I was so happy the other day when after my massage my massage therapist said, “I’m raising my rates. It will apply at your next visit.”
“Oh, good for you, Tonia,” I said. I was so pleased for her. As women, I think it’s hard to raise our rates especially when we’re in a service industry. She told me her new rate and then I booked my appointments for the next three months. She’s in demand and I don’t want to miss out on her healing touch.
I’m always happy when a professional raise her rates. It shows me she respects herself and her work.
Raising rates in the arts
She’s in the healing arts and she’s a businesswoman.
We’re in fashion and beauty. We use color and design to create the personal expression our clients want. We are artists and we’re businesswomen.
I’d guess that most of us are far more comfortable working in our artistic field than we are doing the businesswomen parts.
Most of us came to this profession because of our love of color and style. With reluctance, we’ve learned how to grow our business skills. That piece doesn’t come as naturally to us.
How do you raise your rates?
Because I work so closely with my private clients, I don’t do anything formal. I don’t give them notices. I do it verbally just like Tonia did.
I have a client I’ve had for nearly thirty years. She never worried about money until she went to a financial consultant who insisted she create and stick to a budget. She told me that she wouldn’t be able to see me as often. I felt bad for both of us. I decided that when my rates went up that I’d keep her at my old rate. I told her that and she was pleased.
So for the last year and a half (gosh, could it be more?), she’s paid less than any of my clients. When January rolled around I decided I had to raise her rates. I just wasn’t feeling good about this anymore. I was doing the same conscientious work that I did for all my clients, I was paying Erin to assist me and that was at her regular rate. I was helping this client with trip wardrobes to all sorts of places. From the outside, it looked like I’d made the adjustment to do her a favor and keep her rates down while her life looked pretty much the same as it always did. Like I said, I just didn’t feel good.
So when I saw her in January and she pulled out her checkbook to pay me I told her that this was the last appointment at this rate, that I was raising her rate as of our next appointment.
What she said surprised me.
“Well, that’s fair. I really want you to want to come work with me,” she said. It really made me think!
Do you have clients at different rates? Do you feel just a tiny bit less enthusiasm to see the clients at the lower rates? Do you skip off to work when you’re seeing the people that pay your full rate?
I always believe that if we’ve been thinking about it for awhile, if we start to feel an imbalance with what we do for a client and what they’re paying for our services, it’s time to raise our rates. Too often we think about it for months or even years before we raise our rates. Is that very professional?
You don’t want to feel resentful or not happy to see someone. If you know it’s because you’re undercharging, swallow that courage pill and raise your rates.
Professionals do it. Businesswomen do it. We do it.
I know money is a hard thing to talk about. But isn’t it time we did?
Please share your thoughts about raising rates…or your questions!