What if I told you that there are proven methods for raising your rates that will boost your bank account and won't scare clients away?
It doesn't matter whether you're a consultant, coach, or freelancer--asking people to pay you more money for the same services can be a scary proposition. Most people are afraid that if they raise their rates, clients will run screaming out the door.
In reality, this mental block is the biggest barrier to raising your rates. Here are five ways to overcome it.
1. Showcase your value. An easy way to show that your work is worth more is to highlight the value you provide.
Revamp your portfolio. Ask some of your favorite clients for glowing testimonials. Create a video that showcases all of the work that goes into a typical project. Build a chart that compares how much money you saved for clients compared with how little you charged them. Make sure that your service offerings highlight the total value that you're providing and not just the price tag. Your price--no matter what it is--should look small in comparison to the value you provide.
Your rate is determined by the value you provide and the results you bring, not by how you feel about the price. Do a better job of proving your worth to prospective customers and they will gladly pay a higher price.
2. Target better customers. There is no doubt that some of your customers are better than others. Certain jobs are a stretch for you while others hit your sweet spot.
Think about how you can hit that sweet spot more often. Odds are, there are certain clients who love you because you're exactly what they are looking for in a solution. You're the answer to their problems. What would it be like to work with clients like that all the time?
You can charge a higher price if you only work with your best clients because you're such a clear answer to their specific problem. The more specific of a problem you solve, the higher a price you can charge.
3. Raising rates is a part of business. If you're still scared to make the leap, schedule your rate increases at a set time. Raise them every three months or raise them after every 10 clients ... or set your own schedule.
Regardless, if you make rate raising a part of business, you take the emotion out of it. Raising your rates isn't a random event. I talked to one freelancer who has raised her rates 40 times over the years!
If you've worked with 10 more clients, your skills are better and you're more experienced. That means it's time to raise your rates.
4. Switch to price tiers. If the thought of raising your rates still terrifies you, let your customers make the decision for you.
It's common knowledge that different people have different price points, and you can use this to your advantage by giving people a few options.
Instead of charging $300 per project, you could offer a basic package at $349, a premium package at $499, and an elite package at $799. You'll be surprised by how often clients opt for the higher priced services.
The real beauty of price tiers is that they shift the client's mindset from "Should I pay you at all?" to "What price should I pay you?"
And if you're wondering, three price tiers is usually best. When you offer more than three options, people tend to get overwhelmed.
5. Charge in chunks. Perhaps the easiest way to make more money per hour is to stop charging per hour.
One of the hardest parts about charging per hour is that you're always looking for the next project so you can bill for the next hour. This constant search takes a lot of time and reduces the amount you can get paid. You can overcome this by searching for bigger clients and taking their projects on in larger chunks of time.
For example, let's say you charge $40 an hour and you spend about 10 to 15 hours per week trying to find new clients. That means you can bill clients for about 30 hours per week, which comes out to $1,200 per week. Over the course of a month, you're making about $4,800.
What if you sold your services in one month blocks for $5,000? Not only would that boost your pay a bit, it would also result in an immediate increase in time because you wouldn't have to spend 10 to 15 hours every week trying to find the next client.
With the extra 40 to 60 hours per month, you could search for another major client (who could also pay you $5,000 per month) or spend more time with your kids.
No matter what strategy you choose, start charging more today. You'll be glad you did.