I have a client that I have worked with for 5 years. We have a great working relationship. However, since I've graduated university and found other clients, I've noticed that I'm severely underpaid by the old one (I'm paid about 66% of what I should be). In turn that makes it difficult to rationalize doing development for them, even though I enjoy the work. It's just not logical from a money standpoint.
The issue is that this client is very reluctant to pay more than they currently are, even though I should be paid much higher given market rates and the fact that it's freelance (so no benefits, no 401k, etc.).
How can I either:
ask the client to give me a raise to match (or come close to matching) the market rate (thus what my other clients are paying me)
let the client know that I have to severely cut my hours due to this pay disparity
I really do like this client and have a great relationship with them, but I have no idea how to discuss this issue without sounding like I'm trying to extort them. They probably wouldn't take it that way, but it isn't uncommon to hear talk of "the budget is tight right now", "we need to see profits in XYZ before investing more development into it", etc.
PS - if it matters, my last raise was over a year ago, and it was a conversation that I had telling the client that I needed to be paid closer to the market rate, but I hadn't yet determined that I was still underselling myself (apparently by about 33%).