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January 20, 2014
Nail It: Stories for Designers on Negotiating with Confidence
 
Does the thought of negotiating raise your blood pressure? Have you ever left a meeting wondering if you should change careers? Feeling gun shy is common for those in the creative field. After all, business savvy is not your forte. You design, you create. But somehow, creatives must sell those skills, and make sure their value comes across to clients. It usually doesn't happen on its own.
 
During conversations I had with the 2013 BFA design graduates of the University of Washington (which in turn led to conversations with my  friends, clients, and colleagues on their experiences entering the business,) undeniable patterns came to light, ones creative people encounter and struggle with time and again. I was inspired to write “Nail It: Stories for Designers on Negotiating with Confidence," a free e-book, available for download on Amazon.com, to help designers of every stripe get themselves onto a more financially rewarding path.
 
The following excerpts are from my e-book:
 
“Join the club! Everyone is uncomfortable negotiating salary. It’s so personal, putting a hard measurement on our performance. All creatives are anxious about measuring up to expectations—their own and those of others. Creative managers are just as sensitive to these expectations, so salary meetings are loaded with highly personal impressions.”
 
“You’ll become more confident in those conversations as you become accustomed to their interpersonal dynamics. The professional surveys are great for establishing salary guidelines, so use them as a point of explanation along with your budget and employees’ performance. You’ll find that people will accept salaries that are within those ranges if everything else feels right to them.”
 
“Why the virtuous cycle is important:

“-Learning to think of your work as only the first step in the process of gaining influence and opportunity is critical to achieving success.

“-No matter whether you work for yourself or for someone else, the five steps of the virtuous cycle will attract the opportunities that fit you and you alone, thereby furthering your unique expert status.

“-Obviously, you’ll have a much more satisfying career if your talent is in demand.

“-A well-managed virtuous cycle, combined with real expertise, erases the need to negotiate.

“-I’ve written this book to help you, but please note: It’s just a continuation of my own virtuous cycle.”
 
Free for a limited time at https://itun.es/us/XcMFU.l or for Kindle on Amazon http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00GU3GU46.

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Ted Leonhardt has provided management consulting and negotiation training exclusively to creative businesses since 2005. He cofounded the The Leonhardt Group, a brand design firm in 1985 and sold it in 1999. In 2001 and 2002 Ted served as Chief Creative Officer for Fitch Worldwide, out of London. In 2003 through early 2005 Ted was president of Anthem Worldwide, a brand packaging design group.     
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