You all know April, right?
If you don’t yet, I would recommend you read through some of her posts here at GDB. She’s quickly becoming a seriously great author on this blog.
Not only does she write about some awesome stuff (as evidenced by the number of comments, tweets, and shares that her posts get), but she’s also a great business person. (At least I think so, after you read this post, let me know if you agree or if I’m completely off my rocker.)
Why April is a good business person and what you can learn from her…
I learned just how awesome she is recently when we had a business discussion of our own.
After she wrote a great guest post, I decided to bring April on to write a post about once a week here at GDB and we agreed on a price that worked for both of us.
Then we agreed that after 90 days, we’d talk about our arrangement and see how it works out. (This is a really long lead in, but I’m getting to a super-helpful point here.)
Turns out, that 90 days expired recently and April emailed me to catch up.
I told her I couldn’t raise my pay right now since the blog just couldn’t support it to which she came back with this reply:
“Glad you want to keep me around! I’m really enjoying writing for GDB….So another contract for 90 days?”
See what she did there?
Did you catch it? I almost missed it.
At first I thought she just committed me to another 90 day agreement.
But that’s the genius part of it (get it?) – she wasn’t only committing me to the next 90 days…more importantly, she was saying:
In 90 days, we’ll talk again about how much you’re paying me.
(That’s right, April. I’m on to you. I’ve got you all figured out.)
What this means for you
So what does this have to do with freelance designing or running your own design business?
Imagine you have a client who you do steady work for at $100/hour.
Have you ever realized that, after working at that rate for a while, you need to increase your rates in order to stay profitable?
That leads to a very awkward conversation.
So how do you avoid the awkward conversation? Train your client to expect to discuss money with you on a regular basis. For April and me, it’s 90 days. In 90 days, I fully expect her to contact me and ask how we’re doing money-wise.
And it won’t be awkward.
Now, I’m not saying you’ll necessarily get more money out of your client. But if you know (and your client knows) that you’ll be talking about it every three months, the likelihood of a rate-raise happening when you need it is much more likely.
I can already hear some of you saying: “But this only works with long-term clients. I only have short-term clients.”
I get it.
But if you only work with short term clients, then just raise your rates whenever you need/want to. You don’t have to charge every client the same fixed rate.
This is a great solution for long-term clients: the ones that will be paying you on a regular basis for continuous work.
Does this work?
Thanks, April, for such a great idea. What do the rest of you think? Will this work? I haven’t personally tried it, but I’m definitely going to with my long-term clients! What about you? Share your thoughts by leaving a comment.