When it's Time to Raise Your Rates...
Updated: Mar 30, 2020
In any business, you don't usually start at the top...unless you inherit or something. You have to work your way up! That's certainly true on Fiverr, where new people often establish their initial gigs at the very lowest offerable price. This can be a good idea until you gain traction on the platform in the form of a substantial order history and reviews. I advise you to be patient, let some time go by, and be fairly confident of your current level of success...but once you have the wind at your back, the orders are coming in steadily, and you anticipate it's only going to keep getting better, it's time to start earning more for what you do. That can take an or all of these four main forms:
1. Reducing how much you do at your current price
2. Increasing your base price
3. Increasing the price of your extras (the add-ons you offer with your gig)
4. Requiring the commercial rights extra
Because we don't want to alienate our current customers, it's a good idea to do rate increases gingerly. A sudden jolt to much higher prices will cause you to lose the entire customer base you worked to build up. And the first change doesn't even have to show up in dollars and cents. It can simply be a reduction in how many/how much of something you offer for your current price. In the voice-over realm, that'd be a reduction in the word count. For script writers, same thing. For a logo designer, reducing the goodies that are included in the order, such as multiple revisions or delivery of a higher resolution image.
I think it's important to take the feelings of current customers into consideration at the start of the process, and there are a couple things I've done at various times to lessen the blow. One is to alert them ahead of time that a small rate bump is coming, and give them a chance at one more order at the current rate before the change happens. On other (and more frequent) occasions, I've grandfathered them in at the previous rate for a much longer period of time. In both cases, I've communicated personally with each one of them, to give them a heads up. If this process is handled diplomatically and with genuine concern for their needs, it is usually answered with notes of gratitude and understanding. Sure, you may lose a couple no matter what you do, but that's why you don't start making these changes until you have enough of a customer base to be able to absorb those losses without hurting your ongoing stats significantly.
Again, I think reduction of services at your present rate is a good place to start. And once the change has been made, again, it's wise to let some time go by and test the waters. See how things progress. If you're still making upward progress, edge your base rate up a bit and bump up the price of extras a little. Perhaps require commercial rights if you haven't been doing so (but I always advise against making commercial rights higher than your base gig rate, which seems like kind of a poke in the eye to people who are earnestly seeking to hire you).
Remember in all of this, that raising your rates has its own set of implications, both positive and negative. The positive side is obvious enough, but on the minus side:
1. Will alienate some of your current customers (perhaps not as many as you think, if you provide a good product)
2. Will make you less attractive to the base of the Fiverr pyramid...the largest group of Fiverr buyers...the ones who are hoping for nearly free services
3. Will drop you off the radar entirely if the buyer ticks the $5 box when searching
None of those things are necessarily a reason not to raise your rates if you think you can get more. But there's an interesting alternative too, and I'll talk about that next time.
Find out what you can do, LEGITIMATELY, to get ahead on Fiverr. Please hit the Gig Checkup link so we can set up an inexpensive personal consultation and discuss ways to optimize your gig for increased traffic and sales!