You can raise your rate in Evenflow with a few clicks. Getting clients to pay the higher rate is a bit more difficult, but not impossible. The way to charge more, without being undercut by competitors, is to increase the value you provide. I’ll explain how you can do that, without wasting time on expensive credentials, years of new portfolio pieces, or hiring employees.
How most people come up their rate is often an interesting exercise. You can use an hourly rate calculator or have a financial expert do a cost analysis on your business for more accurate results, or you can do what a lot of people do and just wing it.
One thing I’ve discovered while working for SiteGoals and doing freelance on the side, is that if someone really “gets it”, or they see your value, then they’ll pay whatever the price is. Ramit Seti, one of my personal heroes, convinced me to spend over 500 dollars on one of his courses. Although everything was high quality, when it came down to it I was paying half a grand for probably 20 PDFs, MP3s and videos.
The key here is that he established his authority in that domain and earned my trust over several years. I had read his book, I followed his blog, and had investigated but declined his Earn 1K course several times. When I eventually decided to invest, it wasn’t because I could suddenly afford it, but because I finally understood the value of what he was offering.
He could easily knock a couple hundred dollars off his price and possibly get more customers, but why charge less when you can raise your rates and make the same money or more, from fewer people? At SiteGoals, we’ve always charged premium prices, because we feel we offer high quality service. We’re not your brother’s cousin who is coding from his mom’s basement. We don’t slap your site into a template and call it done. We spend the time to make sure your project is done right and done to our standards, which are very high. Our clients appreciate quality, so they rarely balk at our rate.
So how can you find the type of clients that won’t cringe when they hear your hourly rate? You don’t have to get an MBA, or wait until you’ve got 10 years of experience. Why? Because most clients don’t care about all that. What they care about is perceived value.
Put simply by Jason Cohen, you have to ”act like you’re worth twice as much”. Aside from having some extra confidence, what does that actually mean? You need to become an expert and an authority in your field. There are a lot of ways to do that, from blogging to client testimonials. The key is that you don’t necessarily have to do more work. Instead you have to narrow your focus and be able to expose the expertise that you likely already have.
Improve Your Portfolio
Instead of expecting the client to be wowed, you need to emphasize tangible results. How did your work improve the client’s business? Maybe your logo design enabled your client to land a big job or a client of their own. Maybe your SEO improved their page rank by 10 spots, or maybe your web development decreased load time by 27%. Whatever the metrics are, you need to explain how your work leads to results.
Become More Focused
Instead of attempting to cover every skill under the sun, you should be showing prospective clients how amazing you are at one particular skill. Most of the time, clients are looking to solve a particular problem, be it design or SEO or landing page conversion rates or something else. Don’t try to be everything to everyone, instead wow potential clients with the depth of your knowledge on the subjects that they care about.
the tighter and stronger you define your niche, the more valuable you become to the folks who are in that niche.
You get new clients one project at a time, so why are you using a net to try to catch them with tools like social media? Instead of trying to cast a wider net, you should be sharpening your spear to snag that one, high rate client.
Target the Right Clients
Another key aspect of being able to raise your rates is finding clients that are:
- Able to pay for quality services.
- Understand how expensive their own time is.
They want to hire you, whatever your industry is, because you can save them precious time. Consultants, lawyers, architects, anyone who charges high rates themselves will value your time just as much as theirs.
Glen, another student from Earn1k, realized this too.
I like to work with doctors, lawyers, counselors, consultants,” Glen concluded. “They charge $400 an hour…when they’re doing billable work. How much time can I save them by handling their web and IT needs? How can I make use of technology to cut down on their admin tasks so they can spend more time on their billable work? If I can save them one hour, that’s $400 to them. Paying me $100 is totally worth it, and that’s before they even see the value of all the work I can do for them.
Glen didn’t suddenly become more experienced or better at his job, he just found different customers. Customers that see the value in his work.
Provide More Value
Have you ever maxed out on everything you could do for a client? Probably not. The budget for a project usually restrains it from having every bell and whistle. But value-adds are a way to differentiate yourself from someone offering cheaper service. While someone else may say “Yes, I can do this.” you should be saying “Yes, I can do this. Here’s 3 other things I can do that you may not have thought of.” This ties in well with showing your expertise. If the client knew everything that needed to be done, they would hire and micromanage the cheapest freelancer available. Instead, they need to be walked through the process, be given suggestions, and are expecting more value than the cheapest option.
Putting It All Together
Test it out, try adjusting your rate and focus on your expertise. Start targeting the type of customers that will pay for your expertise. If you’re really good at it, your business will grow. Remember, Rome wasn’t built in a day, and neither is your business. Adjust, test and then adjust some more. Above all, do good work and no one will question why you charge what you do.