Have you considered how to increase your freelance rates in 2022?
Most freelancers are guilty of not charging enough for the work that they perform. When first starting a business it can be tempting to charge lower rates for the jobs that are done, however as you grow and expand you may need to consider charging higher rates for the work that you provide.
This can leave many freelance writers with a problem, namely, how do you increase rates on clients that have been with you for a long period of time? Even though this might seem like a bit of a minefield there are a few different ways of handling it that can make it a straightforward transaction for everybody involved.
Things to consider before you increase freelance rates in 2022
It is likely that when you first began your freelance writing career, you were trying to gain clients and build experience in your chosen profession. Like many other freelancers that are just starting out, you have probably charged lower rates to try and attract clients and encourage them to use your services. This can be a helpful business tactic in the early days, but later on, it can start to cause you problems. Fast forward to 2022 and you may need to think about an increase on your freelance rates.
If you are now 3 years into the game, then you may need to take time to reassess your business rates. If you’re providing a quality service delivered in a timely manner that takes advantage of your expertise, then you should no longer be in the position of being a newbie in the field or trying to drum up business.
It can also be worth taking the time to research the rates of your competitors. You might be surprised to find that the price you are charging is way below the average. If this is the case then you may be able to raise your rates to be lower than your competition, but that still boosts your income.
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How to increase freelance rates in 2022
Money can be tricky, and even sometimes uncomfortable. But handling a rate increase for your freelance clients in 2022 doesn’t have to be completely awkward, it can be made simple by following a few rules that will help you present a good case to your customers
Have confidence in your abilities
First and foremost you will need to have confidence in the work that you provide. Before determining if a freelance rate increase in 2022 is warranted, you will need to take an honest assessment of your work and business. If you believe that you are providing a quality service, so will the people you do work for. If you have built a good clientele and regularly received positive feedback then having faith in your own abilities should not be difficult for you.
It can be worth sharing any reviews, and make sure they are posted on your website so that future clients can see what other businesses and companies think of your work. Depending on the rates you are charging it can also help to justify the pricing level that you set going forward.
Don’t make it a long drawn-out explanation
There’s an old saying that less is more, and in the case of a rate increase, this is perfectly true. As you are requesting more money from your clients it can be wise to explain this clearly and succinctly, while keeping it as short as possible. The more you try to justify or explain your decision, the more you are leaving yourself open to being questioned, and you may even manage to talk yourself completely out of raising prices at all.
Some freelancers, when raising their business rates, prefer to communicate this by email. This gives their clients the opportunity to read, digest, and understand what is being proposed before responding. This can work very well as sometimes the first reaction is not always the correct one. Clients that have adequate time to consider your rate increase often realise that it is a completely fair proposal when they are not under pressure to respond.
Be specific about new payment dates and terms
You will need to be clear about the new details of any payments or terms that are changing. When planning an increase to your freelance rates in 2022 you will need to convey some important information. Things like when you expect invoicing to take place, payments to be made, or instalments to be deposited, this will need to be laid out clearly and simply, in your new proposal.
The last thing you want is to get right up to the payment due date and realise that you haven’t received funds because the client misunderstood the new rules. Your client needs to fully understand what the new payment terms are and how the transfer of money should be handled.
Be prepared to lose one or two clients
On rare occasions, you may find that by proposing a rate increase you get some push back from one or two of your older clients. If these clients are reasonable business people they will understand that rates cannot remain the same 4 years in a row when they are receiving top standard work. That’s not to say that they love the new idea, but they should at least understand it.
Clients that push back hard and start to demand explanations of why they should be charged more, or in extreme cases state that they will refuse to pay or go elsewhere, then it may be wise to let them go. Even though no one likes to lose clients, ones that are not prepared to pay you what you’re worth simply do not see the value in the work that you provide. So they may not be clients that you want to keep in the long-term as your business expands.
For the most part, and provided you have done your research correctly on competitor pricing, what you are asking for shouldn’t be too far outside of the typical market price. Remember you are only asking for what you are worth and what is fair
Think about specialising
Even though it’s tempting to take on any and every client, once you have been in business for a few years it may serve you better to specialise in a specific area or industry. Maybe you’re an expert in the medical field or have extensive logistics experience. Your in-depth knowledge can provide real, long-term value to clients. Having someone that is a seasoned expert in their business is like having an ace up their sleeve.
It also means that you can charge higher rates for the work that you are providing as you have now moved on from the realm of a general freelance writer to being a writer that provides real insights and fact-checked information. Freelance writers that specialise can generally charge more than their counterparts.
If you are starting out as a freelance writer, take the time to carefully consider what your fees will be before you agree to submit work. If you’ve been in business for a while, then it may be time to take a long hard look at your business rates and decide if you need to increase your freelance rates in 2022.
For seasoned freelance writers, manage your client’s expectations, and don’t be afraid to point out that if they wish to receive quality timely work as they have in the past, then you will need to charge rates that are in line with the current business climate.