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Confessions of a Professional Blogger

How to Raise Your Rates as a Freelancer

Inflation is a fact of life. At some point, you might need to raise your rates as a freelancer in order to meet your goals.

Over time, as you gain more experience, it makes sense to consider raising your rates. Few clients expect you to keep your rates the same forever. As inflation sends prices higher, those effects also impact services. If you want to improve your income prospects, at some point you will need to raise your rates as a freelancer.

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Raise Rates on New Clients and Projects

Setting freelance rates is a tricky business. It’s even trickier to raise rates. That’s why it can help to raise them on new clients and projects first. Starting out with new clients and projects can give you a pretty solid idea of what others are willing to pay for your services, and it can help you tweak your offerings to find out what value-added items clients are willing to pay for.

Can You Raise Rates on Existing Clients?

It’s a little harder to raise your rates as a freelancer when you are dealing with existing clients. It’s one thing to double your rates when you are taking on a new client; that client has never paid your lower rate. It’s harder to double your rates on existing clients.

When you raise rates on existing clients, it’s better to do it in small increases. A 10% to 15% increase is probably more doable with existing clients. I tend to be on the loyal side, and if I have a good client that I like working with, I am reluctant to raise rates. However, one of the great things about most of my awesome clients is that many of them have been willing to suggest “raises” for me. There’s a lot to be said for working with great clients who show their appreciation.

It’s never easy to raise your rates as a freelancer. However, at some point you need to get to that point. If you want some helpful tips on how to earn a little more money, Ramit Sethi is the go-to guy. Here are some great tips from him about how you can raise rates. I might need to use his script as well :)

9 Responses to How to Raise Your Rates as a Freelancer

  1. Very helpful tips for Freelancers – especially for those who have set their rates low to get into the biz. I think it’s much easier to raise rates when you bill on a “per project” basis vs. “per hour.” When quoting per project (assuming you’re not under contract to provide work at a specific rate), you can propose a rate higher than you might have the year before…without it positioned as a blatant rate increase. That way, the client has the option to accept, negotiate or reject based on your rate for that specific work. Of course, that works best if your rate for the project isn’t too far off from what you’ve proposed for projects similar in scope in the past.

    • That’s a good point! Per-project pricing makes this easier. I also find it’s easier to raise rates for new clients; you just quote your new desired rate, rather than your old one.

  2. Thanks for providing this info. It’s really hard for us freelancers to ask our clients for an increase especially if it is a long contract. I agree that you can do this easily if the task is on a per project basis.

  3. Brilliant tips Miranda. I recently raised my rates for some clients to bring the majority of them inline. One client told me to increase my rates and another I worried about telling but wasn’t a problem at all. Believing you’re worth it helps too. Thanks for sharing on Bizsugar.com

    • I think one of the hardest things is convincing yourself that you’re worth it. It’s also scary, because you don’t want to lose the client.

  4. I think this tip applies to lots of people, not just free-lancers. As you said, no one expects you to charge the same thing forever (given inflation, etc). For many years at my work I have quoted projects higher and higher than the way I was originally shown. On my blog, I also casually test the waters by occasionally raising my rates. If I get no push back from new clients, then I know I am at least at the market rate.

    • That’s true. We can all increase in our “value” as service providers, no matter the job. I do the same thing to test out, but raising rates a little bit on new clients, just to see where I stand.

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