I’ve come across a fair few sticky situations as a freelancer. That being said, I’ve managed to get myself out of them – and even made more money by doing so!
But the chances are, if you haven’t experienced any kind of freelancing success, you’re feeling something like this:
Feeling unmotivated to finish a freelancing job because you aren’t being paid what you deserve.
Or you’re filling your time with low-paying clients and feeling overwhelmed.
You might even be frustrated as to why you’re not making a stable, full-time income with your freelance writing venture.
I get it… Because I’ve been there.
Just a few years ago, I was busting my balls on content mills and bidding sites just to make enough cash to save for my holiday. After discovering that I had a passion for writing (and was pretty good at it!), I set my heart on becoming a full-time freelancer.
Fast forward a few years and I’ve managed to make freelance writing a success, but I owe that to one thing: having the courage to raise my freelance writing rates 💸
Without asking my current clients to pay me extra for the (awesome) work that I was doing, there wouldn’t have been any chance that I could make a living from writing.
Now, I want to help you do the same by successfully raising your freelance writing rates and make sure that you’re getting paid what you deserve!
1. Update your portfolio
Before you dive straight in with emailing all of your current clients for a rate increase, you should take some time to prove to them that you’re worth the extra cash.
The best way to do this is through updating your portfolio.
Portfolios are basically a collection of work that anybody can see to get an idea on your writing skills. It can include anything from:
- Client blog posts, bylined by yourself
- Guest posts
- Other types of client content (with their permission!)
- Your own blog posts
Here’s a snippet of my portfolio on Contently:
Make sure that your freelance writing portfolio only contains links and samples that you’re proud of. The chances are, these are your best pieces of work and it’ll help you to justify your rate increase to newer clients.
It will also be beneficial to ensure that all of the content housed within your freelance writing portfolio fits within your niche or your client’s industry.
Businesses that hire specific freelance writers (AKA those that have a niche) tend to be more willing to pay for the better content that comes with their extensive skill, knowledge and experience within the industry.Having an up-to-date portfolio is KEY to successfully raising your freelance rates! 💸 Click To Tweet
2. Show off your testimonials
The chances are, your current clients will already know how great of a freelancer you already are. But, if you’re wanting somebody to hire you with your increased rates, you’ll have a hard job convincing them if they don’t have any kind of reassurance.
The best way to land a new client at a higher rate is to show off your testimonials. You can do this by asking your clients (current OR previous!), co-workers or manager to write a short brief on what you’re like as both a writer and a freelancer.
You could even ask your testimonial-giver to give a bit of background about how productive you are, or how you’re always willing to go the extra mile to write an amazing blog post.
I’ve always found that the more testimonials you have, the better chance you have of being hired at a higher rate.
In fact, I’ve seen a huge spike in the number of enquiries that I get through my blog since I added tonnes of testimonials to my Services page – all of which are more accepting to pay the big bucks for my work!
Hurrah to that 🎉
3. Wait for the right time
Now that you’re all prepared for your new and increased freelance writing rate, don’t be fooled into thinking that you should immeditely email all of your current clients to inform them about your decision.
Waiting for the right time is key to successfully upping your freelance rates and if you ask at the wrong time, it could ruin your entire relationship.
“So, what is the right time?”, I hear you ask.
The right time to increase your freelance writing rate is when you’ve built a rapport with your client.
This means that you should ask for a raise when you’ve proved to them that you’re trustworthy, able to create incredible content and they believe that you’re good at what you do.
That being said, knowing when you’re at that moment can be tricky.
I always advise that you’ve written at least four blog posts for a client before asking a testimonial. Obviously, this will vary depending on the work that you’re doing, but make sure that you ask clients for testimonials as soon as you feel confident that they’ll give you a good one!
You should also make asking for a testimonial part of your goodbye when a freelance writing gig comes to a close.
Take action: Email all of your previous one-off clients that you had a great relationship with and ask them for a testimonial, then display it on your website!
4. Offer writing package upgrades
All businesses want a way to minimise the time they spend outsourcing work. After all, it’ll save them time and money. So why not help them do it?
You can increase your freelance writing rates with current (and potential!) clients by packaging-up your services. This is where you make a tailor-made agreement for your client, whilst kinda up-selling them.
The most common way for freelance writers to package their services and increase their rate is to do something like this:
Instead of… A 1,000-word blog post for £100.
Offer… A 1,000-word blog post, with keyword research, royalty-free images and four social media posts for £150.
Which one sounds better to you?
Offering the second package instead of the first will be beneficial for the client as they don’t have to hire four different freelancers for the entire project.
Even though you’re putting in a bit of extra work, raising your freelance writing rates by offering packages also allows you to spend more time on your clients and whittle-out the low-hanging fruit.I'm confident enough to raise my freelance writing rates and get paid what I deserve! 💸 Click To Tweet
5. Prepare to lose clients
As much as I’d love to say that raising your freelance writing rates will be gladly accepted by all of your clients, it’s just not the case. However, it’s unlikely that all of your clients will reject the uplift in price and take their business elsewhere.
I’ve raised my rates with about five of my long-term clients since I started offering freelance writing services. Only one of them came back and said that they couldn’t afford the rates. But, I stuck to my guns and eventually lost the client to a freelancer who could do the work for a cheaper price.
Even though losing clients has the obvious drawback of missing out on income, you should think about what’s more important to your freelance writing business: fewer high-paying clients or more low-paying clients (AKA what I like to call ‘low-hanging fruit’).
Filling your freelance writing time with high-paying clients is much more valuable than working with multiple low-hanging fruit clients.
That’s because they trust you more with their work; you can build a rapport with your contact and get to know them outside of work. You also get the chance to be closer to your project, giving you the best chance of creating an awesome piece.
For me, that’s always been the best type of freelancer-client relationship!
As you can see, raising your freelance writing rates doesn’t have to be a scary task that you avoid for hours. Once you’ve bitten the bullet and asked your clients for the rise that you deserve, you should see a major boost in your happiness AND of course, the cash that you deserve! 💸
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(Hint: They pay great - you just need to click-through and apply!)