Too Busy? Charge More

It’s been a busy month for me – busy to the point where I’ve ignored my workouts, haven’t read books, and glance through magazines in passing. My husband said, “Time to raise the rates.”

He’s right. When the work is coming in faster than a writer can handle it, that’s an indication the price is right – too right. Time for the price to be adjusted.

But what about clients? How is that going to play out with the client base? In my experience, you will lose a few, but the stalwarts – the ones who understand your value – will stick around.

Good friend Anne Wayman has often said that higher rates beget more clients. It’s one of those odd phenomena that holds true. If you charge more, you attract clients who are more committed to paying your fee to get quality writing.

So how busy have you been? Is it maybe time for your rates to be raised? In fact, when was the last time you allowed yourself a raise?

About the author




  • Wendy J. October 27, 2009 at 3:04 pm

    That is pretty much what I have been doing the last couple of months. I’ve switched to marketing in a niche instead of the general I was doing before.

    So, I reconfigured my rates, let my current clients know well in advance and so far have only lost one of them. There are two that I’m still waiting for them to decide yet. They have until the end of this month and they know that the new rates are in effect next month for them.

    I’ve been busy, but mostly just getting my blog and site going for my niche.

  • Paula October 27, 2009 at 4:00 pm

    This is why my big goal for 2010 will be to edge into more corporate work.

    Magazine writing doesn't allow you to set your rates, only to choose which markets you won't write for. And with ad sales still slow, they are not negotiating higher rates just now. Fingers crossed that changes on 2010, too.

  • Lori October 27, 2009 at 5:01 pm

    Very true, Paula. Magazines set the rates and getting a raise requires proving yourself first and hoping the magazine's budget allows for it. It's not easy. Nor is it always possible.

    Wendy, that's always the scary part, isn't it? But from my experience, the clients you keep are usually the ones you weren't in danger of losing anyway.

  • Katharine Swan October 28, 2009 at 3:23 am

    I've been busy, but it seems to be either because I'm spending more time doing other stuff — mainly horse stuff — or because I'm struggling with time management. Probably a little of both, as I've found the more time I spend away from my desk, the poorer my focus is when I get back.

    Even so, I recently raised my rates for a new client. I tend to keep my favorite regulars at the same rate when I give myself a raise, but there are only a few that get that privilege.

  • Lori October 28, 2009 at 11:56 am

    Katharine, it's a great idea. A reward for being a great customer.:)

  • Devon Ellington October 28, 2009 at 1:36 pm

    i've been incredibly busy, but they've been long turnaround projects rather than short, quick-pay. It'll be worth it a few months down the road, but I'm doing all the site redesign and a fresh marketing push, so that'll make up for it.

    And I've got a bunch of payments and royalties due in the next few weeks, so it all evens out.

    I'm moving further and further away from corporate work and more and more towards small business and non-profits, which I greatly prefer.

    A few times I've intentionally raised corporate rates to price myself out of consideration, but a couple of places just said, "fine" and there we were.

  • Lori October 28, 2009 at 2:51 pm

    Even a "fine" is a good dilemma, isn't it? 🙂