How I Raised My Rate

When I first began freelancing, I was fortunate to have, as mentors, two experienced technical writers who each had almost 20 years of experience working as freelancers in Silicon Valley.

For the first year and half I was in business, I charged $20 per hour for technical editing. My mentors thought my rate was too low and one of them raised my rate for me when he hired me as a subcontractor to edit the technical manual he was writing for Motorola.

The day he called to ask if I had time to edit a manual for him, I had just completed a contract project for one of my regular clients. I was delighted because this meant that I didn’t have to go out looking for another project.

Then he asked me the key question, “How much are you charging now?” When I told him that I was still charging $20 per hour, he replied, “No, you’re not. You’re charging $35.” Thinking he hadn’t heard me, I repeated myself.

He said he’d heard me and then said, “It’s time for you get a raise, so you’re now charging $35 per hour because you’re a good editor and that’s what you should be getting. Besides, that’s what I put in my proposal.” And that was that!

Of course, raising my rate that way was easy. And, although I felt a bit hesitant about getting a $15 per hour raise, when I saw the manual, I decided he was right. I definitely was going to earn that $35 per hour!

Thanks to my mentor, I learned to feel comfortable about raising my rates. I’ll tell you how I approach raising my rates in an upcoming post.

I’d love to hear how you’ve raised your rate. Please share your rate raising stories with us by submitting a comment below.

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