6 Excuses to Not Raise Your Rates
What's Your Excuse?
Tell It to Take a Hike!
1. I can't justify a higher rate.
Would it help to know that everybody feels like this?
It's human nature to undervalue what comes easily to us, even if nobody else can do it the way we can. After all, we've got the inside scoop… it's not really that hard or special to design or code or write, is it? (Well hell yes, it is!)
The best way to cure this excuse is with the cold hard facts:
Survey your clients to figure out just how much value you're delivering for them. (How much time, effort, money you save them… or how much new business you help them land!)
Use our survey from Day 10 to let your clients describe all the kickass qualities you posses!
Then you can make pricing decisions from facts, instead of gut feelings.
2. Clients already push back on my hourly rate.
Ever had a fight with somebody over something stupid? But it wasn't really about that thing at all? (You know… taking out the trash, losing the TV remote?)
That's just human nature (again!). And hey, clients are humans too!
Most of the time when a client complains about price, it's not actually about the price at all, it's about confidence and doubt:
Maybe you haven't fully persuaded them that you are trustworthy, or that you'll deliver.
Maybe they aren't really sure they ought to be doing the project to start with, or they're worried it won't have the impact they hope.
Maybe they're just trying to pinch those pennies and save a few bucks, like most folks typically do.
The bottom line is: When a client talks about your price, chances are very high that it's not actually about the amount you charge, but about something else entirely. Try helping them feel more confident, instead of responding to the price-specific worries, by reminding them of your expertise.
And try a higher price next time! (It'll go over way better than you think!)
3. I'm competing with low-ballers on elance and Craigslist.
Nope. You're not. Not even if you're only a little bit good at what you do. You may think you are… you may be attracting clients who think you are… but you're not.
Our advice for tackling this excuse is stringent: Pretend those people don't exist, because you're not in the same business. And if your potential clients bring up the comparison, explain why your level of experience and professionalism isn't like what they'll find there. (And be wary, because that kind of client is often bad news.)
(Oh, and if you're currently looking for work on Craigslist or elance, use the rest of Freelancember to figure out how to level up!)
4. I can't afford to lose potential business.
If you're not charging enough, if the loss of one potential client will send your finances over the edge, you can't afford *not* to raise your rates!
Charging a healthy, value-based rate can help you:
1 attract & retain better clients
2 have more energy & time to focus on each client (because you're not working yourself to death)
3 build up a financial cushion
4 eliminate the hungry, desperate vibe… that clients can spot from miles away
More importantly, as long as you can speak confidently about your rates and the value you'll deliver to the client, this fear is often unfounded.
5. I can't tell my existing clients I'm raising my rates.
Yes, you can.
Over the years, between us, we've helped hundreds of freelancers & consultants raise their rates. Only very rarely will you lose a client over a reasonable rate change.
The trick is to:
1 Have happy clients to start with.
2 Broach the conversation in a tactful way.
3 Wait til a natural "change" moment (at the end of one project; new year; etc.).
4 Keep the focus on how your change will help them (will you be able to have more energy for their projects, because you'll be juggling fewer simultaneous clients? etc., etc.).
5 Tell them in advance — give them a month's notice, or "after this project is over," or "Starting January 15, 2013."
Use Day 9's scripts to help get the conversation started!
6. I'm simply freaked about trying it.
That's only natural! Yup, change is hard, and there aren't many more conversations freakier than the ones involving money.
But you can do it! And we've got your back with Days 7, 8, 9, and 10. Over the next few days, we'll give you all the ammunition you need to charge what you really deserve without feeling like a money-hungry dirt bag.
PS — Wondering what your true hourly rate is? We designed our time tracking tool, Freckle, to help you find out! Knowing where your time goes is the first step in confidently charging more. Freckle makes it painless to keep track of your time, and therefore, your money.
At Freckle Time Tracking, we believe that everyone wins when freelancers like you charge what they're really worth. So for Freelancember, we've lined up lots of great gifts to help you do it! Keep checking back.Feeling guilty for not tracking your time? Freckle can help!