Beyond Pay: 8 Benefits to Negotiate for as an Entrepreneur

If you’re a service-based entrepreneur, coach, speaker, or consultant – chances are you’ve heard one or both of these from a potential client:

“We don’t have a budget.”

“We can’t afford you.”

They may follow up with an ask of whether there’s another way to work together – or – they may not. It’s up to you to negotiate for other things that are of value to you. Which is exactly why I’m handing you 8 benefits you can ask for the next time you’re in this situation.

1. Promotion opportunities, like:

– Your logo and/or a blurb on their website, emails, printed material 

– Ability to write and submit a guest post for their audience

– Being interviewed on their podcast 

– Being included in event pre and post-marketing (like a newsletter) 

– Social media posts & mentions 


2. Rights & Licenses to content: If you generate content, it benefits you to retain the rights to it as much as you can. Make sure you have clear expectations spelled out in your contract.

Does your client want to use the materials you’ve created outside the scope of work you originally agreed upon? You may ask them to buy additional licenses to that material.


3. Testimonial/Review: If you’ve done great work for a client, absolutely ask them for a review. Social proof is king, so consider creating a Google Business Page, LinkedIn Page, and/or Facebook Page so they can leave their review publicly.


4. Referral: Who can they introduce you to? As we know, a referral goes a lonnnng way.

5. High quality photos and/or video of you in action that you can use for your business. If they’ve captured these anyway, why not ask for a copy?

6. Tradeshow booth at an event: If you’re speaking or collaborating on an event, asking for a tradeshow booth usually leads to an easy ‘yes.’  Virtual event venues like Hopin now have a virtual tradeshow area! 

7. Travel Budget: If you travel for your work, you know it can be nice to have control over your airline, hotel, food, etc. You can negotiate a travel budget up front and then make arrangements that work best for you.

8. Speaking fee: If you’re asked to speak, facilitate a workshop (in-person or virtual), be on a panel, or emcee, ask what their typically honorarium is. If they don’t have one – what from the above can you ask for?

You already know I’m all about keeping you out of the resentment zone. Fingers crossed something on this list resonates and you can get paid something for your valuable time and contribution!


Want to see this list in action? Here’s an email to someone who can’t afford a full fee…


Hi Zara,

We are SO close to getting this all tied up. As promised, here’s a list of value-adds, in leiu of my full speaking fee. Take a look and think about what you might be able to do, and make me an offer!

  1. Create a write-up on my presentation and share it in a LinkedIn group / listserv / trade publication you’re part of.
  2. Provide me with a video testimonial I can share with other prospective clients.
  3. Have me on as a guest speaker on your podcast.
  4. Put a review of my work out to your email list. I’m happy to work with you the copy.
  5. Partner with me on further training. How about a follow-up Zoom webinar and blog post for $500?
  6. Refer me as a speaker at an upcoming conference you love. And provide me with an e-introduction to the organizers. 
  7. Provide me a testimonial for my upcoming e-book. 
  8. Send an email to 3 peers who need this message telling them how much you enjoyed the webinar.
  9. Allow me to invite outside people to the event.
  10. Provide me with an opportunity to get additional sponsors for the event.
  11. Commit to purchase 20 books/seats in my online course for your group. 
  12. Provide me with a professionally edited recording of the event.
  13. Create at least 3 co-branded social posts. I can help shape them with you.
  14. Provide me with an opportunity for a meet and greet with some of the key sponsors of the event.
  15. Two free tickets to your upcoming event.

Excited to work with you on this!