How to Pivot Your Pricing (if it’s too low)
When you start out on your own as an entrepreneur, freelancer, or side-hustler, one of the biggest challenges can be figuring out what to charge. It's such an important part of your business and so many factors go into deciding your pricing (i.e. your industry, your experience, what the going rate is) etc. Not only do you have to consider those factors, but it's also about making sure you're charging enough so you can not just cover your basic expenses, taxes, and other necessities like insurance, but also live the lifestyle you desire! Let’s be real, it's always nice to charge enough so that you don't feel like you have to work 100+ hours per week to feel like you made enough money.
Once you've got a bit of experience under your belt, you may be wondering how (and when) to pivot your pricing and increase your rates. If you're thinking you may not be charging enough, feel out what other people are charging in your industry to compare. Chances are, if you think you're not charging enough...you’re probably right.
Here are four tips for pivoting your pricing in a way that makes you (and your clients) happy.
1. Time it right
Timing is everything when it comes to increasing your rates. If you just signed a client a month ago at a set rate and then tell them you want to increase it, chances are they won't be happy for a few reasons. One, you probably haven't even given yourself a chance to prove yourself to your client, and they may be confused since they just settled with you on a certain rate. This could lead to mistrust...which you never want. So before you decide to increase your rates, make sure you've been working with that client for a while and know they are happy with your work. Bonus points if you already have a testimonial on hand from them that reflects that value.
One helpful guideline from the Creative Class podcast (a podcast for freelancers by Paul Jarvis and Kaleigh Moore) is to increase your rates every 6 months by 15-25%.
2. Adjust your services
One way to pivot your pricing (without actually changing the dollar amount) is to adjust your services or the scope of work. So maybe you reach out to a client and they say they can't afford to pay your new rate, so you negotiate and tell them that they can pay the same rate, but you will have to adjust the services (i.e. less work) for the same cost.
Another way to adjust your services is to add something to what you're already doing for a client (i.e. a value add) and then use that to justify your higher rate.
3. Tell it like it is
Another way to increase your pricing is to be honest with your clients and tell it like it is. There's zero shame in telling your clients or audience that you've gotten more experience, or more demand, or maybe you need to elevate some other aspect of your business– so you're raising your rates. Although it might initially feel scary or uncomfortable, if you're doing good work and your clients are happy, you would be surprised how supportive they’ll be because a) you're awesome, and b) they want to keep you and depend on your awesome work.
4. Address concerns as they come
Real talk: unless you're Netflix, most people won't have a major freak out when you increase your rates. As long as you are prepared to share why your services are worth the new price, then you're solid. Know that it's very possible no one will even ask why if you are coming from a sincere place.
At the end of the day, how much you charge can make or break you in your business–besides, you want to meet your needs and feel valued. When you work for yourself or are in charge of your own payroll, remember it's up to you to ask for more and make it happen!
At Mavenly + Co., we focus on helping women work for themselves. From free resources and podcasts to private coaching and events, our team is here to help you take your career + business to the next level. Whether you are a freelancer, side hustler, or full-time business owner, we want to help you succeed in your work. Want to learn more? Click here!