Whether you’re just starting out, or you have a growing business, the subject of your rates is one that isn’t easy to broach with clients. Talking money can be an easy way to turn a present client into a past one if you don’t know how to approach the situation.
If you’re anything like me, you might also doubt your personal worth or your ability to deliver quality work at the increased price. I can tell you that those concerns are not true. In this article, you’ll find six ways to raise your rates and keep your clients while you strengthen your profits and your business relationships.
Methods like these should also be combined with other best practices like enhancing your Upwork profile or making a website to advertise your services through the platform. If you have a professional appearance and online presence, these methods will work twice as well.
1. OFFER MORE SPECIFIC SERVICES
Many freelancers will make the mistake of offering a generalized service. This doesn’t cater to any specific client. You can say that you’re a “writer,” but what if you instead sold yourself as an “SEO Content Curator”? A name like that targets specific clients.
The lesson here is that your services should address a specific set of problems. If you can offer something specific, then your specialized services are worth more than that of a standard contractor.
If you present a higher rate that the client doesn’t like, don’t be afraid to negotiate with them. Try offering something lower than the initial increase, while still earning more than you were before. You can also consider a tiered increase over time that raises your rate over the course of several months.
3. Incorporate Rate Increases into Your Business Model
Raising your rate is something that you probably think about a lot, but you keep telling yourself you’ll do it later. This usually results in a long and drawn out stretch of time where you don’t make anything more than “enough.”
A great way to avoid this rut in your working career is to raise your rates by a certain amount after you’ve earned or completed jobs with a set number of clients. For example, let’s say you start out working for $15 per hour. After you’ve completed five jobs or earned five different clients (whichever comes first), you could raise the rate to $20 or $25 per hour.
Raising your hourly rate as your experience increases is a sensible and great way to make what you want while having a reasonable explanation for your clients. Make sure you outline this new business model in your Upwork profile so new clients aren’t confused.
4. FLATTERY GOES A LONG WAY
Remember that your clients are people, even if you don’t see them face-to-face. Always remember to talk to them like they’re standing in front of you. They enjoy compliments and kind words as much as anyone else. Never forget that being nice and gracious can go a long way.
Remind the client how much you enjoy working with them, and how you value their business. Tell them you’re more than happy to negotiate the new rates as you do not want to lose them as a client.
5. Offer an Additional Service
You can avoid raising your rates and still make additional money by offering either add-ons or additional services to your clients. These are dependent on the type of business you have, but they offer new and exciting options for your clients that also increase your profits.
Let’s say you offer consulting services. You could start offering content creation or web design with your services at an additional charge. Not only will your clients get the great help and advice they need, but they’ll also have access to the actionable items they want from the same contractor.
6. Give Your Clients the Opportunity to Pay More
You’d be surprised how a simple addition of options can change your business. When creating your business model, set several rates for different services. For example, a basic form of your service could be $15 per hour. If the client needs more features with the service, offer a premium rate at $20 per hour. Finally, consider offering a premium package with a rush delivery that costs $40 or so per hour.
These types of tiers are a great way to earn better rates without saying anything. In many cases, clients will want the best package possible and opt for the highest tier. Of course, you’ll need to determine the rates based on your industry and your business.
Raising your rates can be a delicate process, but it doesn’t have to be a negative experience for you or your clients. Find out what people with your experience in your industry make and start with a base rate. As time goes on, implement the methods above to help expand your business and grow your profits as you foster your own personal brand.
This story was submitted by blogger Matt Banner and does not constitute the views or opinions of Upwork. Find out how you can publish your content on Upwork.