I remember when I first started freelancing, I started out charging an enormously low rate for my services. This was because I didn’t know what I was doing — I didn’t understand taxes, overhead, or much else.
Frankly, I’m not even sure if I was working for minimum wage. But at some point I realized that I needed to raise my prices.
Unfortunately, in this process. I realized that I wasn’t going to raise my prices by only giving new clients the new rate. I was going to have to go back to some of my old clients and explain to them why I was raising my prices, and why it was important to keep me around and pay the new rate!
So where do you start when you’re deciding to raise your prices?
Consider that your experience can warrant a higher rate. Learning new things has value, especially if it means better results from your work. New skills or improving existing skills also counts.
You can take these things back to your client and use it as the basis for the rate increase.
I see this as a two-for-one type of deal. While you’re able to charge more, you can use this to expand the services you provide to your clients.
What may have started as basic design services could expand into social media or branding work. I’ve found that offering more helps the client feel easier about paying a higher rate.
Another thing to consider is that you’re getting busier. There’s only so much time in a day there’s only so much time in a week. As a result, there’s only so much work that you can do in that time.
If you’ve noticed that your work is starting to become overbearing and things are getting a lot busier, it might be time to bump up your pricing. It can help weed out some of the clients that don’t appreciate your work as much as you thought they did. Conversely, it gives you the opportunity to start working for other clients who do appreciate your work at whatever value or hourly rate you charge.
It’s worth remembering that the cheaper you go with your prices, its easier for your clients to not value your skillset and deliverables.
It’s no different than most products: if you buy something at a low or cheap price, there’s a good chance you don’t care about it too much. However, if you spent a lot of money on a product, there’s a good chance you care a lot about it. You might even take extra steps to protect it or keep it safe. The same thing applies to design.
What I found over the years, is by bumping my price up and losing some of those clients, its opened the doors to bigger clients, better clients, and more projects that I felt proud of when they were done.