As creative professionals, we wear our hearts on our sleeves. No matter how long we’ve been doing the work, we face special challenges at the negotiation table. And, there are two situations where our talents can both make us especially vulnerable and give us special opportunities to shine: pitching in response to requests for proposals, and reacting when a client cuts a project.
I’m here to help you turn your creative strengths into negotiation skills and improve your results.
Meet the Expert
A lifelong designer and illustrator, Ted has turned his significant business wins leading his creative services firm and, later, a multinational conglomerate into a new career coaching and consulting on negotiation for creatives. He works with international corporations to land major deals, and he works one-on-one with individuals to help them find dream jobs and significantly higher salaries. Now, Ted has developed online training modules to bring creative people around the world the wisdom born of his notable successes, as well as a few failures, to help you elevate your career and earn what you deserve.
What You'll Learn
This course addresses some of the biggest challenges that creative businesspeople face in their careers:
Most - if not all professionals - deal with these situations at some point in their working lives. For creatives, because we’re so emotionally invested in the work, it can be particularly difficult to make sales pitches, deal with rejection on a contract, or manage bullying or aggressive individuals. Yet we can use our creative abilities to work through confrontations and emerge with our self-esteem and employment status intact.
In this course, you’ll learn techniques for:
Why This Course Is Effective
Short, beautiful videos relate critical messages, followed by Ted’s downloadable PDF Learning Guides that provide step-by-step, actionable techniques for addressing the challenges of navigating professional life as a creative.
By completing this course, you’ll build the confidence to create better jobs through changing the context and handling changed or canceled contracts, and by being ready to deal with aggressive or bullying personalities.
Want Better Projects and More Respect? Ted Will Teach You How
With your talent, hard work and experience, you can land and keep great jobs. This course will give you tactics for expanding projects beyond the RFP as well as handling negative contract changes and difficult personalities. Remember: You’re worth it.
After completing this module, you will be able to employ techniques to communicate with clients about RFPs or project descriptions, enhance your confidence about your skills and past successes, engage in learning conversations about the goals of a project, assess a client’s unstated project needs, develop mutually beneficial proposals, and agree to contracts at the close of your meetings.
This article and accompanying downloads go in-depth on how you can improve your communication with clients about RFPs or project descriptions. Completing this module (video + article, including Learning Guide and comic) will enhance your confidence about your skills and past successes and help to engage in learning conversations about the goals of a project, assess a client’s unstated project needs, develop mutually beneficial proposals, and agree to contracts at the close of your meetings.
Brief introduction to defending your ask when a contract is canceled or changed.
This short video introduces the key concepts you need to defend your bid.
Downloadable comic book and overview showing a dramatized scenario in which a character may lose a significant portion of a contract and must find ways to connect with the client and reverse the decision.
A downloadable PDF learning guide that walks creative professionals through the steps to defending a contract, bid or ask when it's been changed or canceled by a client.
In the “Stand-Up Interview” video and comic download, we see a recent college graduate interviewing for her first job. We see her interactions with the firm owner/interviewer, with a friend and with her mentor. Cindy’s story was inspired by a real-life experience that happened to a design graduate of the University of Washington. Her ordeal is so common and so demoralizing that I based a script on it and filmed it for use in seminars and online training.
Learn tips to avoid being bullied and intimidated during high-stakes job interviews. In this dramatization, a young designer confronts a would-be boss who uses unfair tactics to gain advantage.
After completing this module, you will be able to analyze a business opportunity, practice de-escalation techniques, develop coping mechanisms to manage your emotions during stressful negotiations, defuse a high-conflict interaction, and apply strategies for moving an aggressive negotiation toward resolution.
What do you do when a reasonable negotiation turns combative? Learn to sidestep aggression and emotional outbursts to keep the deal on track in this dramatized scenario, where a business owner becomes hostile toward his counterpart and threatens to walk. Download the PDF comic to see an alternate version of the dramatization and how it plays out.
Learn how to deal with aggressive closes, as well as key techniques for de-stressing, in this downloadable PDF that walks you through the steps shown by the characters in the Aggressive Close video and comic.
It’s challenging to deal with high-conflict people in negotiations, especially when your emotions are already running high. Learn how to recognize aggressive behaviors and develop skills to navigate them in this filmed lecture by renowned negotiator Professor Charles Wiggins.
Bonus lecture with link to additional content for creative professionals, email newsletter and discount code.
Creative professionals contribute $698 billion to the U.S. economy. Are you getting your fair share? My mission is to help you earn the money you deserve.
In the beginning of my career, I was afraid to ask for the salary and fees that I deserved. Talking about money was uncomfortable. I rushed to close so that I could get to the thing I loved: the creative work. I didn’t ask for what I needed because I was afraid of rejection, of losing the deal — that I wasn’t worth it.
As I worked with more clients, I started noticing that they asked me for input and valued my expertise. I developed techniques around these observations and put them to work at my design agency The Leonhardt Group. I used these negotiation strategies to build an agency that employed over forty people and annually billed $10 million to clients including Nissan, Nordstrom, Charles Schwab, Electronic Arts, and Microsoft.
Since selling The Leonhardt Group to global retail & branding consultancy FITCH, I’ve been a global creative director and worked in firm sales and acquisitions. With over four decades of experience on both sides of the negotiation table, I’ve observed that my own negotiation struggles are shared by many other creatives. That’s why I created the Worth It training package. Being in control of your professional survival and creative happiness is an achievable goal. And you are worth it.