Charge more as a Flexer

Boosting Your Earnings in the Fractional Work Economy.

Charge more as a fractional worker

Charge more as a Flexer

Mike Bank is an early-stage startup founder, former investment banker, and a visiting lecturer and career coach at some of Europe’s leading business schools.

At Citigroup, he was one of the bank’s youngest team staffers, assisted with graduate and MBA assessment centres in the London office, and ran numerous lateral hire processes.

Over the past ten years, he has built and led teams at his own ventures as well as consulting with VC-backed startups on talent acquisition.

Starting out Low

When you first start out, it can be tempting to keep your rates low. By competing on price, you can win business from more established players.

The danger with this approach is that you attract price sensitive clients.

Those who pay less are often among the most demanding clients (more on this later).

By all means, set your rates affordably at the start. But you should be thinking about how to increase your pricing as soon as you start winning your first clients.

Raising your Rates

The key to charging more is to get specific about what it is you do.

How do clients get value from the work you do?

Rather than guessing, it is better to get it straight from the horse’s mouth.

Sometimes the perception of value is more important than the reality.

You should be regularly soliciting feedback from your clients.

  • How happy are they with your service?

  • Where specifically did they perceive the most value?

  • How could you improve your offering for them?

  • How could you improve your offering for them?

  • What would they want to pay for more of?

By asking these probing questions, you will begin to refine:

  1. Your offering;

  2. How you position that offering.

This will typically result in a pared down offering. A condensed and stripped down version of your initial business.

One of our Flexers, Jane, started off by offering six related services in the design space.

Very quickly she began to understand that clients were only hiring her for three of these: (i) brand pack; (ii) logo design; (iii) custom graphics. 
This allowed her to remove half of her offerings and to focus even more granularly on those three remaining.

Of those three, she was able to niche down even more specifically, both in terms of:

  1. The client profile she was pitching to; and

  2. The specific subset of each service they really wanted.

In Jane’s case, she was able to carve out a niche in unique, hand-drawn images for use in blogs, specifically in the health and wellness space.

She became known as the go-to expert in this field. As demand for her services increased, she began to offer a monthly subscription option.

This meant that clients who paid for her time on retainer were able to guarantee access to her for a select number of bespoke graphics per month.

With the time she had left, she was able to service any additional ad-hoc requests, at higher price-points.

Fire clients to earn more? It could be the key in a fractional economy.

Mo’ Money, Fewer Clients

Once you’ve carved out your niche and established your reputation, it’s time to start firing clients.

Have I gone crazy? Bear with me...

We all have them - those clients who are only prepared to pay peanuts and in return expect to receive the keys to your kingdom.

What would happen if you doubled your rates for those clients overnight? Would you lose up to half of them?

If so… great! You have the same revenue for half the work. And lower service costs likely mean you are actually netting more in the long run.

Sometimes, all it takes is asking. Remember the $1 challenge? 
Don’t be afraid to selectively test raising your rates!
You may be surprised at the results.

Learn More

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