How To Double Your Consulting Rates

by Brennan Dunn on — Get free updates of new posts here

I love that I get to eat my own dogfood and consult while also building a tool for consultants. A little over a month ago, I kicked off a new project at twice the rate of my previous contract.

Here’s why doubling my rates and doubling my income is the best consulting decision I’ve ever made.

Time is finite; we all live our lives with 168 hours given to us each week. Coding and thinking up solutions to problems is hard. Real hard. I start to burn out after 30-ish hours of working.

I want – no, need – to spend more time on Planscope. Last week, I crossed 1,700 users and it can’t be just a side project anymore. I could: 1) kill my body, mind, family life, and code quality and work more longer each day, or 2) make an hour of my time cost more.

So I thought, screw it – I’m good at what I do. I’m going to my rate.

And guess what? I was scared shitless. I was inching towards lawyer costs, and I’m a college dropout! No one could ever take me seriously – right?!

You and I are really valueable – and not because our moms thinks we’re a special and unique snowflakes, but because we have something that other people want. Maybe you write code, or create designs from nothing-ness, or have enough experience on the web to know what typically works and what flops. That’s countless hours, days, years of experience your client doesn’t have. So don’t be afraid to charge for it!

The secret is: most people in this field (that is, your competition) aren’t very business-savy. People don’t want to throw gobs of money at us because it’s fun to write checks, they want us to make a return on investment – i.e. they want to make more money than they spent on us. So while their nephew might be able to crank out some HTML, they don’t have the ability to figure out what’s the most effective use of a budget. You do!

Sell your ROI-boosting abilities, not your mastery of MVC frameworks.

Is my client paying more than my last client? Yes. Is that influencing the way I run my consulting business and the value I produce for him? Absolutely. Is my client thrilled? @%#& YEAH!

I know I’ve gone on for a while, but I want to leave you with a guest post I wrote over at the Vandelay Design blog on how to get your clients to write their own project quotes.


Before you go... Want to hang out with me and 100+ other freelancers in person?

On September 16th, the inaugural Double Your Freelancing Conference kicks off in Norfolk, Virginia. I've arranged to fly in 14 experts, and they'll be covering how to sell, market, price, and grow your business. You won't want to miss this. Get your ticket here.

Brennan Dunn writes about the business of freelancing. Over the years, his weekly articles and courses have helped 32,000+ freelancers grow their businesses. If you enjoyed this article, join his weekly newsletter.
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