How to renegotiate freelancer rates?

Yesterday, I wrote about when to renegotiate freelancer rates. I hear a lot of you thinking, “all that’s fine, but how do I do it?”

Here’s how I do it:

Be clear while signing the contract: Inform your client when your contract will be up for renewal.

Review your work throughout the year: Ask for feedback on every deliverable — what the senior leaders thought, how did it perform, did it meet the goal etc. During these discussions, give them feedback too. Tell them your challenges and recommend solutions.

Remind them about upcoming review: Let them know 2 months in advance that contract is coming up for renewal. If possible, remind them while they are planning budgets for the next year.

Schedule a review: Set up an hour with your responsibility partner for review. Discuss wins and challenges. Ask for feedback.

Propose an increase: First ask them what they’ve budgeted for and what they are willing to do. Then, propose a raise — I keep the rate of inflation as my expectation and work from there.

Propose a promotion: Often, freelancers end up doing the same thing for several years because no one is worried about their growth. Use this review meeting to offer any other services you may have or seek more challenging work.

Plan for the long-term: Discuss your next year plans with the client. And remind them that you’ll do your review same time again next year.

P.S: COVID-19 has screwed us all and you might not get a raise now. Don’t be discouraged. Wait it out and let’s see how it goes.