast focuses on negotiating for bigger and better budgets for the production of online content ranging from 60 seconds to 5 minutes.

It's important to understand that, when it comes to short form content, all networks, whether traditional like CNN or more social media driven, such as Now This, are constantly and massively producing, which means that they have to, for the most part, keep their budgets consistent. So whether producing a piece in Miami, or producing one in Japan, the network will try to allocate the same budget for both of them. They do this by paying you, the producer, a flat fee. Hourly and daily rates are a thing of the past.

So how do we negotiate for bigger budgets if all of these networks offer flat, consistent fees. Well, again, keep in mind that they work within budget ranges, How low or high you go within that range depends on the value that you give yourself when talking to a story editor.

The assets and variables that you, as a freelance producer and journalist, can use to your advantage when making a case for a bigger budget are

1) Experience & Quality of Portfolio

2) Context & Difficulty

3) Equipment Used

These three points are talked about in detail on the video tutorial.

Quick Tip:

If you already have a relationship with a network, meaning you have produced more than one piece for them, it is ok to bring up your value during the budget discussion and request an increment in the following work. The worst that can happen is that the network editor/producer tells you that they don't have the money for it, but it is great to know that the network acknowledges your value.

Sample text:

"I'm glad you've been enjoying the pieces and that my work has been performing great online. I understand you have a budget range to adhere to, Would you be OK with upping the budget to (insert max amount allocated) on my next piece?"

Hope you found this helpful, now go find some stories.

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@2016 - 2020 by Carlos P. Beltran