Let me ask you something: do you want to charge the money you deserve? When I started freelancing, I used to be an under-paid software developer. I had absolutely no idea how to price a project or how to specify my rates. I used to work endless hours in front of my PC to satisfy my clients. But they always asked for more and complained about my rates. They paid late or did not pay at all. They even compared me with cheaper freelancers and constantly asked for discounts! Sounds familiar? Trust me, you are not alone. I know that your time, skills and expertise worth more. You know that, too. That was until I realized that other freelancers make a fortune by offering the exact same services as I do! It drove me mad! These people were not better engineers than me. They weren't more famous or more experienced, either. So, what was their secret? The Dark Art of Freelancing is an honest guide that will help you charge more, grow your business and live better. How many times have you felt that you worth MORE? It’s such a tough feeling, huh? Knowing that you deserve more than you get. More happiness, more money in the bank, more healthy relationships. Well, this is the subject of the book you are currently reading. But you already know that, don’t you? And, I am pretty sure you have seen quite a lot of people who sell magic recipes to help you deal with this. Most books that cover freelancing techniques simply tell you how to do things right - from the author’s perspective. This book is different. We are human beings and humans make mistakes. Apart from what I propose as “best practices”, I also give you tips and tricks to recover from painful situations. Moreover, I let you know exactly what I've been doing in my business, how I talk to clients and with what information I provide them. This book presents a ton of examples and situations that will help you handle your clients effectively and win more projects with (much) higher quotes. You’ll read how I react under specific circumstances, how I turn a “no” client into a “yes” one and how I raise my rates while my clients thank me for this. Apart from the personal advice, I also provide suggestions and applicable actions for many more occasions. Finally, you’ll get some valuable insight into how my company, LightBuzz, structures its proposals and quotes to persuade clients.
My name is Vangos Pterneas and I help innovative businesses create profitable digital products. My freelance journey started at the age of 19, during my first days in college. I was later hired by Microsoft as a Software Engineer and Consultant and I've been running my own agency since 2012. In 2014, I was awarded by Microsoft with the title Most Valuable Professional. During the past few years, I have made (literally) hundreds of negotiations with different types of clients from all over the world. I had the opportunity to work with established corporations and ambitious startup companies. Through my work, my clients have earned way more money than they invested in me: they have increased their sales, acquired more customers and raised millions of dollars in funding. I try to learn from my mistakes and develop the best practices from my successes. What you’ll read in this short book is not just my experience. It’s a manifesto of how I keep my clients happy and how I avoid pitfalls.