I took on some work for a client when I first started using Upwork and I was also in a full time job.

The rate I quoted for the work was low ($55 AUD per hour) but I felt it was a good price at the time to get my foot in the door.

I've since become a full time freelancer, and my standard hourly rate is $100 AUD per hour. I have 2 other clients that are paying that rate for my services.

As this work is ongoing and likely to take up a decent amount of time over the coming weeks I'm in a difficult scenario whereby I need to raise my price for this client but I don't want to loose them.

How would you tackle this issue?

  • 2
    Don't raise the rate with that client. Raising you rate on work you've already agreed to will likely get you more "bad" publicity than the extra money is worth. Consider it as 1) a lesson learned, and 2) goodwill marketing for your services. You should always be able to count on their goodwill, and future word-of-mouth references once they are satisfied with your work and it is added to your portfolio. You could also consider the extra 45 AUD as your "admittance fee" into the market in your area.
    – user16080
    Apr 4, 2017 at 2:31
  • I so didn't want to give this a +1, but it's very sensible advice!
    – Paul
    Apr 4, 2017 at 3:11
  • You seem to be "beginning" your own business as well. You might find it worthwhile to browse the StartUps stack as well.
    – user16080
    Apr 4, 2017 at 3:15

1 Answer 1


Every one of us has come to this point. In my case, at some point when I got "too many" clients, I started filtering them on those keep working and those that simply take my time.

I sent circular email to all of them informing them that in 6 months my rate will increase and will be XYZ dollars. I found this fair as this gives them time to find someone else if they cannot work with me any more.

A few clients left, those bigger ones stayed with me. But a few clients I liked to work with asked me how we can keep working together under the old rate. I offered them an option either that I work their project when I have no other more expensive tasks on the table or that I employ another person who will work for them supervised by me. Again, a few gone from me after that, but a few stayed.

So I not only not got more earning, but I employed 1 person and kept low-rat clients.

NOTE: This was my own case. I heard that others were not so open with their clients. They started offering new rates to new clients, and assigned another person to work on low-rate projects.

  • Very similar to what I did; my good, old clients got an email blast that I was keeping their rate as-is for the next 3 months, new clients would get the new increased rate immediately. Worked great for me!
    – Canadian Luke
    Apr 4, 2017 at 18:10
  • Out of curiosity, how many clients you lost in percentage? In my case, at least 50% of them complained and maybe 35% left me.
    – Peter MV
    Apr 5, 2017 at 8:34
  • I only lost one flaky client. Every other one still uses my services
    – Canadian Luke
    Apr 5, 2017 at 16:30
  • Hm that is good or the raise was not much. I made rate raise 56%. Before that, had the same rate 3-4 years. I know this was much, but I am not sorry. Maybe I could have kept those clients and outsourced their projects, but I was not so smart at that time.
    – Peter MV
    Apr 6, 2017 at 15:56
  • Wow! I upped mine by 33% - $60 to $80 per hour - and just lost the one. I'm not able to freelance full time right now, but this happened a while ago. I may raise my rates again soon though.
    – Canadian Luke
    Apr 6, 2017 at 18:19

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