If you are a freelancer or planning to be one in the near future, rest assured that you will have the chance to negotiate your rates at one time. The bad news is that most people don’t like to negotiate, or out rightly lack the needed skills do so. Oftentimes, many will suffer in silence and get frustrated in the long run. This shouldn’t be the case and so this guide is meant to help you enjoy freelancing career with the best rates possible. Remember, with better rates, you are always motivated to do your best - provide nothing but excellent quality!
So how can you raise your rates to clients?
Negotiate on scope
One thing that is guaranteed is that a great client is always good from the word go, and for the bad ones, there will always be a problem from the onset. This said, you are advised to be choosy when working with clients as this will determine whether you get a good deal or not. Also, beware of clients who want to negotiate your rate down. Nevertheless, if you are negotiating your rates, ensure that you consider scope and time of what is to be completed. Generally, this gives you a view on what actually to ask for based on project details.
Reason of increase
The reason you are asking for an increase is always a determinant whether you rate will be increased or not. First off, make it a point that you are offering unmatched value to the client so that you are considered an asset. Secondly, give valid reasons for your rate increment and also ensure that you do not negotiate downward. Lastly, be quite specific in your request and avoid wobbling in your quest to increase the rate. At the end of the day, it will pay off if you are firm and consistently telling people to get the best.
Do not put a cap
The best thing about the art of negotiation in freelance career is that you can get the highest prices. In this case, while negotiating rate increment, do not put a cap to what you are supposed to be paid. This is because some clients might be willing to pay more, and if you put a cap, then definitely you will be killing your chances. If your work is showing positive results, you stand a good chance of increasing your rates without struggle.
Value addition: win-win situation
It would be easier for your client to consider your rate increment if you add value to your job. It is great if you are providing quality work, but what can break the Camel’s back is value addition services. While negotiating with your client, try to inform him what you will be doing. In relation to this, if you are building a website, you can tell him that you will offer support for a certain number of months or years. This is something that makes your increment reasonable and it is all a win-win situation for you.
As stated before, negotiation is a skill that is perfected over time. However, even if you are new and want a rate increase, then you must be confident. If you show some signs of being confident, then you are likely to enjoy the best rates. For this reason, clients will have trust in you that you actually know what you are talking about and will readily accept the changes. As a word of advice, ensure that your points are quite convincing - believe in what you say and state only things you believe will work in your favor.
It is should be your ultimate goal to negotiate per project, giving rock-solid reasons of why you think your rate should be increased. As such, you will always enjoy the upper hand with most of the clients. In doing so, see to it that you state a higher amount and it shouldn’t go below your accepted minimum rate. In other words, start high and let the client state the price they are willing to offer. And as such, take note that negotiation process is not only about number but perceived value.
Focus long term
If you are negotiating for a raise, try to focus on long term goals. This does not only guarantee consistency but also profits for you as a freelancer. It goes without saying that most online clients like to have a fruitful relationship with versatile freelancers who understand their thing. Last but not least, do not compromise on the quality whichever way the negotiation ends.
As a freelancer, your main objective should be to provide excellent end results. It is based upon great results that clients will openly accept rate increment. There are those who do mind paying much higher than anticipated. In case you are not sure about your negotiation skills, consult extensively before trying anything out.