#077: How to Grow Your Income by 20% Almost Overnight

Growing your income as a freelancer doesn’t need to be that difficult.

In fact, there’s a very simple way to do that. I’ve used it for years to multiply my income. And I’ve taught it to many of my coaching clients who have used it successfully.

But there’s a problem. The idea is so simple, it’s often dismissed and never put to use.

So before I reveal too much, I’d like to give you some context.

The notes that follow are a very basic, unedited summary of the show. There’s a lot more detail in the audio version. You can listen to the show using the audio player below. Or you can subscribe in iTunes or on Stitcher to get this show delivered straight to the Podcasts app on your smart phone, tablet or iPod.

What’s “Realistic”?

I don’t know about you, but the older I get, the more I realize that my perception of reality has little to do with what’s really happening in the world around me … or what’s truly possible in my life and my business.

What was “reality” for you in high school? What was “reality” for you 10 years ago? How has your perception of reality (and what’s possible in your life) changed over the years?

The opportunities we pursue, the growth we experience, the income we earn—all these are a direct function of how we perceive reality and what we believe as absolutely true.

Raising Your Fees: An Underused ‘Lever’

This idea is very powerful, and it’s something I go deeper into in my group coaching and training programs. But today I want to talk about just one aspect of it.

And that’s the issue of pricing. Specifically as it relates to boosting your income.

Because I believe that raising your prices is one of the quickest and easiest ways you can boost your income as a freelancer. It’s one of the most underused “levers” in the quest to boost your freelance income.

Beware of Your Pricing Paradigm

Our perceptions of pricing are shaped by what we see in our everyday lives and what we experienced in the past — especially before we became self employed.

We often approach our pricing using the model we learned in our previous careers. Or we will (subconsciously) apply the model we see in the consumer world, where prices are less variable and where price shopping is common.

So, much of our pricing decisions as freelancers often come from this paradigm that we’ve developed in our personal lives.

So that’s my first suggestion: Beware of the pricing paradigm you’re basing your decisions from.

Don’t assume that there is serious price sensitivity for your services, and that you have to get it just right, because you believe that a 5% swing in either direction could be trouble.

That’s not true!

Example: I quickly got stuck at the $3,800 price point for white papers because my biggest white paper client at the time was assigning me a ton of these projects and they assumed that was my standard fee for this work.

Unfortunately, I started to believe that this rate was also the “market” price. So I quoted the same rate to new prospects. And before I knew it, I was stuck at this price point (at least that was my perception).

Low Fees Are Unnecessary

My next point about pricing is that unless you’re just starting out in your freelance journey, low fees are simply unnecessary!

Too many of us use our current results as the litmus test for reality. But that’s a bad measure of what could be possible for you. Your current results are simply a byproduct of a specific set of current variables — variables you can change!

In other words, if you’re losing opportunities because of your prices, that only means that you’re getting “No’s” from a certain group of prospects for a specific type of service (or services), at a particular time, and pitched in a specific way.

But just because the outcome was negative doesn’t mean that you will continue to get negative results, even if you changed some of the variables.

You could change how you position your services, the value clients get, why you’re different or better.

You could also change whom you go after with these services. You could change the services you offer … or change the way you frame your services.

Everyone loses opportunities — even high-earning freelancers. Everyone gets turned down occasionally.  It’s part of business!

Most experienced freelancers will tell you that, in hindsight, they under-priced their services. Chances are, you’ll say the same thing in a few years. So why not make those changes now and save yourself the future regret?

clicktotweetUnless you’re just starting out in your freelance journey, low fees are simply unnecessary!

I Have a Challenge for You…

I want you to conduct an experiment starting today. I want you to commit to raising your fees by 20% on the next project you quote.

Do this only with a new prospect OR with an existing/dormant client, but on a project you’ve never quoted for them before.

Here’s what could happen:

  • You could lose the deal (which could happen anyway)
  • You could win the deal at a lower premium (but higher than your normal fee)
  • You could win the deal at your new, 20% higher rate (good possibility!)

Once you start quoting and landing that $1,000 project for $1,200, this new rate will be your new paradigm.

Once that becomes your new normal, try this again. Raise your fee on that service on the next client by 20%.

So, your assignment is to commit to doing this experiment … and to report your findings below in the comments section.

I look forward to hearing about your progress!

  • Craig Chappelow

    Ed, Great topic today and an important reminder that our mental models can really hold us back if we don’t challenge them.

    • edgandia

      Thanks, Craig!

  • Susan Anderson

    LOVE this advice. I’ve got a couple of projects I do this on, and still haven’t reached the pricing ceiling yet. Now… what about clients and projects that have been tooling along for years without an adjustment? (Gulp!)

    • edgandia

      Awesome! Yes, it’s harder with existing clients and existing/recurring projects. But that’s just one more incentive to find new clients who could potentially replace old ones that you can no longer serve.

      • Susan Anderson

        Indeed! Or… I could just buck up and ask. Ugh.