Raising Your Fees: Tactful Ways to Approach Your Clients

The recession has been very beneficial to freelancers and the self-employed, as it has managed to throw more work their way. However, there comes a time when even the best freelancing en entrepreneurs out there have to bite the bullet and raise their fees in order to make a living.

No freelancing professional wants to have to raise their fees, as it can always come with more than a few drawbacks. Sometimes there’s just no way around it though, but that doesn’t mean that you’ll simply have to make do with the customers that you may end up losing as a results of your increase in rates.

If you want to play it safe when increasing your costs, follow these simple tips to ensure you keep your client list nice and full:

1) Revise your pricing strategy
Before you choose to raise your rates you should always look at the bigger picture first – your pricing strategy. You should never work on a case-by-case basis when charging your clients, as this can open up a whole new can of worms when it comes to charging one client more for exactly the same work that another received. Remember – word can get around about that kind of thing.

Set out a brand new pricing strategy with clear and understandable increases across the board or in certain areas.

2) Share your new pricing strategy
There will be certain elements of your new pricing strategy that only affect half of your clients. In order to avoid confusion, send emails to those that will be affected, rather than a blanket email to all clients. This will ensure you don’t get replies from clients asking how your email applies to them, which can cause distrust to begin brewing.

3) Be clear and concise
When emailing clients, make sure you are as clear and concise as possible in your explanation for the price increases.

For example, state that the increases will come into effect as of March, and that they will include a 5% increase on all work done.

4) Be confident
You should never feel ashamed about having to increase your prices – it’s your business, you can run it however you like. At the end of the day, as long as you are confident in your work and you feel that your increases suit the quality of your work you shouldn’t have any worry about losing clients.

If clients query your increases be honest, but try not to be defensive. This can make clients feel as though you’re blaming them, which is the last thing you want.

5) Give them something for nothing

Or at least, make them think you’re giving them something for nothing. By increasing your prices, your clients will undoubtedly want to know why they should stick by you still, and a freebie here and there can’t hurt.

Web designers can throw in a free site audit, graphic designers can provide free edits for existing designs, and consultants can give free lessons or sessions. As long as you won’t be draining your resources by doing so, freebies can help to keep your clients loyal.

Letting your clients know that you’re planning on increasing your prices will always be a bit nerve-wracking. As long as you approach the subject sensibly and confidently though everything should go fine.

This sponsored article was written by Aurora Johnson on behalf of Nixon Williams contractor accountants, an accounting service for freelancers.

Image courtesy of Shutterstock.

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