I’m going to blog today about a subject that is quite uncomfortable for most business owners, including freelance editors like me. I’m talking about raising one’s rates.
If you have impostor syndrome, you feel guilty wanting to raise your rates because you (erroneously) believe that you aren’t good enough to command a rate that is competitive. You feel that you are not worth it. So you continue to market your talents at an abysmally low rate.
Sorry, that was a little harsh. But please hear me out: When you offer your services at a very low rate, you might at first think that people will love you because you cost less than everyone else. But then you become the Walmart of editing (or whatever you do). People will think that the quality of your work is lower than that of others who are more expensive. Walmart is the butt of many jokes for this reason, among others.
When I started editing as a freelancer, I consulted the website of one of the professional organizations I had just joined; the site had a page suggesting rates for copyediting. I decided to set my rates at the bottom of the given range because I was just starting out and had very little experience at the time. Also because I didn’t think I was worth more.
That was three and a half years ago.
During that time I gained more and more experience and established a reputation…and kept my rates the same. I just didn’t think I was worth a higher rate.
This “selling myself short” is ending this summer.
I am raising my rates beginning July 1, and have begun notifying clients of this. I have yet to encounter any griping about it. My rates are definitely still reasonable, and I am doing this to show that my editing has real quality and is worth the money.
And no, I’m not using today’s outrageous inflation as an excuse.