If you’ve been in business a while, honing your approach to your work, establishing your client base, and helping clients see awesome results, the moment is eventually going to come…
… The moment you decide: “It’s time to raise my rates.”
First off: If you’re in that zone right now, congrats!
Increasing your prices can be a huge boost — for both your bank account and your confidence.
However… I also know that the ol’ raising your rates process can be a bit easier said than done. It’s possible that not everyone will be thrilled for you when your prices go up. It’s possible you’ll get some pushback. And it’s possible raising your rates might make you too expensive for some existing clients.
It’s perfectly OK (and normal) to have a bit of anxiety when it’s time to hike your prices. But please don’t let that hold you back!
I have a few favourite go-to solutions for the price-raising process that will ease some of the worries you might be feeling, help you stay in integrity, and make sure your past and current clients feel totally comfortable and supported throughout the shift. As usual, I’m happy to share, and I’ll break everything down for you in this post. (I’ve even created a special done-for-you script pack that you can click to download it right now, or keep reading!)
But first, I want to tell you a story about my friend – let’s call her Anne.
A short while ago, Anne mentioned a bit of a conundrum she was worrying about.
She’d started her business a year or two before, and one of the clients she’d worked with in her early days (who had a big social media following) approached her again for her services
For the original gig, my friend had decided to make her a very special offer. She’d lowered her rates — which were already low at the time because she was just starting out — and added additional bonus services for free. Anne had decided it would be in her best interest to work with this influencer, and to make sure that person had a great experience, so she could get a few potential new eyes on her business.
Makes sense, right? However…
Fast forward a year later: This same client approached Anne to see if they could work together again, and just assumed that the same offer was going to stand (meaning the same rock-bottom pricing with the same additional bonuses that aren’t available to other people).
Now, Anne was facing two problems:
1. She felt a bit awkward. Since their first session together, my friend’s business had grown considerably. She’d worked with a number of influencers, and had a significant following herself, plenty of clients, and was (and is!) doing very well in her business. She liked this client but didn’t need them.
2. She didn’t want to cause any drama… and wasn’t sure how to go about avoiding it.
Deciding the latter problem outweighed the first, Anne went ahead with the original offer she made (let me tell you – an incredible service for a steal, by the way).
However, even while she was serving this client, that special offer felt completely misaligned. She realised it no longer felt like an equal exchange of energy, of value, and she’s fairly uncomfortable with the idea of providing that service at the same rate again.
It’s no surprise that this client has already said she’d like to work with her again… and now Anne is wondering: “What should I do?”
There’s a reason I told you this story:
Service-based entrepreneurs often find themselves in this situation; where they have been working with clients as their business has expanded, or become more established. So as their value increases, their prices hike, and their offers change, they have still some original clients who they value very much or influencers they’d like to continue to work with.
Of course, we don’t want to put those clients offside, as we have a longstanding relationship with them that we really want to continue to honour. We also don’t want to totally alienate former clients with a surprise new price if/when they circle back around for another project.
So, how do we go about doing this? There are three possible solutions.
Solution #1: Just continue to offer the same package and service for particular people.
If you find that the awkwardness outweighs any other sense of whether you’re in alignment or not with it, and then you can just commit to your original arrangement with that client.
If you have a certain number of clients who are key influencers for you, good friends, or with some other trait that makes them important to you to keep? Then go ahead and lock them in forever at your original rate.
I have my own opinions about whether or not that’s something I would do, but it’s not up to me. It’s a potential solution, and it’s one worth considering.
Solution #2: Let former clients know your prices are going up… But that they can still be grandfathered into your current rate for the old price for a limited time.
This is one of my favourite solutions to this problem.
When you’re ready to raise your rates, proactively send out an email to existing clients giving them notice of the change and the opportunity to book in with you and take advantage of your current pricing for the next limited time period (maybe 2 weeks or 30 days etc).
This can be ideal for existing clients and former clients you’re not currently working with. This is a super quick way to get yourself booked out for a few months, too!
Just make sure to provide really specific information about the parameters of your offer (for example, “Book in with me in the next two weeks, and I will honour the existing rates, however, the work must be completed within the next three months.”).
Tip: If you have limited space in your calendar, make this offer to a few key clients first.
Solution #3: Let former clients know you’ve raised your rates when they reach out to you again
This is crazy simple, and takes the worry out of the process — because you’ve got a single email you can use again and again!
All you need to say is: “Hey! Thanks so much for reaching out, I’m so excited to potentially work together again, but you should know: these days my rates are [AMOUNT] for a project like this. If that still feels like a fit for you, let’s talk!”
Still feeling a bit intimidated? Don’t worry lady – I’ve got your back.
I’ve created 3 Scripts to Help You Raise Your Rates, which includes done-for-you scripts for all 3 solutions that you can cut, paste, and send right on over to your clients.
Change the wording as much or as little as you like — but whatever you do: raise those rates when you’re ready!
I hope you found this post really useful! I know this is a topic that a lot of us women entrepreneurs struggle with, so it would make my day if you could please hit one of the share buttons below.
And don’t forget to grab 3 Scripts to Help You Raise Your Rates. It’s crazy useful… and totally free. <3