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9 Reasons you should have already raised your rates

Let’s be honest, #knowyourworth is losing its impact, but not its importance. As creatives and small business owners, it’s easy to fall into the trap of decreasing your rates when the world seems to be crashing down around you.

We’ve all done it—lowered our rates to take on work, in fear that we’ll never get another gig. Or worse, taken on a project that involves way too much work without billing for it during an economic downturn.

It’s times like these when we need to hold fast to our worth, value, and abilities. Not sure where to start when it comes to knowing when to raise your rates? Check out these 9 reasons why you should have already raised your rates.


1. You’ve booked that service a lot

Once you’ve booked a service enough for it to become popular or highly requested, raise your rate. 

Why: Your clients are validating the demand & value of the service, and since you’re continually working on the skillset, you’re learning new efficiencies that allow you to adjust their rates accordingly.

Shoutout to our Wethos Community Member, Creative Brand Strategist, Anna Beyerle for sharing this tidbit!

2. You landed an impressive client

It’s no secret, big names make for great reputations. If you’ve landed a recognizable or respected brand, raise your rate.  

Why: Like most humans, clients are drawn to shiny objects. If you’ve worked with a client with serious clout, you’ll be seen as a resource to others who are looking to follow in their footsteps.

3. You learned a new skill

If you’ve invested in yourself to take a course, go back to school, or become specialized in a new field, raise your rate.

Why: Think of it as a performance-based raise. You’ve put in the work to develop your professional abilities and bring value to your clients, and your rates should reflect that.

person using MacBook Pro

4. You’ve invested in a tool to help make a particular service easier

If you’re spending money to make money, raise your rate.

Why: Investing in yourself is one thing, but investing in tools and equipment is another (and it’s often expensive). Your commitment to your new resource was to become more efficient, so you can do more. More efficiency means more value. And more value means more $$$.

5. You’re teaming up with others

Making new friends means making more money.

Why: When you team up for projects, it’s typically due to two things: bandwidth and ability. By sharing the workload, you should also be sharing the profits. Make sure your rate reflects the costs of collaboration. That means billing your clients so you and your partners are fairly compensated not just for your tangible work, but any transactional fees and resources needed to collaborate effectively.

6. You haven’t raised them in a while

If it’s been more than a year since you’ve evaluated your services and prices, raise your rates.

Why: Remember the dark days of unpaid internships and measly entry-level jobs? Companies have always valued employees based on the amount of experience and expertise they bring. So let’s flip the scenario, shall we? Break out your old calendars and write down your entrepreneurial anniversary. Once your special day comes rolling around, raise your rates.

1 us dollar bill

7. Your rates are lower than the industry average

Pay transparency is huge at Wethos. It’s one of the reasons we’ve created smart scoping technology that tells you when you’re pricing too low for your work. If you’re low-balling yourself, raise your rates.

Why: We get it, sticker shock is a real thing and the fear of it leads us to believe a potential client will go elsewhere for the same work. Hold fast to your worth and know that there’s power in saying no.

Shoutout to our Wethos Community Member, Web Developer, Chuck Munson for the advice!

8. You’re not billing for admin time

If you’re noticing your hours for a project are slowly creeping higher, raise your rate. 

Why: Time is money, even if it’s spent doing admin work, like responding to emails, reviewing documents or joining those “pick your brain” phone calls. So charge for it.

Shoutout to our Wethos Community Member, Digital Strategist, Chelsea Naftelberg for the advice!

9. Your time is limited

Experienced an uptick of new clients? Raise your rates.

Why: An influx of business is no reason to pull back on pricing. Lean in and price yourself for the workload you’ve taken on, and no, we’re not saying price gouge for the sake of making more money. Use the increase  as validation for your services and the value you bring. So before you question if you can take on an additional client, make sure it’s worth your time.

Shoutout to our Wethos Community Member, Designer, Kelli Upshur for the advice!


Did we miss a tactic? Do you have a strategy to share? Let us know on twitter by tweeting @wethosco.