Selling-Yourself Tip:
How to Raise Your Rates

If you agree to a low price for your first job with a new client, make it very clear that it is a one-time-only offer – a get-acquainted, try-me-out price. Tell the client up front, in no uncertain terms, that if he likes your copy and it works for him, he would have to pay your regular rate on subsequent jobs.

If you have a client to whom you sold yourself too low and did NOT give the above warning, it is difficult but not impossible to raise your rates. Here's how to do it.

Let's say you did a job for this client for $500 – a job that you charge other clients $1,000 for. Next time the client calls, say, "I have raised my rates. You paid $500. A letter (or whatever) is now $1,000. But for you, I will offer a discounted rate of $750 for the rest of this year. Starting January 1 of next year, it will become the full $1,000."

Clients understand that prices go up, and raising them only halfway softens the blow. They may even be grateful for the break you are giving them at $750, which is still 25% below your list price.

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Published: April 28, 2003

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