As you've seen, I've tried to explain that being a freelancer is really difficult and there's a lot of mental anguish sometimes to working alone, presenting a confident outlook to your prospective client and trying to figure out whether you wanna work with them and they wanna work with you. And so don't forget your client is sizing you up.
At the same time that you're doing the same with them, it's a two way street. They wanna know that you have the capabilities and the, the mental strength to handle what are sometimes emotional things. Sometimes they're complicated projects that we work on as freelancers. A lot of times these businesses have put a lot of blood, sweat, tears, thought, and emotion into their business.
And for them to hand that off to you and say, I'm trusting you with this. That's a really big. So let's talk about some encouragement that you might need, because believe me, I have seen a lot of freelancers over the past decade and a half who really are just almost depressed. They're just down on themselves.
And when you work alone, it gets you in a mental head space, which is often not good. And so it's helpful to get to meet people like yourself, whether they're in your exact industry or. But people who work alone or creative types who can encourage you and spur you on and pat you on the back and say, good job.
Well done. Here are some thoughts to help you along with that idea. As I mentioned, stop apologizing. Don't apologize unless you've made a mistake in which case apologize quickly and be sincere about it. But otherwise don't apologize for who you. Or your company's name or your pricing, or the way that you do things, or the fact that they're asking you to do something that you're not comfortable with.
Don't apologize. Also raise your prices right now. I am looking at a camera right now, and I have no idea who's looking back at me, but I know that there are people watching this who need permission to raise their prices. I am hereby giving you permission to raise your prices. Go forth, raise them, raise your prices.
Right now, raise them $5 an hour. Or $7 and 50 cents an hour or a hundred dollars per project, or however you do your pricing, raise your prices right now. If you are a freelancer or solopreneur, you are probably undervaluing your services and you're leaving money on the table. So. I'm telling you that you can do this and trust me, the big fear that you might have of well, if I raise my prices, people won't hire me because then I'll be too expensive.
Get that out of your head. That's not real. Okay. Your prices are not that high. I promise you raise your prices now and raise them often. Not so frequently that you. Scare your clients off by constantly ratcheting up your rate. But annually is a great time at the end of the year, analyze your business and your profitability and ask yourself if I raised my prices, $10 an hour, how many clients would I lose next year?
The answer to that, I almost promise you is zero. Raise it every year, give your clients a couple months worth of or weeks worth of notice and tell them just so you know, I'm raising my prices, uh, beginning the first of next. Guess what that's normal that other other companies do that all the time you go to the grocery store and you notice, well, milk is more expensive than it used to be.
People are used to that. Freelancers are afraid of that. I've met some people who have been in business for 10, 15, or 20 years and have not raised their rates at all. That's insanity. You should do an annual review and ask yourself at the end of every year. Should I raise my prices? This. And if you don't, you definitely should.
Next year, please raise your prices on that same note, be proud of your price. So I've talked about raising your price and I've talked about not apologizing, but also think about this. You've gotta be proud of your price. Meaning when a client asks you, how much is this going to cost? Don't. Mutter it out with a small froggy sort of embarrassed squeaky voice, stand up tall and say, my price is X number of dollars per hour.
Don't be a jerk about it, but be confident. And if you lack confidence, be like Stewart, som look in a mirror, practice it a couple of times. If you charge somebody a hundred dollars an hour for whatever you do. It should probably be more than that, but let's say you do get in front of a bathroom mirror and look at yourself in the mirror and say, my rate is a hundred dollars an hour and get used to saying that out loud, get used to hearing it and feeling it and get used to the awkward silence where if you're asked what your, your prices are, you say it, and you don't say anything afterward, let them soak it up, let them understand.
I almost never do hourly work these days. I almost do exclusively project fee fixed rate prices. And so that's not such a struggle for me anymore. But one thing that I had to learn just a few years ago, this took me a long time to learn is when you present a proposal to someone and you get to the point where you say, and it's going to cost you this much, shut up.
Don't say. Sit in the awkward silence and wait for the client to say the next thing. This is really hard to do when you're going through your proposal. And then whether you just say it as part of your progression, as you're explaining what you're going to do or whether they actually ask you, so how much is this going to cost me?
Just say it it's going to cost 8,150.
And sit there and don't do anything because the person who moves next loses if you flinch, or if you start talking, you're going to be talking yourself out. You're going to be talking them out of the deal. I've heard this. And I've seen this so many times where a freelancer will say something like, well, it's going to cost you $8,150.
But if you can't afford that, then I have some options or there's payment plans, or maybe we can bring the scope down or whatever it is. Don't do that. Be proud of your price. If you can't justify that price, maybe you have a, a different problem. If you're pulling numbers out of the air and that's how you're making your pricing, then you might need to talk to a CPA to help you figure out what you should be charging.
But when you get to the point where you tell a client how much it will cost. And be quiet and be proud. And listen, it's only going to go one of three possible ways, right there, a green flag or a yellow flag, or a red flag client. If you give your proposal and you state with confidence, the amount of money that it's going to cost, and they say, okay, when can you start?
That's a green flag client. That's great. If you give them the price and they say, oh, that's a lot more than we were expect. that's okay. Stand by your price. Don't back down. That's a yellow flag. You can work with those people. Sometimes you can negotiate. You can nudge them toward. Getting, maybe breaking it up into pieces, a phase one or a phase two.
There are some tactics for that. And then last, if they say, well, that's a rip off what that's so much more expensive than I was expecting, or, well, I'll never pay more than such and such. Okay. That's a red flag client and you just saved yourself from inheriting a client from hell, right? Because now, you know, to walk away because this person doesn't value you or what.
Actually, if you have a green flag client, here's what you do. They'll say, okay, when can we start? And then you can tell them when to start. And then after you leave that meeting, you go out, you do your happy dance and high five. Yes. Yay. Whoa. I got it. Don't let them see that. Right, but be proud of your pricing.
That's we all need to hear that. Even. I need to hear that.