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Freelance Writing: How to Ask for a Raise

Once in a while, freelance writers should take time to evaluate their business and review their rates. If you are a good writer with an excellent reputation, clients should be willing to pay more for your services.

Here are some of the reasons why you should ask for a raise:

  • You are not breaking even – Consider your earnings versus your labor, operational costs, overheads, taxes, health care, and outsourcing. Does it leave you with a meaningful profit? When setting your rates, you need to take all the factors into consideration. After taking care of all expenses, you need to have some money left over to meet your needs. If you are merely breaking even, it would be advisable to ask for a raise.
  • Your work is excellent – If you are always getting positive feedback from your clients, it might be time to ask for a raise.
  • You are overwhelmed with work – When your services are in high demand, then you could consider raising your rates. Clients who value your work will be willing to pay more.

So how do you go about asking your clients for a raise?

1. Be honest

Relationships between freelancers and clients are based on trust and openness. Therefore, when it comes to asking for a raise, you should communicate your desire in an honest manner. Avoid the temptation of complaining about issues. Instead, be open about why you need a higher pay. For instance, if you feel that the amount of work involved is not commensurate with your earnings, explain this politely to your clients. Most clients will appreciate your honesty and would be willing to discuss new terms.

2. Justify your demands

Why should your client pay more for your work? Be ready to provide convincing reasons why you deserve a raise. When discussing this with your client, be sure to provide statistics which will back up your argument. For instance, if your sales copy resulted in massive sales or your post attracted lots of traffic, mention this in your discussion. This will show why a raise is justified.

3. Be willing to negotiate

Even though you believe that you should be paid a certain amount, be open to further negotiation. At times, the client cannot pay what you want, but can only add a little more. However, don’t allow yourself to be manipulated into accepting pay which is unreasonable. Set a fixed minimum cutoff and be firm. You should also consider the client’s budget during the negotiation. Clients with a huge budget are usually able to pay more than startup businesses.

4. Personalize your emails

When asking for a raise, don’t make the mistake of sending a generic email to different clients. Take the time to tailor your emails accordingly for each client. If possible, you could even follow up your email with a phone call.

5. Learn when to walk away

Someclients may decline to give you a raise because they believe you cannot walk away or they feel your request is not justified. This could be an indication that they do not respect you or your business. Continuing to work for such clients is likely to result in further manipulation when it comes to matters of payment. In such a situation, it would be advisable to simply walk away.

Many freelance writers fear asking for higher payment due to the fear of losing their clients. However, if you believe in yourself and your abilities, you will eventually find clients who are willing to pay you what you are worth.


Image: iStock

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