Ready to take the next step in your online business and raise your rate?
Raising your rate is an integral part of being a freelancer, but it also can be one of the most intimidating and scariest leaps to take.
What if I lose clients? How much should I raise my rate? Am I good enough to raise my rate? How do I know it’s the right time?
I’ve been there, love…
And I’m here to tell you that raising your rate doesn’t have to be a daunting or complicated thing to do. It’s an essential tool to continue building and growing a successful and financially thriving freelance business.
So, to help this process not be so intimidating, we’re sharing our best tips and advice on how to raise your rate!
But first… are you ready to raise your rate?
Is It Time to Raise Your Rate?
It’s important that you don’t raise your rate based on a timeframe that you’ve been working with a client. Just because you’ve worked with a client for six months, doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re ready for a rate increase.
With a raise in rate, you should be able to demonstrate how you’ve grown in your role and the value that you bring to your client. You should be more knowledgeable in your services or area of expertise, taking on more responsibility, and be more of an asset to their business.
When it comes to raising your rate, you need to deserve it and be able to show why you deserve it.
Here are four important questions to ask yourself when considering raising your rate:
1. Have you reached a milestone in your business?
2. Have you increased in your knowledge and expertise?
3. Are you booked out with clients?
4. Does your value align with your raise in rate?
Evaluate Your Rate per Client
It’s important that you don’t put all of your clients under one rate-raisin’ umbrella. Each client should be evaluated individually and a decision made based on your specific role and relationship.
All future clients should be at your new rate. Be sure to update your website, freelancing profiles, email templates, PDFs, and anything that your previous rates were listed on.
From now on, when pitching to potential clients, make sure that you use your new rate from the very get-go!
If you have a new-ish client, make sure that you don’t raise your rate too soon. They just started working with you and may feel blindsided, even if you did warn them upfront. Plus, since they haven’t worked with you very long, how do they know you’re worth the increase?
So, take the time to work with your new client and prove your value. In the future, it’ll be way easier to raise your rate since your client knows you’re worth every penny!
First, you need to decide if any of your current clients will either get the grandfathered rate or will be transitioning to the new rate.
If you have a favorite client, one who is always sending referrals your way, or is continuously providing you with additional training and resources, be sure to reward them! These types of clients can be worth more than a little rate increase.
Communicating Your New Rate
Okay, so you’ve decided that it’s time to raise your rate and which clients you would like at the increased rate… but how do you actually do it??
Communication is key!
If you’ve decided to transition to a new rate with an existing client, you need to clearly communicate that to them. The single most important thing you can do to help successfully raise your freelance rates is to give your clients plenty of advance notice. No one likes surprise rate increases.
We recommend giving these clients at least 30 days notice before the rate increases. This will allow your clients some time to figure out what they want to do and gives you time to drum up new business if a client decides to leave.
You can’t just send invoices with higher rates and expect your clients to pay up. It’s important that you inform them of the change well in advance and let them know why you’re charging them more and how it benefits them. Remember, it’s not about you, but the benefit and value you can bring to your client!
While communicating your new rate, keep it simple! Be straight, honest, and to the point. Make your message clear in a confident, friendly way.
Here are a few things to include when communicating your new rate:
- Showing your appreciation for their support in your business
- Explain what the new rate increase is
- Explain why you’re increasing your rate
- Let them know when the new rate goes into effect
- Make it known that you’re available for questions or a discussion
Don’t Overthink It
When it comes to increasing your rate, don’t feel bad or awkward about it! If your rate increase is reasonable and you’re constantly bringing value to your clients, it will likely be received well and is much deserved.
If a client declines your new rate, you can suggest a compromise between your old and new rates that suits the both of you. If your client knows they’re paying more to keep you, but not as much as your new clients, they’ll feel rewarded for their loyalty!
And while I’m sure many of your clients will understand and support your rate increase, be prepared for those who decided to leave your services. Honestly, it’s just part of business!
You will find clients who will pay you well for what you’re worth and have your best interest at heart! So, don’t let the fear of losing clients get in the way of growing your business and reaching your dreams!