How to increase rates as a freelancer
So you've realised you're unable to continue charging what you're charging for your freelance design services and you want to increase your design rates.
Trouble is, you've got some clients on a retainer or clients who have become used to the rates you have now. So you may ask yourself 'How do I increase my prices?' or 'How do I tell my clients I'm increasing my prices?'
How on Earth do you go about communicating these price increases to existing clients without losing them?
I want to kick this off by saying: there may be drop offs.
In fact, it's likely there will be drop offs, depending on how much of a % you're increasing your rates by.
I also want to say that, in order to develop your freelance career or creative business, you may have to continuously adjust your pricing to reflect your growth as an artist or designer.
In this post, I've shared some tips regarding the process of raising rates and communicating this with existing clients as well as a standard template to help you find the words to say.
Let them know in advance
Your existing clients may have become used to the old rates you had for your freelance services, so the fairest thing to do is let them know of upcoming price increases as far in advance as possible.
This way they aren't slapped in the face with a price hike and know what to expect if they work with you on any future projects.
They may also appreciate the fact you've kept them in the loop and given them enough time to make any adjustments or decisions.
Tell them the benefits
Give clients a brief rundown of the benefits they will receive as a result of you increasing the rates for your services.
Letting them know what they will get out of this situation may help to reduce the drop-off rate.
No need to be apologetic
You don't need to feel sorry about the fact you've recognised you need to be paid more. Not only will increased prices help you better meet the clients needs, but this will also make sure you're being paid properly for the work you create and the value you're providing.
We often apologise when we've done something wrong - raising your fees isn't wrong. It might feel a little uncomfortable - but in the long run, it serves to benefit everyone involved.
Let clients know how much you appreciate their custom and support and how much you've enjoyed working with them.
You don't want your clients to feel as though their custom is no longer appreciated or 'not enough' any longer as this is most certainly not the case.
Express gratitude for them being a part of your story and hopefully choosing to continue on that journey with you.
There are a lot of times where 'you don't have to explain anything' applies - but this...may not necessarily be one of them.
Transparency is a key part of this delicate process. Be open about your reasons for increasing your rates. Maintain the level of trust you have built with that client.
You don't have to go into massive detail or write tonnes of pages, but just a little openness can go a long way.
Often, your clients will appreciate your honesty.
'How do I tell clients I'm increasing my rates?' Template:
Feel free to copy and paste this template if you wish.
I'm writing to keep you in the loop about price increases (percentage/amount change) rolling out over the coming months (or insert specific date here.)
We are committed to producing qualitative results each and every time. The price increase of (percent) will ensure we have continued access to the necessary tools and resources required for us to keep on providing the quality and value you all deserve.
I want to take this time to thank you for your continued support. I enjoy working with you and hope to be able to continue to work together to help you achieve your goals.
All current projects will be completed at the rates previously agreed upon before the price increase goes into effect on (date here.)
If you have any questions or concerns regarding this increase, feel free to reach out to me at (email address) or reply to this email.
Thank you again for your continued support.