Confidently Raise Your Rates

By Jennie Hastings
[Mindful Money]

I recently received an email from a reader telling me she needed support to raise her prices. She said she knew she needed to increase the amount of money she makes and was nervous to make the change. I totally get it. I have always found raising my rates nerve-racking. Yet, for all of us, there will come a time when it needs to be done.
We know we need to raise our prices when our inner wisdom shows us that the effort we are putting into our work is not aligned with the value we receive from doing it. It comes when we arrive home, tired after a long day of caring for other people, and realize that we do not have enough resources left to take care of ourselves.  
What would you need to charge to feel really good about the amount of money you take home? What do you need to cover business expenses, taxes, health care, retirement, vacation, and sick days? Base your new rate on this reality.  
Inviting Abundance
I remember the first time I made a significant price increase. I went from charging $75 to $100 for a one-hour massage. I had a business coach at the time. She wanted me to start charging $150 for an hour. I decided not to go that far. Not because it cannot be done, but because I did not want to or did not feel right about it at the time. I did not make the increase in stages. I simply announced one day in one of my regular client emails that in one month my prices would be going up. I did not sleep much the night I sent that email out. I was so worried about what my clients would think of me. I did not want any of them to think of me as greedy or that I looked at them only as dollar signs. I care a lot for my clients and feel fortunate to work with them.
I was really stressed about making such a big jump in rates. If it was not for my business coach and the other women in my coaching group, I never would have done it. This leads me to the most important thing you can do to confidently raise your rates: find people to support you. You must surround yourself with people who understand your value and their own. Network with professionals you admire who are confidently making the amount of money you would like to make. Look to them when you are in doubt.
After I sent the email about my prices going up, I waited to hear something back. I braced myself for the wave of appointment cancellations or angry voice mails. What happened was—nothing. Nobody responded to my announcement. I knew that perhaps many of them simply had not seen the email. After a few more days, I did get a voice mail from a client saying that she was canceling her next appointment.
A lot of my clients missed the announcement in the email, and I had to tell them in person when they came in. There were only a couple of raised eyebrows. And that was all. Everybody else was fine. I remember being surprised when I would tell people my new rate and most of them did not bat an eyelash. It felt very hard for me at first to say the number when they asked, “How much do I owe you?” Then, I would watch their face, and nothing would seem out of the ordinary as they filled out their check or handed over their credit card.

Attracting the Clients You Want
From the one client I lost completely—and the couple who decided to schedule their appointments farther apart—I had more time in my schedule. Almost immediately after raising my prices, I was contacted by a new client who wanted to find a regular massage therapist. This woman paid my new rate like it was a really good deal, tipped me $40 on top of it, and made her next appointment.
This new client was a sign of things to come. People who valued themselves and were looking not for a cheap massage, but for a really good massage, started booking with me. The general mentality of my clientele began to shift as some people came in less and others came in more. I started to understand more clearly that what we project and how we hold ourselves has everything to do with how people see us. If I could say I was worth my new rate and feel good about it, other people were able to see that and agree.

Acknowledging Your Value
The way to confidently raise your prices may not be easy, but it’s certainly simple. Make an announcement that your prices are increasing on a certain date, and on that date start charging the new prices. Calm the fears in your mind by doing high-quality work and continually notice the value you provide. Reach out to forward-thinking people who exhibit abundance and joy in their lives. Do not talk about your concerns with people living in a mentality of “lack.” Be straightforward. You do not have to explain yourself. Your decision to grow is based in reality, and to the world’s great benefit you are choosing to thrive and not just survive.  

Jennie Hastings, LMT, BCTMB, has studied money in the therapeutic process from every angle: as a client, patient, and practitioner. She is the author of The Inspired Massage Therapist (Massage Blossom Books, 2012). Hastings believes having a career in massage and bodywork means having infinite possibilities, and she is always exploring new ways to evolve her practice. You can find more from her at