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Money. Compensation. Negotiation.

eloise design co blog


I decided to discuss this issue not because I have it all figured out, but because it is a hard topic that many of my female clients struggle with and need encouragement in.

I am providing 5 tips that will assist you in being more confident and successful when it comes to compensation and negotiation.

These tips are not easy and take practice. They take discipline and confidence. But I promise they will “pay” off! ;)

1. Do Your Research!

Whether you are a professional looking for a job or a freelancer/entrepreneur looking for work, you will be asked about compensation. YOU NEED TO HAVE AN ANSWER and YOU NEED TO HAVE A STRATEGY.

Utilize websites like for salary information and company reviews BEFORE you ever talk with companies/clients about compensation, hourly rates, raises, promotions, & annual reviews.

Especially for those of you who lack confidence in money talk, be prepared for the most dreaded question.

What salary or compensation are you expecting?

  1. Research salary ranges for your position, in a similar company size, in the same city (or same city size), with your years of experience.

  2. Write down the compensation ranges and decide if they are what you were expecting and what you are comfortable with. Pick a range (not 1 number).

  3. When beginning your answer to the question, let them know you have done your research and you have found ranges that are comparable to this position with your years of experience.

  4. Ask them what their range for this position is.

  • If they provide a range: Do NOT just say okay. Decide quickly if this is something you want to negotiate. Remember, they are most likely starting with a lower range or number. There is always room for discussion.

  • Example: If they offer $50,000-$55,000 and you are expecting $60,000, respond to them that your research combined with what you can contribute to the company is $55,000-$60,000 or $57,000-$62,000. You have already brought the number to their highest number + of their range.

  • If they are persistent that you give a range first: Provide a range (not just 1 number).

  • Example: If you are wanting $60,000. Make your range $65,000 - $70,000. Now you have some room to go down when they come back with a lower number.

If the money conversation is happening through email (not in person) get another professional to read your emails before you send them.

If the money conversation is happening through email (not in person) get another professional to read your emails before you send them.

Don’t just do research on this topic when you need to negotiate, keep yourself educated on this topic so you are more confident when the time arises. I have found encouragement and great advice from articles posted by This ONE is a good one on negotiation.

2. Ask for Advice.

Job Seekers:

Find a professional (with more experience and years than yourself) or mentor, or advisor, or consultant and ask their opinion. Discuss the situation and the information you found through research. Ask them their opinion and how you should handle the discussion and negotiations. Getting perspective and removing the emotions from the equation is essential (especially for women).


This is one reason why it is so important to find groups of fellow freelancers or small business owners to connect with regularly. There are countless Facebook groups, online communities, and local business support systems (Chamber of Commerce, Downtown Merchants Organizations, etc.) who can lend an ear. Network and create relationships in your industry and location so that you don’t ever feel alone in your journey. I am active in my local Chamber, have a small business consultant through the Small Business Administration of Alabama (they are free!), and a member of groups like The Savvy Community

Create relationships so you can ask advice when you are pricing your services and collaborating with others.

3. Set the Stage EARLY!

People who lack confidence in this topic, often times avoid the conversation at all costs even though they desperately need more or feel they deserve more. You CANNOT afford to let them think you will take whatever they will offer. You CANNOT afford to avoid the conversation when you first start with a company. Set the stage from day 1.

Meaning negotiate your worth and your work's contribution from the start. Some women I have talked to feel uncomfortable about negotiating when offered a job because they really want the job or really need the job. They don't want to risk losing the opportunity. So they say nothing and accept the compensation immediately even though it is lower than they need or deserve. It is a lot harder to negotiate a raise or promotion later if you never discussed it in the beginning. Set the stage and communicate your confidence in your abilities. It is not a comfortable conversation but it is worth it, I promise.

Gain the reputation for being sharp and aware of the industry standard and your worth. Make them understand that you expect more because you give more.

4. Don’t Make it Personal.

When consulting women on promotion and raise negotiation, their reasons for a raise are all personal. They talk about providing for their children, living expenses, and even paying for continued education (not requested from the employer). Though these are valid and very real reasons for a raise they are not going to get you a raise. Don’t rely on pulling on their heartstrings for a raise. Don’t try and guilt them into a raise.

Compensation (salary or hourly pay) is paid for the WORK that you do. When negotiating your salary keep it professional and focused on what you do, accomplish, and contribute to the company.

I encourage you to keep a document on your personal computer with a list of the things you do, excel in, accomplish, contribute, achieve at your job. You can refer to this list when you negotiate for a raise, promotion, or a new job.

5. Hold ‘Em Accountable!

If the company cannot meet your salary range and you want the job and feel they are providing the best they can, ask if they would be willing to have a 3 month or 6 month review to evaluate your contribution and performance, Work your butt off to prove your reason for the higher salary. Then (if appropriate) bring up the salary again at your review. It is up to you to hold them accountable for the review date especially if they are a smaller company without an HR department.


If you feel this information has been helpful, Join ALUMNETWORK or invite your friends to join!

If you need someone to talk to about compensation, let's have a coffee date! Contact Me!


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