Have you ever felt it was time to raise your rates but you didn’t because you were afraid to? It could be that you feel if you raise your rates your clients will find a another (cheaper!) virtual assistant to work with?
Figuring out what your rates should be and knowing if it’s time to raise your rates are important aspects of your virtual assistant business. Keep in mind that coming up with an hourly or project rate is a strategic process. If you are charging $15/hour and you’re working more than 5 days a week and your VA business isn’t where you want it to be, that’s just plain wrong! I can say with certainty that you’re not charging enough.
The key to charging more is knowing how to properly convey your value. Price becomes a triviality once you’ve conveyed your value.
How do you convey your value?
If you are calling yourself a virtual assistant that is just not compelling enough. Now, if you call yourself a virtual legal assistant (or something like that), that goes straight to the heart of what busy lawyers are looking for! Consider going deeper by focusing on a niche.
Before you engage your client about raising your rates consider sending your client a simple survey. Ask them “how can I improve my work with you? If you could have me help you with anything and budget were not an issue what are some of those things?”
The answers to these questions will provide you with powerful insight on what pains your client most. Prepare an email to your client. Recap all of the work you have done for your client during your working relationship. Emphasize how you have increased your clients productivity and bottom line by providing concrete examples. Feel free to take from the below list for inspiration:
- I’ve helped you manage your email inbox saving you over (insert number here) hours a day
- I’ve helped refer (enter number here) clients generating a total of (enter number here) dollars
This year one of the things that you told me you wanted to have done was updating your contact database. I am going to offer that to you as a complimentary service for 1 hour each week. The other thing is that I have become more selective about the clients I have decided to work with. You and I have had a wonderful time working together. I’ve helped you bring in new business totaling close to $100,000, and I’ve helped save you countless hours (add here more bullet points of what you have done for them that has saved your client’s time and money). My rate is going to be going up from $15/hour to $25/hour. If that is something that you are not comfortable with please let me know and I’d be happy to refer you to another virtual assistant that might be a better fit. But, if this is something that does work for you here are my plans for your business for the next 30, 60, and 90 days. (insert plan here).
The bottom line ladies and gentlemen – tell your clients how YOU are going to save them more time, generate more revenue and make their lives easier. That is how you are going to get a raise.
Have you ever raised your rates? How did you do it and what happened?
Share with us what you said and the process involved so the whole VA community can benefit!