Confidently raise your rates without negatively impacting your business.
Are you struggling with how to price your products and services? Have you been told to “raise the price and hope for the best,” only to be met with lackluster results? In this episode, Danielle Desir Corbett, Bethany Hawkins, Michelle Thames, and J. Immanuel share strategies for successfully communicating price increases to clients without damaging business relationships.
Hear how (4) successful podcast creators, professionals, and business owners have raised their rates and the lessons they’ve learned along the way. You’ll learn from their unique stories, full of trial and error, and discover how they ultimately achieved the confidence to raise prices while remaining true to their business values and goals.
Listen to the podcast episode here.
This panel features:
- Danielle Desir Corbett, podcast marketing coach and founder of WOC Podcasters
- Bethany Hawkins, founder of Crackers In Soup, a podcast production and coaching company
- Michelle Thames, a social media strategist host of Social Media Decoded Podcast, and owner of Thames Media Solutions
- J. Immanuel host of Why We Succeed Podcast
In this episode, you will learn how to:
- [7:20] Tackle fears and uncertainty when increasing your prices
- [13:37] Understanding the exchange of energy and currency in setting rates
- [15:15] Knowing when to raise your prices
- [26:41] Reasoning behind raising prices
- [36:51] Retaining clients when raising prices
- [47:15] Knowing when to keep your prices the same
- [51:02] Testing and tweaking your prices
How To Raise Your Rates Without Losing Clients
While nerve-wracking, raising the prices of your products or services is inevitable. Adjusting your rates help reflect the true value and impact your services provide for your clients. However, it’s important to justify and communicate these increases to clients to maintain their loyalty and patronage. By strategically approaching price discussions, you can transform these sensitive conversations into opportunities to reinforce why working with you is the best investment.
1. Assess the value and quality of your services.
When considering raising your rates, evaluate the value and quality of your services. Take stock of your clients’ satisfaction and results, and be open to receiving their feedback.
Client testimonials and success stories can be powerful indicators of your services’ value.
While continuously improving your offerings will allow you to stay ahead in the market and maintain a competitive edge, regularly reviewing your value proposition can help you establish a solid foundation for price increases that are relevant and timely.
Here’s Michelle Thames’ story:
When Michelle Thames started her marketing agency, she initially charged clients $200 for social media management. After attending a masterclass for agency owners, she learned that she could charge up to $2,500 per client. This realization led Michelle to reassess her pricing and appreciate the value she brings to her clients. As she started charging more, better aligned clients came her way who appreciated her skills and experience. Michelle’s story demonstrates the importance of charging based on one’s skills and experience, as well as the significance of valuing oneself.
Michelle stresses when determining if now is a good time to raise your rates, look at the sustainability of your business as well as your business model. Assess your finances, how much have you made so far and what would you like to make in the future.
Danielle Desir Corbett emphasizes when considering raising your rates, evaluate client results and if clients mention you are undercharging, ask them what they would be willing to pay for the transformation or result.
2. Evaluate your current pricing structure and goals.
In order to effectively adjust your pricing strategy, conduct thorough market research and gain an understanding of your industry’s landscape. This includes analyzing your competitors’ pricing structures, identifying trends, and determining your audience’s willingness to pay.
Bethany Hawkins, for instance, chose to continuously evolve her pricing structure based on personal experience, client feedback and satisfaction, and industry research. Likewise, Michelle Thames and J. Immanuel emphasized the importance of having a strategic plan, being flexible, and allowing room for adaptation as your business grows and changes.
In addition to researching market rates and prices, continually educate yourself and stay up-to-date with pricing trends and best practices within your industry. Listening to podcasts like Women of Color Podcasters, attending webinars, and joining relevant online communities can provide you with valuable insights into how others approach their pricing strategies.
As you learn from the experiences of fellow peers and experts, you’ll be better equipped to make informed decisions about pricing and feel more at ease when discussing pricing increases with clients.
It’s also important to point out that pricing is an ongoing process, requiring regular reevaluation as your business grows and your clients’ needs change.
Bethany Hawkins: “Business owners have to know themselves; they have to know their why. What are they looking for in the near future, in the future future, and work accordingly. So if they are maxed out in their time and in their energy, it could be because they don’t have any team members. So if they’re looking to get team members; doing an assessment of what team member they need, what that costs and then charging accordingly. So always tapping into the reasoning behind it. I don’t encourage people to raise prices having no idea why.”
3. Notify clients well in advance of price changes.
After you’ve confirmed you’ll increase your rates and determined what they will be, plan on notifying clients of price changes well in advance. Provide your clients with ample notice of the upcoming changes, giving them plenty of time to adjust and ask questions or voice concerns.
Clearly communicate the reasons for the price increase, focusing on the value and benefits that your clients will continue to receive. Emphasize any improvements or enhancements to your services.
Acknowledging that change can be challenging and expressing appreciation for their understanding and continued business will demonstrate empathy.
Remain professional, be honest and clearly communicate price changes with the goal of maintaining lasting relationships with your clients. Your client will appreciate the respect and care, and can make an informed decision about working with you in the future.
Michelle Thames: “I think that effective communication can help you from losing clients. Sometimes. To be honest, though, it’s just unavoidable. Maybe it was just the end of the role for both of you and it’s just not the right fit anymore. Also, be okay with it not being the right fit anymore.”
Losing clients is sometimes unavoidable but that why it’s so important to maintain open and honest communication, especially when communicating changes that will impact your working relationship.
4. Offer discounts or incentives for long-term clients.
How about raising rates on existing clients?
When informing existing clients of price increases, some may not be thrilled about the price increase.
Offering discounts or incentives to long-term clients can ease the transition for those who may be hesitant about the changes.
As part of your well-thought-out plan for addressing price increases, consider either keeping your current clients at their current rate (no increase) or give them six months notice that you’ll be increasing your rates.
Another option, offering a discount (permanent or temporarily) on your current offerings.
Offering discounts or incentives for long-term clients demonstrates your appreciation for their loyalty, makes them feel valued, and communicates you want to retain their business.
Michelle Thames: “If they were at a certain rate, I keep them at that rate. But when I have the opportunity to say, but I can offer you this, then that’s a different story.”
Then again, sometimes it’s best to keep your prices the same if your business is still in its early stages or if everyone involved in the business is happy with the current prices.
Bethany Hawkins: “If you are happy and content, and if you have team members and they’re happy with their pay and you’re happy with your pay and everybody’s singing Kumbaya, don’t feel the need to increase your prices, you’re gucci.”
For entrepreneurs struggling with pricing strategies, understanding how to communicate price increases to clients is really important. But don’t forget to continue offering quality services and prioritizing the customer experience.
In summary, evaluate your current pricing, assess your services’ true value, create a business plan, and inform clients well in advance, offering incentives or addressing concerns.
Following these steps, you’ll find yourself empowered to confidently raise prices and get closer to achieving your entrepreneurial goals!
Listen to this podcast episode on Spotify.
- “I am worthy of charging $5,000, I am worthy of a successful business.” – Michelle Thames
- “Effective communication can help you from losing clients.” – Michelle Thames
- “Keep your clients informed on changes and what’s going on.” – Michelle Thames
- If you feel like it’s time to raise your prices, raise them reasonably. Just be reasonable about what you’re doing and really consider the strategy, the reason why, and know your numbers.” – Michelle Thames
- “Think about your customer journey and how you make your clients feel.” – Danielle Desir Corbett
- “Communication is key as a service provider.” – Danielle Desir Corbett
- “Those learning lesson clients are the best for changing your contracts, raising your rates, and changing the way you communicate.” – Bethany Hawkins
- “Sometimes it’s not that you can’t raise your prices. It’s just that you still need to do a little bit more testing.” – J. Immanuel
- “Know that making a shift will take time.” – J. Immanuel
- “Take your time to build your business.” – J. Immanuel
About the Guests
Danielle Desir Corbett is a renowned podcast marketing coach and founder of WOC Podcasters, a podcasting organization amplifying Women of Color across the globe. With her strategic know-how, she helps expert professionals grow their podcasts and monetize their platforms. Danielle is also the host of The Thought Card, a 4x grant funded travel podcast with a focus on affordable luxury travel and personal finance.
Bethany Hawkins, a prominent entrepreneur, is the founder and CEO of Crackers and Soup, a podcast production, and coaching company. Offering a wide range of services from launches to post-production, consultations, and graphic design, Bethany has established herself as a force to be reckoned with in the industry. Her dedication to her work is evident in the stunning cover art her team created for the Women of Color Podcasters.
Michelle Thames is a highly experienced social media strategist, having spent 13 years in the industry. As the owner of Themes Media Solutions, an integrated marketing agency, her passion lies in helping creative entrepreneurs monetize their businesses. Michelle is also the host of the Social Media Decoded Podcast, a highly ranked show aimed at helping listeners understand social media to grow their businesses, get more clients, and monetize.
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