Raise Your Rates

Every so often I sit back and think about how far I’ve come as a freelance writer and online business owner. Recently, one of my very first ever clients increased my rate again. Now I’m making way more per assignment than I did when I first started a few years ago. I’m not saying this to toot my own horn. I want to show you that great things are possible if you put in the time. I didn’t imagine three years ago that a recurring price per assignment would double, then triple, and keep climbing. Here’s how to make more money:

Stay in the Game

No one’s perfect. I’ve come to realize that clients don’t expect perfection, but they do expect that you’ll be responsive, consistent, and willing to accept feedback. If you can master these three things, you’ll be able to ask for more money from your services.

Most of my freelance raises have come annually. That means I put in the work through the entire year to get the reward for the next year. This is an area where I see people slipping. Some people think the reward will come right away, but you have to put in work and grind before you see the pay off.

The stories of going from zero to freelance empire are fun to read. It’s good to see where you could be in a few years, but be sure to also focus your energy on now. In the beginning, there’s no way I would have been able to get what I earn now because I’ve perfected the craft and learned a lot about the industry I serve over time.

What work are you putting in to show clients that you’re worth the money you hope to make one day?

Challenge Yourself

Easy doesn’t pay. Expect to work hard to build your reputation to get the higher paying work. The notion that you’ll be able to make a five-figure or six-figure income from freelancing by writing a few blog posts or designing a website each month is unrealistic.

Brand yourself as an expert in one area and take work that might make you feel a little uncomfortable because it’s how you grow. Many of the projects I’ve taken over the years have been completely outside of my comfort zone. I take them on, do a lot of research to teach myself something new, and then accept feedback. Don’t over-promise and under-deliver. Just know when you can push yourself a little harder to get the bigger jobs. 

Ask for a Little Bit More Than What Makes You Comfortable

Finally, you can’t be afraid to ask for what you deserve when you’ve put in the work. Clients won’t always tell you when you’re due for a raise — you must ask. The price you’re pitching is too low if it makes you feel too comfortable. Ask for just a little bit more.

I also suggest that you don’t name a number at all and let the client do the work. You suggesting a price first can leave quite a bit of money on the table. I almost named my own price recently with the client I mentioned who’s steadily increased my rate over time. The new rate they offered is way more than I was going to suggest. Don’t set yourself up to make less than a client is willing to pay.

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Taylor K. Gordon is a personal finance writer and founder of Tay Talks Money, a personal finance and productivity blog on hacking your way to a happier savings account. Taylor has contributed to MagnifyMoney, The Huffington Post, GoGirl Finance, Madame Noire, and The Write Life.

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