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The Busy Creator 49, Salary & Fee Negotiation w/guest Jim Hopkinson: Jim Hopkinson (@HopkinsonReport) is the author of the book Salary Tutor: Learn The Salary Negotiation Secrets No One Ever Taught You. His website,, offers free resources and online salary negotiation courses to help creative professionals,

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Jim Hopkinson (@HopkinsonReport) is the author of the book Salary Tutor: Learn The Salary Negotiation Secrets No One Ever Taught You. His website,, offers free resources and online salary negotiation courses to help creative professionals, students, and freelancers increase their confidence, develop a negotiation mindset, and get paid what they’re worth through effective negotiation.
This conversation discusses how creatives can use their natural abilities to get the job, how to negotiate for a top salary or raise, and how freelancers can approach fee negotiations for project-based work.
Show Notes & Links

Jim Hopkinson, The Salary Tutor

Salary Tutor: Learn the Salary Negotiation Secrets No One Ever Taught You by Jim Hopkinson On Amazon and On Audible
FUD (Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt)
A previous blog post about The Humble Coloured Folder
Jim’s first few negotiations were on the employee side, but while working at a small startup, he had the opportunity to act as the HR side, which gave him both perspectives
Jim worked at ESPN and Wired
The 4-Hour Workweek by Tim Ferriss On Amazon and On Audible
Jim wrote The Hopkinson Report blog and hosted a podcast for five years (iTunes link)
10,000 hours
Creatives don’t necessarily approach negotiation from a different perspective
Creatives have advantages built in: standing out through design

“Everyone has the same boring Microsoft Word resume template; designers have an opportunity to stand out visually” –Jim Hopkinson ← Click to Tweet

Having “something to show” is a strong negotiation or job-hunting tactic
Put your research into a well-designed graphic layout, don’t just do the research or memorize the figures

“How you do anything is how you do everything.” ← Click to Tweet

“If you want to be, do.” ← Click to Tweet

On getting a raise for a current job, “it’s about proving your worth”
A montage showing “war”

Creatives should find the analytics; other folks should make it visual
A portfolio example might show adding a Facebook widget to a website, then detailing the before-and-after statistical impact on traffic and revenue
Top Performers can earn more than regular employees
Verbal hacks: “how can we …”, “let’s look at this together”, “compensation” (instead of fee)
Vanessa Van Edwards, body language expert

Your benefits can be worth up to 1.4x your base salary (article source)
Use an appropriate response for different scenarios (non-profit, new job, big company, etc.)
There’s now a culture of “Double your rate!“

“It’s not coming up with a specific number, it’s coming up with a framework for how you work with clients.” —Jim Hopkinson ← Click to Tweet

How Much Should I Charge, a talk at SXSW by Jim Hopkinson

M.Y. R.A.T.E. (Mindset, Yes or No, Research, Adjusting, Techniques (like “anchoring”), Experience/Execution
Value Pricing, a different way of calculating things
“V&A” pricing (Value + Agony)
5% is considered a “big raise” on a year-by-year basis; according to Jim, 2-3% is standard (article source)
Special landing page for listeners of this podcast:
 Jim Hopkinson on Twitter
 Jim Hopkinson on YouTube


Free introductory course on The Negotiation Mindset by Jim Hopkinson
How to Negotiate a Raise or Promotion by Jim Hopkinson
How to Negotiate a New Job Offer (Professional Edition) by Jim Hopkinson


Create a website if only to take over your Google search results
Use your creative and design skills to make your resume/case studies/portfolio look like a sharp project
Work on your mindset before you even attempt to negotiate
Use a Past/Present/Future model to address your value for a current job
Use goal-setting as part of an overall negotiation
Continually gather praise, evidence, portfolio samples
Demonstrate that you’re already doing the role of someone higher
Make a pie chart or visual reference, especially for a before-and-after
Grab newspaper headlines to illustrate the landscape of your industry

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