The idea to raise your freelance writing rate is scary than you can imagine, especially if you only have a couple of valued clients you are working with.
Please, for the record…
Thanks to Lisa Sicard of Inspire to Thrive for giving me this topic idea a few days ago after she left a comment on my blog …
However, as you contemplate the thought of raising your freelance rate, many things come to your mind.
One of the most fearful and common thought in your mind is, “how can you raise your freelancing rate without losing your clients?”
But it is normal to think in that direction because no-one wants to lose his existing clients, as it is more expensive to get a new client than to maintain an existing one.
So you want to do all you can to retain your clients, so much that not even a price hike will be a barrier.
But the fact is, as a freelance content writer, you are a creative person, and many creatives find it difficult to bring up money issues with their clients.
Which is why many just set their writing rate and forget it. But remember, creativity requires some degree of emotion and self-expression. How?
You want your target market or your clients’ audience to feel you in your content, connect with your article, and to understand what you’re express.
In other words, you want your articles to resonate with your clients’ target market.
That’s where creativity comes in. It is not about just writing and publishing blog posts after blog posts.
Thus, when talking to your clients’ about raising your freelance writing rate or services, it is more like telling them you’re worth more than what they’re paying you.
Hence, we go back to the question…
How can you conveniently raise your freelance writing rate and still keep your existing clients?
Before we go down this article and answer the above question, let us first find out why you should raise your rate in the first place.
This brings us to …
Why You Should Raise Your freelancing Rates
First things first! You must always remember that your rate has the power to attract more high-paying freelance clients, and can also make you lose your existing clients.
As a result, you must prepare for any eventuality…
For example, if you’re charging $25~$50 for a 1,000-word blog post, you are effectively putting off potential high-quality clients by giving them the signal that you’re a low-quality writer.
Why? Because as you’re reading this post now, there is no experienced freelance writer who will charge $50 for a well researched 1000 word blog post. Their rates are from $100 up.
Consequently, if you’re charging low rates, you will only be attracting low paying clients who fall into the low-quality client category.As a writer, you are a creative person..., always remember that creativity requires some degree of emotion and self-expression. Click To Tweet
The truth is that these type of clients don’t care what you write, as long as the post is up to their word count requirement. They don’t care about readability, SEO, etc.
They have a timeframe for publishing content, so for them, it’s just about getting the content published on time.
For this reason, all that matters to them is for you to deliver the quantity of content they want from you on or before the deadline and Not the quality.
But the bad news is that the high-paying freelance writing clients will view you as an amateur writer and run away from you.
Therefore, here’s why you should increase your freelancing rates…
Raising your rate will show existing clients and potential clients that:
- You’re an expert in your chosen niche market
- You’re worth more than your current rate
- You’re busier now with clients’ work than before
- There are some low-paying clients you do no longer want to work with.
- You earn more money as a freelance writer and grow your business
Now, I know you’re eager to know how to raise your freelance writing rate without hurting and losing your existing clients, isn’t it?
So, let’s dive in …
1• Get Social Proof
For me, the first step to raising your freelance writing rate is to improve your credibility. Getting social proof will help you accomplish that.
It will boost your status as an expert and authority in your niche, giving existing clients a rich signal to keep working with you, and at the same time, telling new and potentials clients that you’re the right freelance writer to hire.
However, social proof comes in a variety of ways, such as this one from my friend, professional blogger, and influencer, Ryan Biddulph of Blogging from Paradise.
Please watch the video to see how Ryan created a social proof for me using YouTube…, and here is a screenshot of his shout out as well…
Ryan did so amazingly well that he raised the bar for me, upgrading my credibility in ways that I could never have imagined.
Here is a testimonial that was written for me by Lissa Duty of The Rocks Digital. If you can get as many of this type of social proof, you are set for the market to raise your rates.
How to get social proofs
Get your friends on different social media sites to confirm the credibility of your writing skills by providing you with breath-taken testimonials.Social proof gives existing clients a rich signal to keep working with you, and at the same time, it is telling new and potentials clients that you’re the right freelance writer to hire. Click To Tweet
Ask clients you have worked for and blog owners where you contributed guest posts to write testimonials for you. This is social proofs that potential clients are looking for to hire you.
With such incredible proofs from expert writers and social media marketers, your existing clients will want to stick around working with you, and new prospects will love to hire you as well.
When you’ve gathered enough testimonials, add them on your website’s front page or create a testimonial page and add them there if you’re not using a static front-page on your site.
2• Update and Build Your Portfolio
There’s no better way to set yourself up for a raise without first getting enough irresistible testimonials and building your freelance portfolio. The screenshot shows my writing portfolio on the Contently website.
These two steps alone can do the magic for you, because they are concrete proof to your clients that you’re the best bet for their freelancing work, and deserve the rate increase.
So, build your portfolio and stock it up with clients work and articles you published on other blogs as a guest contributor. If you already have a portfolio, update it with properly with more content.
Since your freelance writing portfolio showcases your abilities via different articles you’ve written over time, it is important to make sure that your portfolio only consists of your best work.
*Important* High paying clients love to hire a niche specific freelance writer and not a general freelance writer.
Haven’t said that, make sure your freelance writing portfolio has content that falls under your chosen niche market.
3• Ask Your Clients How You’re doing (Work-Wise) via Email
Armed with the above arsenals, it is time to email your clients about your freelance rate increase. But bear in mind that, the best way to raise your rate should Not be Instantly, but gradually.
What exactly am I saying?…
It is a gradual process, in that you should tell your clients about your rate increase before taking effect.
Send them an email in advance about 30 days, 60 days, or 90 days most before your price hike goes into effect. And what would you say to your clients in the email?
Simply thank them for the opportunity of choosing to work with you and ask them how they feel about your work relationship with them, and if there’s any area of your services they’d like for you to improve on.
Some of them might complain about a certain area(s) of your services, while others will praise you instead. Commend them for their honest responses and arrange for a face-to-face meeting.
Why a face-to-face meeting, instead of an email?
A face-to-face meeting is necessary because it will help you measure the reaction on your clients’ face when you tell them about your freelancing price upgrade.
But yes, there are some clients you can’t meet at a face-to-face meeting. These are clients who live far away from your jurisdiction – your international clients.
In this case, schedule a phone or Skype conversation. It will also enable you to figure out what’s going on in their minds after you tell them about freelance writing rate increase.
It is at this meeting that you can tell them about your new price rise. Here’s what you can say…
“I have also spoken to other clients about this and their responses are like yours. As a result, I’m increasing my freelance writing rate, as it will enable me to meet those areas of improvement more efficiently as requested and be available to you.”…Your freelance writing portfolio showcases your abilities via different articles you've written over time, it is important to make sure that your portfolio only consists of your best work. Click To Tweet
However, to make your clients feel more comfortable with your new rates, say something like this…
“But for the sake of other work relationship over the past (months or years), I’m adding only 20% or 30% increase to your rates. But as for new clients, they will have to pay 60% more.”
Now you just made them feel that you so much care about them and their business. With that said, some will disagree and leave you, while others will agree to your new rates and continue working with you.
This is why you must prepare for whatever that might happen as mentioned earlier.
4• To Raise Your Freelance Writing Rate, Cut-Off Low Paying Clients
To be in the best position to raise your freelance writing rate, it is important that you cut-off low paying clients who are not ready to pay more for your worth and services.
This will give you more space to take on more work from high paying freelance clients who are willing and ready to pay you more for your services.
But before you let go of your low-paying clients, it’s necessary to let them know that your new rates will help you serve them better, and you’re willing to work with them if they would agree on your new rates.
Like I said at the onset, be ready for what might happen. Many of your low-paying freelance writing clients who do not have the budget to pay for your new price hike will leave you and look for other freelance writers who are willing to work for a penny.
Truly, this will surely impact your income negatively if many choose to leave, but you have to let go of such clients to take your freelance writing business to higher grounds.
5• Offer Clients the Opportunity to Pay You More Without Tell Them
You can comfortably earn more without telling your clients about the rate increase. How? Simply create options for services your clients will love.
A simple addition is all you need to make your clients pay you higher rates. That simple addition has the power to change your freelance writing business for good.
For instance, let’s say you’re charging $100 for 1000 words blog post. Now you can offer more services to the package, such as social media shares for $35.
This means that you will be getting $135 for a 1000 word article from your existing clients instead of $100.
The screenshot below shows Lisa Sicard’s social media management or sharing packages.
If you add each package to your content creation services, you see that you’re already earning more from your clients.
So what are you waiting for?…
Increasing your freelance writing rate is a more convenient way to earn more money and enjoy the internet lifestyle you’re craving for.
But you cannot enjoy that lifestyle if you continue accepting law-rate pay-cheques. You will continue to struggle to make ends meet as long as you’re not increasing your freelancing rates.
Thus, take the leap and see your freelance writing business move on to next heights.