New freelancer rates: old customers vs. new customers

Lady holding a calculator with paperwork in the backgroundChanging your freelancer rates might be essential, but navigating it with current customers who enjoy your rates as they are can be tricky. There might be some people out there who believe that you shouldn’t change your rates with current clients at all. You can certainly change your rates, but you’ll want to take a careful approach to it.

Changing your prices with existing customers

The focus of changing your rates for clients you’re currently working with is to be reasonable, respectful, and professional. Here are some tips to help you through it!

  • Give discounts for a certain amount of time: When you notify your clients that you’re changing your rates, you can give them discounts (keeping them on the current pricing schedule) for a certain amount of time to help ease the transition. Whether for 30 days or 90 days, pick a timeframe that works for you and gives them time to figure out what they want to do. 
  • Give them plenty of heads-up: On that note, you’ll want to give them plenty of time and notice before you change your rates. The worst thing that you can do is say “effective immediately.” It can lead to customers feeling shocked and frustrated. So, give them a heads-up on this change to come, and it’ll help them feel like they’re not getting the rug pulled from under their feet. They may decide to go elsewhere with cheaper rates or stay on when they get used to the idea. Time really helps to make the transition smoother.
  • Explain why you’re changing your rates: A lot of the confusion on rate changes for current clients can be avoided by your explaining to your customers why you’re changing your rates. While it still won’t make them happy about the change, it can help them understand why you’re doing it and why they should adapt. Encourage them to ask questions, too, to help them feel more at ease.  
  • Be open to counter offers: If your customers can’t meet your new rates for whatever reason, be open to accepting compromises. Sometimes, it can make all of the difference to them and their needs, and the difference between their counteroffer and your new rate isn’t big enough for you to feel like you’re undercharging. You can then offer that new rate for a certain length of time or indefinitely if you choose. This helps show that you’re a true professional, too.

Current clients require some more care

Changing your rates with your current clients definitely takes some finesse since you don’t want to drive them all away, but it’s certainly doable. As long as you’re respectful in how you approach changing your rate, you’ll find that most of your current clients will stay on even with the price change!

Does anyone else want to share some information on how they change their rates for their current customers? Do you see anything on this list that will backfire? If so, let me know!

Business content writing

Kelterss View All →

Kelterss is an experienced freelance business writer and holds a Bachelor of Arts in English with a concentration in Creating Writing. Having served over 3 ,200 customers while maintaining a 4.9/5 star rating, Kelterss is looking to focus her professional services in writing product descriptions and blog posts.

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