Previously published on Initium
Don’t we all have the thirst to earn more?
As a freelancer, we are often on the lookout for more clients to increase our income. But landing new clients can be a tedious process which would require spending a lot of time and energy on it.
Instead of sweating it out with unknown people trying to prove your talent, you can increase your income by turning to those who already know your potential — your existing clients.
Familiarity and Comfort Level
Your longterm clients already know the way you work and it is an added advantage that you know the ins and outs of their business. These clients have become comfortable working with you and are familiar with the way you work. They have been continuously using your services because they love what you bring to the table.
So it is natural that they will give attention to your requests and actually listen to what you have to say compared to the random people you pitch to.
Nominal Increase in Rates
Increasing your rates is pretty straightforward and simple. You can increase the rates for your existing clients up to a nominal range. As you already know the regular work you get from the client and the number of hours you need to put, you can have it as a reference to calculate and decide the increase in rates.
Be fair with the increase. You cannot just suddenly introduce a 200% increase in your rates. Keep in mind the longterm connection you have developed with the client and try to honour it when increasing the rates.
Of course, you cannot do this for the new clients you landed just a few months ago.
Letting The Clients Know
Start with informing them about the rise of rates from the next few months. Start it as a discussion letting them know a few important reasons and gradually ease into the conversation. Give them a few months of notice to manage their finances. Being on good terms with your clients is crucial to spread the word about you and get referrals from them in the future.
It is understanding that these kind of conversations are something that you do not look forward to. But these can be made manageable if you are already prepped with the possible list of questions the clients may ask and the right answers to convince them. Be polite when explaining to them the reasons and answer any questions they can have.
As you have worked with them for a long time, most of the clients will give a positive response if you have increased the rates nominally. In case the client is reluctant with the increase in the rate, you can negotiate the rate increase after a certain time which both of you are comfortable with.
In the rare case, the client isn’t ready to increase the rate now or even after some time, you can work for your current rate but make it clear that the rates aren’t manageable for you and there could be a shift in priorities. This will also be your cue to search for a client who appreciates your work and is ready to pay you for what you deserve.
Be The Boss
While you are increasing your rates. have in mind that you are not some employee requesting your pay increase from your boss. You are your own boss and are providing a service for the clients and therefore you have all the rights to increase the rates as you see fit.
It is important to let away all your second guessings and doubts about the increase and take your stand like a boss! Remember that you are informing the clients about the increase in the rates and unless you have signed any prior contracts, you are not obligated in any way to provide services in the current rates.
On that note, when signing freelance contracts with new clients, you can include a sentence stating the current rates are subject to change in the future depending on the market scenario and the client will be informed about it before a definite period.
Just make sure to be polite and understanding to the clients but let them get the impression that you have your own individual business and you are the deciding authority.
This is one of the easy and less taxing ways to increase your revenue. Therefore, leverage what you have at hand to increase your income before you search for external sources.