Many freelancers and business owners would much rather go to the dentist, file taxes, and listen to Nickelback than talk to their clients about money. But conversations about money don’t have to be uncomfortable.
We invited Allegra Poschmann, Art Director at Dynamo, to discuss how to raise your rates without scaring your clients away, quantify your value, and create proposals that seal the deal.
Watch the full recording below, or read on for our highlights of a few of Allegra’s 6 lessons.
Changing your mindset
Allegra noted that businesses don’t want to deal with freelancers—they want to deal with professionals. The word “freelancer” implies to some people that you’d need to be managed.
“How might labeling yourself as a freelancer be holding you back?”
In a lot of freelancer scenarios, the client runs the show, and you do the exact work specified by them. Instead of thinking or describing yourself as a freelancer, try branding yourself as professional (like a doctor, mechanic, plumber, or lawyer). After all, you wouldn’t hire a lawyer and then expect to have to manage their time and work.
So, Allegra asks you to ask yourself, “How might labeling yourself as a freelancer be holding you back”?
— Olia Gozha (@OliaGozha) March 30, 2016
Value-based pricing starts with asking yourself how you can best solve your client’s problems. This means that you have to focus on figuring out what the client’s problems actually are, rather than what solutions they’re immediately asking you for.
A few ways you can do this:
- Stop asking for budgets. We might think it’s helpful to ask upfront. However, Allegra insists that brings the project’s focus immediately on money instead of on the value that you can bring.
- Stop billing by the hour. You’re trading your time for money, and you’re opening yourself up for price comparison to other designers.
- Expect to say ‘no’ to more projects than ‘yes.’ When you shift to value-based pricing, you’ll have to say no to clients who are only looking for the lowest price or want something turned around quickly. Remember, your value is in solving the true problems the client has, which takes a bit more digging.
- Back up the unique value you bring to the table with a proven track record.
“Expect to say ‘no’ to more projects than ‘yes.'”
Once you rid yourself of your freelancer qualifier, you can be seen by your client as a partner, an ally, and even someone that’s a part of their team—instead of just “a contractor” they hired.
Above are just 2 of Allegra’s 6 tips. To hear Allegra’s 4 other tips, watch the video above and you’ll be as happy as Shelby:
— Shelby Clarke (@shelbstheging) March 30, 2016