5 tactics to increase your prices

After 6 years of evolving in the freelancing environment, I’ve realized that the freelancers who sell the most are not the best technically (nor are the ones with the most experience). It may sound counterintuitive, but I’ve seen the self-employed who are highly skilled in their field get paralyzed when it comes to selling themselves and spend their time selling their prices…

On the contrary, I have seen freelancers start up, position themselves well in the market and succeed in selling assignments at high prices (at a daily rate of over €500 in the first year of their activity).

The question of self-employment rates is fundamental. A freelancer who knows how to set a fair price for his services is a freelancer who will:

  • To thrive in the activity of the individual and feel valued by customers;
  • To be able to anticipate potential downsides and take vacations when needed;
  • Have the funds to develop your business and imagine new projects.

In this article, I share 5 strategies that you should put into practice, regardless of your experience and skill level, to increase your rates. I will focus my argument on freelance copywriting/writing, but my advice will be valid regardless of your industry.

Starting !

Strategy #1: Work on your credibility and perceived value

The first project that starts increasing your prices is your credibility project.

The task is a trust transaction: A customer who requests your services trusts you to help them solve their problem (improving conversions, increasing traffic, etc.).

What you need to understand is that by contacting you, the customer will bet. Before the mission starts, he can’t tell if it will succeed.

In choosing the right freelancer, So he will choose the person who sends him the best credibility signals.

What does this mean for you as a freelancer? How do you respond to these good signs of credibility?

If the client is looking for a copywriter, then he will try to find out which freelancer seems to him to be the best in the field. Concretely, once you connect with it, it will type your name on Google and note the results.

At this time, you will score points and increase your credibility if this customer finds texts you wrote and considers them to be of quality.

Logic. He is about to invite you for an assignment, he needs to be reassured and judge your work in advance. The more high-quality your work is considered, the more likely it is that it will accept a high price.

Therefore, the first strategy to increase your prices is to write the type of content that your customers are likely to request from you as part of a mission.

This can be done in several ways:

  • If you are an editor, you can create a blog and publish very good articles centered around your topic;
  • If you are a copywriter who specializes in email sequences, you can write a fictional email sequence for a company in your industry. Then share this sequence on your site;
  • If you are a LinkedIn Ghostwriter user, you can post great posts on your profile on a regular basis.

You found the idea.

The principle is to publish excellent content, designed to satisfy your customers and increase your level of credibility in your industry.

Put yourself in your customer’s shoes, imagine the content he would like to read and write directly.

Restrict yourself one day a week from this exercise, repeat it over time and you will see your rate gradually increase.

Strategy #2: Find better clients

This strategy may seem silly, but believe me, it is not.

I see a lot of freelancers stubbornly targeting, prospecting, and working with companies that don’t have the budget to pay well.

Because yes, it’s a fact, some companies don’t have a budget. Others have the budget, but don’t see the point in creating content or improving their copywriting. Others still understand the importance of writing, but they don’t want to invest and exploit freelancers with a slingshot.

If you’re targeting these types of businesses (and there are plenty of them), your efforts to increase your rates are doomed to failure.

But the good news is that there are also plenty of clients who understand your value, appreciate your skills, and are willing to pay you a good price.

The other good news is that to build a stable freelance business, you don’t need 50 clients. You only need 2 or 3 clients per month, they pay you money fairly.

So if you feel that the company is not satisfied with your services and does not have a budget, do not insist. Try to understand what category it could fall into (very small business, start-up individual entrepreneur, local artisans, SMEs that are not at all digital, etc.) and stay away from them.

On the contrary, try to understand the categories that have a budget and pay for freelancers well.

From experience, I can tell you that growing companies, especially those that raise money, fall exactly into this good category. She’s digital, she has a budget, she understands your value, and she’s used to working with freelancers.

There are many other types of companies like this one, it depends on the sectors and it is up to you to find them.

But keep in mind that certain types of customers will not be able to pay you well. It’s not serious; They don’t have to be your customers.

Strategy #3: Conduct case studies of good practices

This strategy extends to the first one I presented.

The idea is to identify, in your topic, which companies are using and implementing a strategy that seems right to you. Next, you’ll create a case study to decipher how it works.

This content will allow you to:

  • Show your skills and understanding of the field and enhance your credibility;
  • Make your potential customer want to use a similar strategy (because it’s a blow to their competition!)
  • Thus, make him want to call you at an attractive price.

By reading your case study, your prospects will think you have fully understood the sector’s problems. And in combination, they’ll think you’re the right person to solve it.

Strategy #4: Stand out the way you expect

There are many legends surrounding the excavation.

Here is a small selection of the most common misconceptions:

  • Thinking that this is necessarily a boring activity (wrong: persuading a potential customer, especially for a copywriter, can be intellectually cool)
  • Believing you have to be annoying and aim for volume (mistake: the freelancer only needs 2 or 3 clients a month)
  • Believing that prospecting is the solution to activate in emergency situations, when it’s “bullshit” (wrong: a good freelancer establishes a mining routine in his weeks and constantly tries to start new discussions).

Personally, I am horrified to see that the majority of freelancers don’t even try to mine. They prefer to fight while waiting for a mission to fall from the sky.

Again, if you work independently; You don’t need 1000 clients. You only need two or three months a month that pays you well. And to win them over, there is nothing more effective than highly targeted prospecting, with highly personalized messaging.

Never forget that potential clients have problems to solve and that you are there to provide them with a solution!

And I can guarantee you that many, many companies struggle to find good content/freelance writing/scripting.

With a well-written and well-targeted email, I can guarantee that your search can bring you very high results.

If you need inspiration to write your own prospecting emails, I invite you to watch this video in which I project about a company by shooting my screen:

However, there is a major downside to prospecting: The time taken to identify relevant and interesting possibilities.

This is exactly the reason for creating a special newsletter called Pygmalion.

At a rate of once a month, send subscribers 10 analyzes of growing French startups, Who will have the needs and budget to hire freelance translators for content marketing (or writing, composing, etc.).

  • Save subscribers dozens of hours of research on the most time-consuming part of prospecting: searching and qualifying their prospects;
  • They only collect companies that interest them and that fall within their jurisdiction (I target different sectors and needs)
  • The companies of choice have just raised the money and have the means to pay their freelancers at the rate they deserve.

More powerful ? If subscribers don’t find a well-paid job via the newsletter, I’ll compensate them!

If you are interested, head over to this page to discover Pygmalion, the gold mine for freelancers who are building a stable and sustainable business.

Strategy #5: Increase by 10% with each new mission

Finally, I would like to touch upon an important point in the definition of price: the emotional aspect.

Selling your services at a high price is not a normal thing. This often raises doubts and questions about his legitimacy as a freelance journalist. “What?! 500 euros a day? But nobody gets paid that much!”

Instead of wanting to increase your rates all at once (by doubling or tripling them), I suggest you increase them gradually.

A good way to do this is to increase the daily rate by 10% with each new task.

  • This is a reasonable enough increase not to raise doubts about your legality;
  • It remains within the usual price range, you do not feel that you are changing drastically (if you go from 200 to 220, that’s okay);
  • But it’s still a development going in the right direction and after 4-5 consecutive increments of 10%, it’s going to be a lot of fun for you!

Keep evolving

So these are my five tips for increasing your rates as a freelance copywriter/editor. I have seen that it can be adapted to any other profession (developer, designer, etc).

Keep in mind that potential customers are looking to solve their problems and are willing to pay a high price for a high-quality solution!

About the author

Valentine Decker is the founder of Sauce Writing, an online school that aims to accelerate your career through writing. He also created Pygmalion.club to help freelance writers get better assignments.

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