There’s plenty of reasons why you should consider increasing your pricing: you have a waiting list of clients, you’re overloaded and need breathing space to grow your business strategically (or just to relax), you dread doing certain projects because you know you’re not being paid enough for the work, or you need to make more $$ so you can invest it in growing your business.
But how do you do it? Is it really as easy as changing the sticker price on the clearance rack? Yes! But then those pesky feelings get in the way. Before you can charge what you want, you probably have to overcome your reservations about asking for more for your services.
Here's a few ways to build your confidence so you can charge more:
1. DIG DEEP.
If you get an icky feeling around asking for more money, you need to figure out what makes you feel that way and conquer it. (Hint: it’s most likely a problem with your own insecurities and not how your clients actually feel.) If you think that your skills aren’t “up to par” or not worth the rate you’re coveting, why is that? We often feel that the things that come easily to us are not “hard” and therefore not in demand. Once you take a step back and realize that you’re selling a valuable experience to clients (and not just labor hours), it gets easier to increase your pricing.
2. FAKE IT ‘TILL YOU MAKE IT
As a creative business owner, your first few price increases can be intimidating. After all, you’re probably still playing small while you establish yourself + figure out your target market. This is the perfect time to start acting like a pro or invest in graphic design (even if you can't afford a whole new look or website yet). When you convey yourself as a professional who is worthy of more, you’ll start to earn your worth.
3. DISCOVERY CONSULTATIONS ARE YOUR FRIEND
If you're worried that charging more will shoo away prospective clients, you can set up a consultation prior to revealing your pricing. It gives you an opportunity to establish a connection + educate your client AND it means you can quote on a per project basis. Don’t forget that, as the business owner, you can increase your rates for jobs that you’re not jazzed about (or are more hassle than they’re worth at your normal rates).
4. OWN YOUR WEIRD
Creative businesses are built on relationships and connections. Take your corner and attract your niche. Every client is not a fit for every creative, so stand out to the people you want to work with. Your people will find you and will be willing to pay what you’re worth, but only if they connect with you. What makes you stand out from others? Is it your sense of humor? Your personality? Your charm? Your quirks? Your unique characteristics are what will set you apart-- not your brand colors. Great examples of very successful entrepreneurs who have OWNED THEIR WEIRD!!: Seth Godin, Bushra Azhar and Marie Forleo.
5. PAINLESS = VALUE, VALUE, VALUABLE
There’s nothing really special about Uber, Mac products and Airbnb, other than the fact that they’ve taken existing technologies and made them suuuuuuuuper easy to use. Make things super simple, straightforward, convenient, and painless for your clients and potential customers, and you will have a product or service they cannot live without regardless of cost. Do an audit of your own site or client onboarding process (don't forget your contract!) to figure out how it could be a better experience for your peeps. It's amazing how much people will respect you if you just do what you say you will (and do it on time.)
Freebie Alert: I've put together a 5-page checklist to make sure that your client contract covers your legal booty!
6. MORE THAN A SERVICE
Realize that just because something is quick and easy for you to do, it doesn’t mean it isn’t worth a lot to your clients. Think about all the school, late nights, and learning it took to have the skillset that you have — the skillset that your clients don’t have time or resources to learn about. When put in that light, you are really invaluable to them at this time.