Monday, April 11, 2011

Do You Need Permission to Raise Your Freelance Writing Rates?

Over the weekend a writer acquaintance and I were discussing rates. My writer friend was planning to raise her rates within the next couple of months. She asked whether or not I thought she should send her current clients an email explaining why she was making this decision.

I asked her to think of businesses she regularly patronizes – the local cable provider, grocery store or favorite restaurant. When they raise their rates, do they offer explanations? It’s a given in most businesses that as operation expenses increase, rates must increase as a result. I suggested she take this same stance with her rate increase.

Sending out an explanation for a rate increase can almost seem as if you’re seeking approval for a logical business decision. Your rates have to cover business and living expenses, and there’s absolutely no reason to apologize for that. I suggested sending out notices altering clients of the rate change giving them a chance to schedule projects at the current rate before the price change takes effect.

Do you let your clients know about rate increases?


Lisa Vella said...

I think if I were raising rates I would definitely let them know. It wouldn't be as means to seek approval, but rather to let them know what to expect.

I have a couple clients that have been with me for several years. They know and trust me and I think springing them with a rate increase might betray that trust.

Like you said, a notice with rate change and even an offer to allow them to schedule projects before the change would be really good business.

Very nice post with some good thoughts. Hope you have a wonderful day!

Kimberly Ben said...

Thanks, Lisa. :)

Lori said...

I have, but only as they come back for more work. In fact, letting them know they're in for a discount if they book early is a great way to increase short-term business. I've missed out on that a few times.

I see what you mean about the "seeking approval" part. It can feel that way, depending on how you put it. Still, my electric company does send out notices of rate hikes. Then again, they're required to. :)

Kimberly Ben said...

Yes, Lori, you're right, some organizations do make an effort to send out notices. I see absolutely nothing wrong with sending clients notice of an impending rate hike. Most would appreciate it it - especially if you're giving them a heads up on an opportunity to save money prior to the hike (discounts and other promotions included).

I just feel like when you start explaining WHY you're raising your rates, you are in some way seeking justification and acceptance of your business decision. Even when the electric company sends out their notice in the end we still have the pay those higher rates.

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