It’s probably time to raise your writing rates.
How do I know? I’m betting you haven’t looked hard at how much you’re charging in over a year. It seems the decision to raise your rates is often a difficult one for many freelance writers.
The considerations seem to fall into roughly two groups. The first is “Am I, and my writing, good enough to charge more?”
The second is “How can I get my existing clients to accept the price increase?” Let’s look at both.
Am I good enough to charge more?
My hunch is you’re probably a better writer than you know. That seems to be true for most people who have sold at least some writing services for at least a year or longer. Take an honest look at your writing and compare it with one or two others in the same field who you suspect are earning about what you are. Chances are you’ll discover your writing is at least as good as theirs, maybe even better. Sure, it’s a subjective judgment, but it can help you see that you’re actually doing a pretty good job.
Google up some prices for the kind of writing you do. You may be pleasantly surprised. If you don’t find any, just consider what it might mean to you if you raised your prices 20-50 percent. Play with your income and expenses. Don’t be surprised if you find raising your prices is a good idea.
You may want to review how to set your rates as a way to begin to see what you need and want to do.
Look, on the whole, the cost of living just keeps climbing. Sure some years it’s by a little and some it’s by a lot. If you’re to keep up you’ll need to raise your writing rates from time-to-time. Increasing prices is part of most businesses.
Besides, as a business owner you are entitled to a profit. It’s not just your cost of living and cost of benefits that needs to be considered, but your whole financial picture.
Raise your writing rates and keeping existing clients
When you raise your writing rates you can begin by only charging new clients your new prices. That works for awhile, but it won’t be too long before you get unhappy that some of your clients are paying you less than others. Which is exactly why you should usually raise your rates for your existing clients as well.
Often raising your writing rates turns out to be a fairly simple matter. Let your existing clients that in 30 days your rate will go from what it is now to what you’ll be charging. Often they won’t balk. Sometimes they will.
When someone does protest at the increase, you can offer to reduce the increase by X percent – not more than half the increase is my suggestion. Sometimes five or ten percent is enough for them to stick. Consider if you really like working with the clients who complain or not.
Yes, you may loose a client or two. Frankly if they can’t afford your new rate it’s not your problem, but theirs.
And yes, there are exceptions. You’re the only one who can evaluate what you’re worth and what keeping an existing client is worth to you. It’s all part of doing business.
Write well and often,