Email template: How to raise your rates with existing clients

Email template: How to raise your rates with existing clients

When you start freelancing, it’s common to lower your rates to attract new clients. This can lead to a situation where you are undervaluing your own skills. More importantly, you might be very busy but still can’t make ends meet. It’s tempting to raise your rates with existing clients – but how can you do that without damaging the relationship?

Raising prices with existing clients is risky. They bought into your services at the agreed lower rate and may feel tricked if you increase it substantially at the drop of a hat. You do need to consider however that you’re also running a business as a freelancer. When you wake up one day and find that you’re undercharging, you can’t just sit still!

Here are some tried and tested techniques to raise those rates without losing (all) of your clients. By the way, you may lose some clients in the process, however, this isn’t a bad thing! It’s likely anyway that just 20% of your clients bring you 80% of your profits.

Should you actually raise your freelance rates?

Some clients are valued for non-financial reasons. They might bring you great referrals, or give you free office space, or simply be a pleasure to work with. You could consider not raising their rates, or at least only raising them marginally.

Other clients are already a pain to work with. Raising their rates substantially can only result in a win-win situation. Either they leave or you at least get paid for the struggle. (although some clients are simply not worth working with, whatever your rate!).

Charge new clients more

Once you’ve identified that you’re undercharging for your freelance work, make sure that you charge all new clients a new, higher rate. I’d even suggest you double your freelance rate for new clients, especially is you’re just starting out.

Raise your freelance rate: Email template

Are you ready to raise those client rates? Ok, let’s go.

I’ve done all the hard work for you and have written an email template that is ready to go. All you need to do now is to copy-paste it into your email program and change the name + project details.

Dear Sally,

it’s been a real pleasure working with you for the last 2 weeks. The new park project was particularly interesting!

I wanted to let you know that I’ve since updated the way I manage projects. We’ve chosen an online project management tool to make sure that projects will run even smoother!

Please also note that my prices have been revised since we last worked together. A typical website project now starts at $xyz.

Of course, I still pride myself on the fastest turn-around this side of New York! I even won an award for it – read more about it here.

I look forward to working with you in the future,

Kind regards – John
Blog link:
Newsletter link:

Here is the whole email template deconstructed. Your own situation will vary but this gives you a system that you can apply to your own clients:

Email template to increase freelance client rates

Click for a larger version

When should you send the email?

It’s generally best to try and raise rates when you’re not actively engaged in a project. Wait 3 to 5 days after sending your final invoice. For clients that you’re not actively engaged with, there is a simpler answer: The time to raise your rates is RIGHT NOW!