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When it comes to the writing business, there are a few rules to stick to and others you can adapt for yourself. What about the rules about when to raise your writer rates?
You’ll hear a lot of writers tell you the new year is the best time to raise your writer rates. I’m going against the grain.
I don’t find it is always the best time. After all, I may have only got a new client last month, and now I’m thinking of raising my rates? Nope!
Before you jump into raising your writing rates, you’ll want to think about these top factors.
When did you last raise your writer rates?
If you only raised your rates last month, you won’t get away with raising them now. Trust me when I say that this will be a monumentally bad idea. Clients aren’t going to appreciate being hit twice in such a short space of time.
But what if you only raised your rates for some clients? You could raise your rates for some clients and not others. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with doing that.
If the last time you raised your rates was a six months to a year ago, you could consider raising them again now. If you haven’t raised your rates for a year or more, then definitely considered it.
How long have you had the client?
Now look at your client relationship. How long have you worked with the client?
If this is one of your newest clients, they won’t appreciate suddenly hearing that you want to raise your rates. This is especially the case if you’ve had the client for a month or two.
If this is a client that you’ve had for the past year and never raised your rates, you’ll want to consider talking about raising your rates.
A year-long client will likely expect to have this conversation. After all, they’ve likely had the conversation with other clients.
Do you prefer a different time of year?
I actually prefer the middle of the year for raising my writing rates. Christmas/New Year is just such a difficult time for everyone. Businesses will be doing their end of year accounts and individuals have their families to think about.
Sure we don’t have to think about that, but I prefer to. There is something about this time of year that strikes me as a little Scrooge-like.
That doesn’t mean you’re stuck with your current rates forever. Consider April or even July.
Is your client likely to say no?
You know your clients better than I do. There are some clients that I know wouldn’t be able to afford a rate increase, no matter how long I’ve been with them. I know that if I said that I wanted to increase my rates they’d either share their disappointment and try to get me to keep them the same, or they would just say OK and then not contact me for any more content.
I’ve had that happen in the past. And the decision I make will always depend on the work. If I enjoy it, it’s possible that I’ll stick around for a little longer. If I don’t enjoy it, I’m going to move on.
If you think your client is likely to stop sending you work because of your rate increase, you could look at other options instead. Why not find better paying clients, so it won’t matter if your other clients say no when you say you want to raise your writing rate?
Is this the best time for you to raise your writer rate?
I’m going to turn the question over to you. What do you think?
Is now really the right time for you? Are you like me and think that later in the year is better?
Yes, you do deserve a pay rise, but at the same time you want to manage it in the best way possible. So, take your time to decide the right time for you to raise your writer rates.
There is nothing wrong with deciding this is the perfect time. There is also nothing wrong with holding off for a bit.
Yes, you deserve a raise, but that doesn’t mean you have to do it right away.