A success story from a reader (and Freelance.Camp member) Jonathan:
You suggested putting “raise my rates” into the calendar a while back. I did.
The next client call after that date, I used the new rates. I got a verbal yes and am waiting on the final paperwork. Depending on the specific package they pick, it will be an extra $3-$5k per month.
Yesterday was the last time I raised my rates, and it’s in my calendar now as a repeating event.
🎉 💰 🚀
Can it be that simple to raise your rates? Yes and no!
On the one hand, all it does take is having the courage to say to your client, “by the way, my new rate for this is $X” and being okay with whatever the outcome is (e.g., yes that’s cool, no we can’t afford that).
On the other hand, many things lined up for Jonathan when he raised his client rate (e.g., his timing, the client’s perception of the value he’s contributing).
If you want to give yourself every advantage possible when it comes to raising your rates with your existing clients, I recommend that you take three actions:
- First, add a reminder to your calendar to raise your rates in the future (I recommend ~3-6 months out). Raising your rates isn’t a ‘do today’ action; it’s a ‘do in the future’ action.
- Second, start keeping track of when your client(s) share that what you’re doing is valuable. That might take the form of, e.g., comments, Slack messages, emails, smoke signals, tweets. If you aren’t receiving this type of feedback, it’s worth asking your client, “Hey, what parts of our work together do you see as the most valuable?” and then shutting up and listening to what they share.
- Third, once your calendar reminder has arrived, raise the topic of a raise with your client. That could be as simple as saying, “By the way, I’m loving our work together and the results we’re starting to see, and I want to quickly touch base about my rates.”
Past that, the one last tip I have for you is to consider joining Freelance Camp (https://freelance.camp), my community for Freelancers and Indie Consultants.
Freelance Camp is a great place to ask your peers all those questions that you run into running your own business, like:
- “Am I charging enough in this proposal?”
- “How can I find out if my client sees value in our work together?”
- or even, “I’m going to talk with my client about raising my rates. What should I do to prepare?”
If you’re looking for a community of peers where you can ask the tactical or philosophical questions about freelancing, you should check out Freelance Camp (https://freelance.camp).