Many virtual professionals, especially in the beginning, set their rates too low. You probably already know that you want to earn more for each hour of your time, but it can be hard to break the news to your clients – not to mention the fear that comes with the idea of many of them leaving you. Here are four tips to help make raising your rates easier.
1) Give Current Clients Plenty Of Notice
It’s never a good idea to send an email, out of the blue, announcing that you’re raising your rates right away. Instead, aim to give your clients around a month’s notice and send out emails letting them know they can order at the current rate until a set date. This can even work in your favor: try offering a “buy now and save” offer where they can book you in advance at the lower rate.
2) Be Honest
If you’re raising your rates by a huge increment, let the client know that you’ve developed as a <insert your field/niche> since you first started working with them. Maybe you were just finding your feet and are now established in the market, or maybe now you have extra skills to bring to the table. Be honest and your clients will appreciate that fact. And remember that you’re perfectly entitled to ask for more even without a reason, and you don’t need to apologize for it.
3) Know That It’s OK If Some Of Your Clients Stop Working With You
The good news is that most clients will understand and want to stick by you when you do raise your rates. There will, however, be a few who can’t afford it. Don’t worry about it! Remember, even if you’re only raising your rates very slightly, it still means earning the same amount of money for less work. You can afford to lose a few clients right away: it’ll fill up space in your schedule for those that want more, or you’ll find new clients in time.
As long as you communicate with your clients, you let them know upfront when there’s going to be a delay, you don’t just disappear on them, and you know that you are good at what you do, you are more than deserving of a rate that pays you well for all your hard work. So if you’re stalling over sending that email to your clients: don’t! Remember, most will see the value in your work and continue to work with you.