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3 Strategies for Raising Your Freelance Rates

Updated on November 15th, 2015

As a freelancer, I regularly look for ways to earn more money through my gigs. My main goal is to continue earning a good living — but without needing to work extra hours.

As you continue to improve, you can boost your freelance rates and become more successful at building your freelance business. If you are looking to raise your freelance rates, here are 3 strategies that can help you earn more for your work.

1. Ask for More From Each New Client

The first strategy is to ask for more money from each new client. This is the easiest way to raise your freelance rates.

Rather than publishing a set rate card on my website, I negotiate rates with clients on an individual basis. This makes it much easier to raise rates down the road because I’m not locked into a set rate card (and I don’t have to keep changing it as I increase my rates.

When I feel like it’s time to raise my rates, I quote the next person who asks $50 or $100 more than the last client. This method means I often have to keep good notes, so I know who is paying what, but it also means that I can cycle out the lower-paying clients as I move forward, replacing them with new clients who pay more.

2. Approach Current Clients about a Rate Hike

Another strategy is to ask your current clients for a rate hike. This can be a little more difficult for freelancers. I know that it’s harder for me to ask my current clients for more money. However, it’s important to periodically review your work with your current clients, and see if a rate hike is warranted.

Realize that you might not be able to immediately hike your current clients to the rates you quote new clients. That kind of sticker shock probably isn’t sustainable for many of your clients. You may only be able to start with a $10 increase on your rate, rather than boosting it $50 all at once.

Not only that, but you do need to approach a rate hike for a current client in a similar manner to how you would ask for a raise in a more traditional job. You need to focus on what you’ve done for the client, and be able to show why you deserve more for your work.

3. Build in a Regular Rate Hike

Finally, it’s possible to ensure that you keep getting higher freelance rates by building in a regular rate hike. You can build in a 5% to 7% yearly rate increase as a way to ensure that you keep seeing more money for your work. If you charge $150 per post as a freelance blogger, the next year you can charge $157.50 if you build in a 5% increase. It doesn’t seem like much, but it builds over time, and it’s often a manageable increase for your regular clients.

Plus, it gets them in the habit of expecting to continue to pay you more. You can build the yearly increase into your freelance contract.

Don’t let your freelance rates stagnate. It’s a good idea to consider ways to boost your rate as you go along so that you don’t end up falling behind in your finances.

Miranda Marquit

Miranda Marquit

I'm Miranda and I'm a freelance financial journalist and money expert. My specialties are investing, small business/entrepreneurship and personal finance. The journey to business success and financial freedom is best undertaken with fellow travelers.

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