Has anyone experienced having a client tell them this?

My motive is to find out if clients still want to work with you even if you increase your rates. Has any of you have any experience with this?

Will clients still want to work with you even if you increase your rates, based from your experience?

  • This is impossible to answer. Stack Exchange sites are a strict Question<>Answer format. Which is markedly different than a "discussion forum. This is not a question asking for an answer, it's a "discussion starter" looking for very subjective, opinionated input. That's just not what StackExchange is about.
    – Scott
    Sep 5, 2016 at 0:07

4 Answers 4


"Will clients still want to work with you even if you increase your rates, based from your experience?"

Some will, some will not. But if you never change your price, how will you know? As a rule of thumb, when you are 80% fully booked, put your prices up. When you are less than 20% booked, put your prices down. You keep doing this, and you keep testing the market. You might be surprised at what people will pay. People that want to pay the least are not your ideal customers.

The real world is a bit more sophisticated of course. I have two customers that keep me afloat, that use me constantly, and I have a great relationship with them. They get a bargain from me, and account for at least 50% of my time. New customers, if I am excited by the role, get a great price, if I am not, they get a higher quote. If I really do not want the work, they get a ridiculously high quote. Sometimes they get accepted and everyone is happy, I get a great fee, they get the developer they wanted. Even if the role is a bit boring.

I would never start a project without prices, timescales and objectives being laid out in advance. If they are late paying, I charge them. If they are late getting requirements to me, the project goes on hold, if they want to change timescales, I charge them, if they want to add objectives, I charge them. If they want to drop things, great, but no change in price. You would be surprised how this approach is actually respected and seen as professional.

You must vary your prices. You must try and move up the ladder of price points, otherwise you will always be scrabbling around at the bottom of the pile working for pennies.

  • This is the kind of answer I am looking for! Everytime they add objectives, do you update your current contract? Also, what would consider as 80% fully booked?
    – Aurora A
    Sep 6, 2016 at 0:16
  • Not really. I use three documents, a terms and conditions (generallly applies to all work, never changes), a quotation (which quotes for work described in the schedule of work, and the schedule or work which is the project detail, what is to be done, what is to be delivered, what is not included etc. When they add an objective, I provide a quote for the addition, plus a schedule of work describing the change. Normally additions are just a single page schedule and a single page invoice.
    – PaulD
    Sep 6, 2016 at 12:26
  • 80% Fully booked is for me my calendar. I allow a fixed number of hours per week for fulfilment, and then allocate those hours in chunks of half days normally to different projects. When the upcoming month is more than 3 weeks fully booked, it is time to start putting up prices on future quotes. For instance (currently September) I have only 1 1/2 weeks booked in October. If it gets to October and I have 3 1/2 weeks booked, I would put my prices up for November. If I get to October and I only had 4 days booked, I would put my prices down.
    – PaulD
    Sep 6, 2016 at 12:30
  • 1
    I really appreciate you sharing this to me. Now, I have a better idea on what I could do. I just feel like I should be a little more flexible to my clients because I have been making a lot of mistakes as I am new to the freelancing field.
    – Aurora A
    Sep 6, 2016 at 22:47

One thing to remember when you're a freelancer: You work for yourself, not for your clients. You are offering your clients services. If you feel your rate is too low, you raise your rate. Sometimes that means losing clients.

It is not about what they want. It is what the market will bear. If you can raise your rates and bring in enough work to support those rates, that is what your market bears.

If someone told you this, it means they think of you more as an employee than a freelancer. You need to "fix" that perception, if you intend to keep this client. If you intend to seek other clients at higher rates, do what you can to make the parting amicable.


"Faster" means longer work hours for an independent freelancer. So you're going to throw your entire schedule off - personal life, meals, and rest - over nothing more than a verbal promise? Don't fall for this without pre-payment or a written contract with specific terms on what "faster" means and how much money that translates to.

The same clients who try this kind of stuff are the kind who end up dragging out your payment, but of course you don't know that until you've already done the work required. They'll have you chasing a golden carrot, and you'll be right back on this site asking, "How do I get my client to pay me as owed?"


Faster doesn't necessarily mean more work per hour. It can be a simple as meaning they want fewer days to pass between now and project completion, how you do this is up to you, but basically they're talking about a rush fee.

Essentially you work longer hours/more days/sooner/whatever in order to get the project completed in fewer calendar days, in exchange for this extra work/bump in the queue the client pays you more per hour.

Whether you accept this is up to you, but it's not uncommon at all for freelancers to offer a faster turn around on a project at a higher hourly rate, it's there for those clients that decide they should start looking for help the day before a project is due.

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