How to Raise Your Freelance Rates with Confidence

As a professional freelance designer, you provide in-demand services to clients and should be properly compensated for your talent, effort, and time. If you’ve reached a point in your career where you’re being undercompensated for your services, now is the time to give yourself a little more respect. By undercharging clients, you’re sending the message that you undervalue your talents and are willing to work for less than you deserve.

What many freelancers don’t realize (and what many clients don’t want them to realize) is they could charge significantly higher rates for their services that clients would obligingly pay. With this new nugget of information, develop a plan for raising your rates with confidence and show your clients how seriously you take your freelance business. Here are tips for developing this plan:

Compare Rates of Similar Freelancers

If you know you’re undercharging clients but aren’t sure what an appropriate rate would be, compare the rates of similar freelancers in your area. If you don’t have an established network of freelancers, this process may take a little investigatory work. Many online rate calculators are also available to compare average freelance project costs in your region.

By knowing what other freelancers are charging, you’ll gain more confidence for raising your rates when you realize how significantly you’ve been undercharging. This information will also offer the ammo you may need if long-standing clients begin to complain or threaten to take their business elsewhere when you notify them of the increase.

Take Emotion out of the Process

When the topic of raising rates comes up, many freelancers fret about hurting the feelings of long-time clients. They also question whether they’re even talented enough to charge more money. To confidently increase service prices, you must take emotion out of the equation and look at the situation from a business standpoint.

Most beginning freelancers start by charging base level prices. However, as your talents and experience develop, you’re completely justified from a business standpoint to begin charging more. This is the same as earning a periodic raise from an employer, which is a process each of your clients should understand.

Options for Rate Raises

Freelancers go about raising their rates in different manners and you’ll likely find an approach that works best for your business model. Here are a few ways to complete this process:

  • Create a pricing plan – If you’re concerned about angering loyal clients, develop a pricing plan for your rate increase. This new plan can include basic services for your previous rates and higher level results with top tier pricing levels. Many freelancers are pleasantly surprised when most clients instantly turn to the top tier pricing choices.
  • Develop scheduled increases – To confidently raise your freelancing rates, make the increase a scheduled business practice. Raise rates bi-annually or after generating a certain number of new clients. Announce the changes well in advance to allow current clients the time to make any budgetary adjustments.
  • Find new higher paying clients – If you’re terrified that current clients will drop your services after a rate increase, find new higher paying clients before raising the rates for everyone. This will safeguard you against any potential losses and will increase your business confidence.

After raising your freelance rates, you’ll likely experience many positive changes. Not only will you have more money to cover monthly expenses, you may also bring in new clients. When potential clients notice you’re charging prime level rates for design services, they’ll be more likely to select your business when they desire prime results. In this world, you get the things for which you pay and, when you begin charging respectable rates for your services, you’ll develop a more professional business image.

About is here to help designers. Whether you are experienced and are trying to get over a hump, or are brand new to graphic design and have no idea where to start, we want to help.

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