What’s on the iPod: Numb by The Airborne Toxic Event
Good day yesterday. The first session of the webinar went well – we had great questions from our attendees! I was glad I talked fast and was done a bit early, because there were plenty of questions to fill up the extra time. If you’re interested, there’s still time to catch the second half of the webinar tomorrow. Click here and join us! Plus you’ll get a recording of the first session and a PDF of the slides I’m using.
I had a ton of smallish things to get done before and after the webinar. I had one more interview for my article, and I got an invoice out, plus checked up on a few of my outstanding projects. Also, I had time to go over invoices. I’m going to be one happy little camper when they’re all paid. A great month, and next month is shaping up into a similar situation.
It makes me wonder why I waited so long to raise my rates. I’ve given myself two raises in nine years. That’s not good–even 9-to-5 worker bees get at least 3 percent every year.
So why not us?
Because we’re chicken. Some writers worry that springing a larger per-hour rate on clients will have them running for the exits. A sensible concern on the surface. Here’s why that’s not so:
Good clients will pay what you’re worth. Have I not preached myself hoarse about valuing your work? There’s a reason for that. Clients who are willing to pay a handsome rate do so because they realize your value. Isn’t it time you realized it, too?
Those who don’t pay aren’t your clients. While that may sound like an arrogant statement, it’s just a business fact. People who prefer paying 99 cents for McDonald’s coffee aren’t Starbucks’ customers. It’s not saying one is better than another (I’ll let coffee drinkers debate that). It’s saying that each company has positioned itself in a specific market with a specific price point. Decide who your clients are and at what price point they exist.
If you do it right, clients may not even notice. When my rates went up, most of my clients never realized it. I didn’t advertise it. I simply rolled that additional fee into any new project estimate. I’ve gotten out of the habit somewhat (not entirely) of not advertising my hourly rate. Clients may want to know, but it’s not much help to them. I can tell them “I charge $125 an hour” but it’s more helpful to tell them “The project will take eight hours and will cost $1,000.” They can budget against that. Don’t lie if they ask, but know that their main concern is the bottom line. Get to that as quickly as possible.
When was your last raise? Are you earning at or near what you should? Do you know what it is you should be making?