Raising Rates (and communicating this with existing clients)

Kei Maye

Upping your prices is an inevitable part of growth.

You’ve been freelancing for a while and it’s time to raise your rates. You think “How do I tell my clients?”

Raising rates can be an awkward conversation, but there are ways to make this discussion go smoothly.

It’s a delicate situation, but it’s also one that needs to be handled at one point or another.

Raising rates for existing clients is never an easy task, and you want to make sure you handle the situation in as tactful a manner as possible.

In this article we’ll explore the best ways to raise rates with your current clients so things flow as smoothly as possible.

Let them know in advance

As your existing clients have become accustomed to the rates you’re offering, it’s fairest to give them as much notice of any upcoming changes as possible.

They’ll likely be more grateful for your consideration when handling this situation as opposed to popping up on them with a price increase.

You are giving them ample time to make any necessary changes.

It may be difficult at first, but in the long run it will be worth it. And this way they know what to expect from you going forward so no one is caught off guard when you email them about a project.

Here’s an example of how you could frame this:

“Starting in ________, we will be raising our rates to _______ for this service. We understand that this may not work everyone so we want to make sure you are aware of these changes well in advance so that you can adjust your plans accordingly. Please let us know if there is anything we can do to help with this transition – we value your business!“

Let them know the benefits of the increase

Give existing clients a brief rundown of the benefits they stand to receive as a by-product of your increased rates.

Letting them know what they receive in exchange for paying more may help to reduce the drop off rate.

For example;

“By raising rates, we are able to provide our clients with an improved customer experience.”

“By raising our rates, we can provide you with a more comprehensive service.”

Don’t be apologetic

Apologising implies some sort of wrongdoing on your end. You raising your rates and recognising the old fees are no longer feasible – isn’t wrong at all. It’s the right move to make as you move along and gain more experience within your field.

In the long run, raising your rates stands to benefit all involved as it will enable (and even motivate you) to produce higher quality work to better supply clients.

Express gratitude

Let the client know how much their custom means to you and how much you’ve enjoyed working with them.

The last thing you would want your clients to feel is as though their custom is no longer valuable to you, or that they no longer matter to you in light of your new rates.

Without kissing butt, just genuinely express gratitude to your clients for being a part of your story. Leaving the door firmly open for them to continue working with you if they so choose.

Let them know how much you’ve enjoyed working with them.

Give them a brief explanation

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.

You don’t have to go into massive detail or write pages and pages, but just a little openness can go a long way. Your clients will appreciate your honesty and candour – especially where hard earned coins are involved.

Raising rates can feel awkward, difficult and you may find yourself wanting to avoid it at all costs but as with anything, there will be times you may have to get uncomfortable.

Growth is waiting on the other side of it. It’s not always easy, but it will be worth it in the end when you see how much more value you can provide for them and yourself.

About the Author

Kei Maye

Kei Maye is a Creative Consultant, Educator and the Founder of the platform Creative Champs.

Her experience is multi-disciplinary, spanning 16 years within the creative arts industries, ranging from freelancing to licensing to art-based product selling.

The Creative Champs platform was founded to provide education, tools and resources to kick-start the careers of visual artists, designers and creative business owners.

Where to find Kei

Website | Instagram | LinkedIn | Kei’s Instagram | Kei’s LinkedIn

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