Charging Your Clients More

Thank you very much for Susan Vaughn's article Charge Your Clients More. This article is right on the money. It's down to earth, practical, encouraging, and logical. Vaughn suggests an elegant approach that is bound to keep long-term clients satisfied.

Now that I've discovered your classy Web site, I'll visit often. Thank you for providing such appropriate and high-quality reading for IPs.

Catherine von Dennefeld

I've recently come across 1099 and have been able to immediately connect to the content. As an IP -- now I know what I am! -- it's one bookmark that has gone straight to the top of my list.

The advice on charging clients more has been especially helpful. My fees don't reflect my value, but now I have a way of getting them to match up -- which hasn't been the case since I went solo in 1998.

Thanks for a great resource and best wishes from Melbourne, down under.

Dean Kennedy

I enjoyed the article Charge Your Clients More, but still don't see the sense in telling the customer the rate has gone up. Why give them a chance to complain? Half the time they don't even realize the change. I have always raised rates at the beginning of every year, without announcing it to my clients -- and they've never balked at the invoices.

Nina P. Messina

You've been very lucky to have clients like that -- but it probably wouldn't work for most IPs. True, it's not uncommon for an IP's rates to creep up indirectly -- by gradually billing for more hours, or by breaking out extra service charges that were previously buried in other billable items. However, we believe that IPs who plan to raise their core hourly or day rates should tell their clients in advance. Having the client discover it for the first time on the invoice, after the work is done, would risk seriously pissing the client off.

Of course, if you're billing flat rates for projects, that's another story. In that case we could understand why your clients might not "realize the change." You can charge higher flat rates without announcing that you're raising your rates for the simple reason that different projects get assigned different flat rates anyway, due to a multitude of factors. And some clients trust their IPs enough not to ask the price on individual gigs up front, discovering it only when the bill comes in. Usually this extremely informal arrangement happens only after a long working relationship involving a string of similar (and similarly priced) small projects. Free-wheeling arrangements like that can be great, but we've also seen them blow up in the IP's face (even after years of working together).

I found your article on raising rates very prophetic. I have been a debt counselor for 14 years providing a lifelong credit repair service for a fixed fee -- $995, payable at $50 a month. Fourteen years ago, my fee was $600. I think I need to take your advice.

Skip Mull

Charge Your Clients More is a good article with lots of suggestions that anyone can use. I have read in other places that people equate a high rate with better quality. I am definitely keeping this article in mind when contract renegotiation comes around with my current project.

Phillip Flores

Bravo! I enjoyed your article "Charge Your Clients More." I've given much of the same advice to many students and peers -- even would-be competitors. I employ a rate card, a sort of menu of services that breaks down costs for different types of work. This works best and sets me apart from the crowd. I also hand out a production cost estimate for every production job, which the client signs off on to begin work. For the few prospects that think my costs are too high, I count my blessings, for they usually turn out to be the type of client that makes multiple changes and inevitably are s-l-o-w payers. I have referred others to your article. Great job!

Sir Jay Yarabek
Venice, Florida