Three Email Templates to Raise Your Rate

“Three Ways to Raise Your Rate” is part of “How to Hustle,” a free, 8-part guide on how to freelance as an independent pro. Get the whole thing here.

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If you subscribe to our “How to Hustle” Guide, you’ll get our full expanation for why you should raise your rate. Long story short? You should raise your rate — especially in your best client relationships.

Ok, but how? We suggested writing your client months in advance with an option for someone else at a lower rate. But what does that look like in practice?

Here we’ve put together our top rules and favorite templates to help you make that rate-raise happen.

Rule One: Keep it short.

Don’t sound defensive, as if it’s a rate you don’t deserve or couldn’t get elsewhere. Write a normal email catching up with your client, and then add this line:

I also wanted to let you know that my rate is going up to $__/hr for all clients starting September 1st. Just let me know if you have any questions.

From there, you can add offers and requests to suit your goals (see below).

Rule Two: Have a colleague to refer to

Putting someone you trust in your place will assure the client that you’re invested in their success as you move on while building cachet with colleagues. Plus, their rate will establish market standards to emphasize your own value.

Now, let’s put those in practice.

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Template #1: When the client probably won’t pay, and you’d rather pass them on

I also wanted to let you know that my rate is going up to $__/hr for all clients starting September 1st. I know that’s potentially prohibitive, so I’d be very glad to recommend my colleague [colleague name], at [lower rate], who’d be an amazing person to work with.

Template #2: When the client probably won’t pay, but you’d like to keep them

I also wanted to let you know that my rate is going up to $__/hr for all clients starting September 1st. That said, if the rate is prohibitive, let me know, and perhaps it would be possible to refer me to a couple people in exchange for a lower rate?

Template #3: When you want to make extra sure the client continues at higher rate

I also wanted to let you know that my rate is going up to $__/hr for all clients starting September 1st. If that’s prohibitive for any reason, I’d be glad to recommend my colleague [colleague name], at [lower rate], who reminds me a lot of myself when I was starting. Obviously my preference would be to continue working with you, but given how busy my schedule is, my goal is to limit myself to a few committed clients while working with [colleague name] to manage the rest.