Are you making enough money?
Most freelancers work a regular job and have the false belief they don’t need to charge more. They don’t want to be seen as ‘greedy’ or ‘money hungry’.
“I make enough at my normal job. Anything extra is fine.”
Or worse-you freelance full time and worry that increasing your rates will lose you work.
What if I told you that you can increase your hourly rates both as a part-timer or a full-timer and do it without having to freak out you are losing clients?
You can with a few simple mindset shifts. I did.
Where I Started
When I started freelancing I didn’t know how to increase your rates. I undercharged because I was afraid I wouldn’t get work.
My rate was $35/hr for copywriting.
It never felt like I made any money. Every month my paycheck would barely support me going on a few dinner dates DESPITE the fact I worked 20-30 hours. I thought,
Look at this. I did all that work and only have this to show? What am I doing
I never made REAL money because I was caught in a cycle. I undercharged so I could get clients but never raised my rates for fear of losing clients.
When I finally grew tired of working long hours and having nothing to show for it at the end of the month I had a revelation….I was worth more.
I Was Worth MORE
Looking back I realize I was worth a lot more. It’s a good thing I raised my rates. I went from making $175-$250 a project to regular making $4K-$5K per project.
My revelation helped me increase my hourly rates by realizing one thing,
I’d never get back the time I spent on those projects.
My hourly rate reflected not what I was making. No. My hourly rate reflected what I was losing.
The revelation opened my eyes to the fact that time is a commodity you can’t replace.
I realized the commodity of time could not be replaced. The same holds true for you. You need to increase your hourly rates because the time you spend working on projects can’t be replaced.
Why Time Is A Commodity
You can’t replace time. Your rate reflects how you value your limited resource.
For me, I knew If I didn’t increase my hourly rate I would never be able to make the real money I needed to live the life I wanted.
So I increased my hourly rates.
Was I afraid I’d lose clients?
Increasing your rates isn’t gambling.
When you decide to charge more for your services you aren’t setting a crazy number hoping people will pay for it.
You increase your hourly rates strategically. Despite this we still fear losing clients.
The fear of losing clients is the greatest barrier you have to increase your hourly rate. I knew if I was ever going to get the most out of my time I had to raise my rates.
So I did.
I raised my hourly rates anyway and it changed everything I knew about pricing.
What You Will Learn Increasing Your Hourly Rates
When I raised my rates I was afraid I would lose work. I believed clients shopped on value and nothing else. I reasoned that if I increased my hourly rates I would lose clients because all they looked for was value. I was wrong.
What was I wrong about?
What I got wrong was how clients thought about raising your hourly rates. I thought clients would pull back when they saw the higher rate. I thought the client’s valued cheap service over quality.
I was wrong.
The truth was the client’s valued working with a pro. Higher rates signaled to a client you were a pro. Why?
Because pros know what they are worth.
Sound unbelievable? Then you don’t understand what clients value.
What Clients Value: Time
Your clients want you to increase your hourly rates.
Don’t believe me? Consider this.
Clients hire freelancers because they want to save themselves time. When your service saves them time you can charge higher rates because the client can get more done faster with a higher quality product.
Think about it like this.
If you were going to launch a project you wouldn’t want to waste time trying out a cheap freelancer, having the project fail, and then having to find another freelancer and start over.
If your project was important enough you’d want to work with the freelancer whose skill was apparent: that is the secret mindset shift to how you increase your hourly rates.
To get more specific you are charging for the difference in time they’ll save with costs by getting it right the first time.
The Time Difference Lies In Balancing The Cost
To make this simple think of it like this: increase your hourly rates in relation to the time a client save hiring you. To really understand this think of an editor.
How many emails, calls, and revisions do you think you will go through working with a $10/hr editor over a $45/hr editor?
The $45/hr editor is going to handle everything for you and send you a finalized product without eating up a ton of your time with useless questions and emails. They knew how to increase your hourly rates by offering a fully flushed out service.
This works too. I should know, I’m busy and am willing to pay for this.
Now that we have dug into the mindset change needed to increase your hourly rate let’s cover the three easiest ways to make clients excited to pay your new rates starting right away.
3 Ways To Increase Your Hourly Rates
1)Bring More Value:
The more value you bring the more you will stand out. Freelancers fail to increase their value. The more services you bring to a client the more you can charge.
I increased my hourly rates by taking an online training to increase capture/conversion rates for landing pages. What I learned in the course helped me increase the results clients wanted.
Because of this, I was able to increase my hourly rates 4X what I originally charged.
2)Study Past Projects:
When a project is done I review it with a notebook in hand. I take notes on what I liked, where I had trouble and what I need to improve upon.
I reviewed Jane Mcgonigal’s book Super Better. It covers how you can train your brain by reviewing past projects and outlining how you would make it better. One thing that works really well for me is copy editing of other friend’s projects.
Because taking notes lets you identify your strengths and weaknesses. Knowing what you are good at lets you promote to the right clients. Knowing what you are bad at will help you to learn where you need to improve.
3)Enlist Help From a Coach/Mentor:
At a certain point, you can’t go any further by yourself.
You see this in sports, chess, music, academics, and more.
If you want to REALLY increase your hourly rates and make 6-figures (or more) a year you will need to get help from someone with experience in getting the results you are after.
There are two ways to do this. One is fast, one is slow.
The fast version means paying for access to mentors (easiest way).
The slow version relies on building relationships through forums and blogs (time cost over money cost).
A cheaper and fun way to develop is finding a copywriter you really like and paying them for consultations and tear downs.
That’s why the only service I offer right now is proposal teardowns. Having the actual proposal you’ve written torn down and restructured by me is the fastest way to get to the biggest issues you are facing.
Interested in trying out a tear down?
Learn more here (thrive cart link)
Every time I raise my rates i’m surprised by the response.
Clients are happy to pay it and often ask if I need them to pay the large fees up front!
Is it always that way?
Most of the time, yes!
I still get people who complain about the price. But guess what? I don’t care!
I know the results I deliver and the quality of my work. If someone can’t afford it that’s not my fault.
The better you get the more results you will deliver. When you deliver results in a professional manner you can increase your hourly rates as much as you want!
Because clients will pay for the value you bring to the table. The more value you bring the higher rates you can charge. Increase your value and increase your rate.
Extra Resources To Raise Your Rates