ASH AMBIRGE

Author, CEO & Founder

Learn More >>

“How do I raise my rates without making it awkward?”

In: WTF Do I Say?

Well isn't this the motherloving question of the year.

It gets asked a lot sometime between the stages of that time you started your business and worked for peanuts because you were feeling wildly insecure about your worth and holy bananas I've been doing this for years and I'm still barely making rent even though I work around the clock, my armpits stink, and I haven't seen the outside in days.

You've come to the sobering reality that your rates are embarrassingly low…but you haven't had the guts to raise them just yet. Why? Probably one of the following:

  • I have no idea how to have the conversation with my clients
  • I don't want to seem like a greedy schmuck
  • I don't know how much is too much?
  • I don't have any justification for the price increase
  • Everything feels willy nilly
  • What if I lose clients? I can't afford to lose clients
  • What if nobody ever hires me again at the higher rate?
  • It's too complicated; I'll put this on the back burner for now while I put out 40 other fires

There's just one problem: Your business is ta-ta-tanking in the meantime.

Here's the deal:

Raising your rates is a natural part of doing business—like breathing, only with less moisture. (Or something.)

And even though it feels scary? Your clients are probably wondering why you charge so little.

Every single pricing decision is a statement about your brand. Just the other day, our boat charter company got a call from a prospective client and said, “I like you guys, but…how come you're priced so low? Is there something wrong with the boat?” (We were running a special promo which is why rates were significantly lower than usual.)

The good news? If you've been thinking about raising your rates for a while now, the new year is the perfect time to do it. When I worked in advertising, I'd send clients new rate cards every year like clockwork. It wasn't this big, hairy deal; it was a part of our process.

And that, right there, is the key.

How you present the rate increase to your clients is far more important than the rate increase itself.

If you approach it like you feel bad, the client's going to feel bad about it.
If you approach it like you're sorry, the client's going to feel sorry, too.
If you approach it like it's a big deal, the client's going to think it's a big deal, too.

Your clients feed off of your behavior. When a child skins their knee, do you run up to them and scream bloody murder? Or do you act calm and totally at ease, in order to make the child feel calm and totally at ease? (Not to compare clients to children, but if the shoe fits…wink.)

It's about telling your clients professionally, rather than asking them politely.

This all goes back to managing expectations.

And if you freak out about it / dread the moment / aren't sure if you should / are convinced it's going to go poorly?

Then maybe the first person's expectations you need to politely manage…are your own.

Need more help with this? Check out Unf*ckwithable Words!

2,217

READS

The One Line Script That Will Help You Raise Your Rates Without Sweating, Swearing or Sounding Like a Greedy, No-Good, Finger-Licking Arse

When I worked in magazine advertising sales, every year we were sent a copy of the new rate cards from corporate. And every year, we account executives would then proceed to send an email to our clients that would say: “Hey, Janey-babe! Here’s this year’s new rate card for your records.” It wasn’t personal. Nor […]

In: WTF Do I Say?

READ MORE >>

2,008

READS

“How do I raise my rates without making it awkward?”

Well isn’t this the motherloving question of the year. It gets asked a lot sometime between the stages of that time you started your business and worked for peanuts because you were feeling wildly insecure about your worth and holy bananas I’ve been doing this for years and I’m still barely making rent even though I […]

In: WTF Do I Say?

READ MORE >>

1,463

READS

How to Handle Inconsiderate Jerk Offs

At some point, you’re going to get into a dispute with someone. Maybe it’ll be a client. Maybe it’ll be a friend. Maybe it’ll be your 6th grade math teacher, who, first of all, is actually still alive, and second, who you’ve come to mercilessly hunt down to let her know just how much she […]

In: WTF Do I Say?

READ MORE >>

271

READS

Taking Time Off for the Holidays but HAVEN’T TOLD YOUR CLIENTS? Here’s a Proven Script You Can Use (That Won’t Put Anyone’s Undies in a Bunch)

Last week I gave you a savage script for what to say when you want to raise your rates come the New Year—without seeming like a total grabby, greedy, ungrateful weirdo. But guess what? This fun train’s just begun, because this week, YOU GET ANUTHAAA ONEEEE. It’s the middle of December, my friend, and that […]

In: WTF Do I Say?

READ MORE >>

5,778

READS

Help! My Elevator Pitch is Falling (Seriously) Flat Chested.

There’s this collective group groan that happens when the words, “elevator pitch” are spoken. (For the record, it sounds like: gggggeeerrrrrrrrrrrrrduuuurrrrrruhhhhhhSPLAT.) In my experience, this is usually for one of three reasons: Someone once insisted that if you’re ever riding in an elevator, you MUST! BE! ABLE! TO! SELL! YOURSELF! BEFORE! THE! NEXT! STOP! (So […]

In: WTF Do I Say?

READ MORE >>

682

READS

How to (Naturally!) Transition Into a Good-Natured Sales Pitch Over The Phone—Without Seeming Like a Total Greedy, Awkward, Weirdo Troll

It’s the moment you’ve been dreading. You’re there, on the phone. It’s almost time to wrap up. There’s THE awkward silence. You know you’re suppose to try and sell them some kind of 3-month package—or some other salesy bullshit—but how do you transition the godforsaken conversation?! This is so not natural for you. The whole thing […]

In: WTF Do I Say?

READ MORE >>

5,318

READS

23 Phrases Every Stressed Out, Strung Out, Well-Meaning (Yet Irritable) Business Owner Needs to Memorize TODAY.

Being able to elegantly SAY WHAT YOU MEAN isn’t always an easy task— —particularly when you’re too busy for petty sh*t like showers, your stress hormones are being IV dripped into your veins at the rate of a class five river rapid, your head is doing Beetlejuice-style 360s as you juggle fourteen and a half clients (and their really cute idiosyncrasies—wink), […]

In: WTF Do I Say?

READ MORE >>

Exclusive VIP Access

Join The Middle Finger Project mafia—over 75,000+ disobedient humans strong—and as a welcome gift (which I promise won’t be a thug named Vinny), I’ll send you a top secret discount code for our best-selling courses, kits and workshops. Because #SOLIDARITY.

It’s free, and you’ll also get new posts every week, plus at least one GIF of Betty White for the win.

Privacy Policy Info Here