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You can raise your rates whenever you want, but you need to do it properly. Here are my top tips for raising your writing rates.
Raising your writing rates is essential. Inflation goes up, which means you need to boost your income. If you’re still charging the amount you did three years ago, you’re losing money. In fact, you’re earning less than you did three years ago.
Raising your rates is something that scares a lot of people. You don’t want to lose your clients, but many of them will be onboard with you raising rates because they’re charging more for their products or services. How do you get started? Here are my five top tips for raising your writing rates whenever you decide to do it.
Consider the contract
If you have an ongoing contract with a client, you’ll need to look at that for terms set on raising your writing rates. You should have something in there that tells the client when you can do it and the amount. If you don’t have a contact, you need to get one in place right now and make sure the price increases are included in there.
Always follow the contract terms you laid out. If you don’t, the client has every right to refuse and could even take you to court. If not, the client will certainly walk away.
If the contract is coming to an end, you have every right to say that the prices will increase at the start of the next contract. But remember to give notice!
Think about the amount
Clients don’t want to think about price increases, so you need to think about the amount you’re putting your prices up by. Avoid drastic changes, because that will lead to clients walking away.
If you’re currently charging $10 per article, increasing to $20 could be considered too much. After all, you’re increasing it by 100%! A 50% increase could even be considered a large amount. I’ve had clients unhappy with a 10% increase, and I get it when they look at things like percentages of increases, but remember that inflation (I’m in Canada) is at 8.1% in June 2022.
Think about the amount you currently charge and the amount extra a client will need to pay. Is it an increase you would accept?
Negotiate with clients when raising your writing rates
Some clients will want to negotiate your freelance writing rates. This is something worthwhile doing if you value your clients’ business. If you wanted to get rid of the client anyway, there’s no point in negotiating. The trick has done what you wanted it to do.
I don’t negotiate with all my clients, but I will negotiate with some. It all depends on the work that I like to do and whether it’s a PITA client or not.
When you choose to negotiate, always have a minimum that you are willing to drop your increase to. And then slowly work down to that. You could also find out if your client has a budget to see if it is more or less than your minimum desired increase.
Set your reasons if you need to
You don’t need a lot of reasons for raising your freelance writing rates, and you certainly don’t need to give them all. However, clients will want to know why prices have to go up.
There are a few common reasons that you could give them:
- You need to so they get the service they deserve
- Your business costs are increasing so your prices need to reflect that
- You are offering another service as part of the current one and need to compensate for the time
Think of your reasons and give them if the client asks. Most will be understanding when they see that it’s not just because you want to increase your profit margin.
I don’t tend to give a lot of reasons. The main one is that business costs are increasing so my service costs need to increase.
Give the increase to new clients first
If you have a handful of existing clients that you don’t want to upset, you could keep the price increase for new customers first. It shows that your clients are valued and respected.
You want to charge more for new clients anyway. Prices increase as you add new clients to your business.
At the same time, you’ll want to look at the type of work you’re going to be doing for all clients. If a new client needs more work than current clients, you’re going to end up charging more. As a writer, your rates won’t be flat for everyone. This isn’t like making the same coffee for everyone. Each project is tailored for the client, which means the prices are tailored.
What are you struggling with when it comes to raising your writing rates? What are your struggles with finding private clients? Share your thoughts in the comments below.
Get in touch if you need a writing mentor to see how I can help.