How do you balance raising your rates as an animator and keeping your clients happy? Asking people for money is a challenging experience. Never mind asking people for more money.
“Happiness is not the mere possession of money; it lies in the joy of achievement, in the thrill of the creative effort.”Franklin D. Roosevelt
It can be tough managing your client’s happiness with what your work as an animator is worth. So how do you go about showing your clients that you deserve a raise?
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How Often Should You Raise Your Rates as an Animator?
There are a few things to consider when raising rates. What is the state of your client’s business? Do you know if they have grown financially?
Are they a stable source of income?
- By How Much Should I Raise My Rates as an Animator?
An effective place to start is by doing some research. If you compare your rates to other freelance animators you can get an idea of the market rate.
Upwork and Fiverr are two sites that you can look at. An alternative would be to contact other animators and ask them what their rates are.
You can always ask for a bit more. If you can prove that you are worth it.
It is a good idea to work out your costs and needs as an animator or motion designer. If you know what your living expenses are. And what your freelance animation expenses are.
Then you will have a good idea of how much you need to raise your rates.
- How Does Inflation Affect Animation Rates?
Inflation is something we all understand. It is something we all contend with on a yearly basis. This can affect our monthly finances directly.
You will need to work inflation costs into your rates before you raise them.
Keep your clients by being prepared and informed about the realities of raising your rates.
All of this being said, the general rule is that you never increase rates by more than 10%.
10% will also be the maximum amount that you would increase your rates by.
A lot of companies and freelancers seem to raise their rates by about 2%. This will be added to inflation.
- Experience as an Animator for Higher Animation Rates
This is such a great space to make sure you do not lose your clients. Experience shows that you know what you are doing.
It shows that you have already learned from mistakes and overcome glitches and issues.
As an animator or motion designer, you are creative. Experience can be shown in a plethora of ways.
Some of which are video testimonials, written testimonials, case studies, and other forms of social proofing would work.
Testimonials are a great way to prove support from satisfied clients and display how you improve your clients’ lives each day through your animation services!
- Variety of Your Work As An Animator
Are you charging by the project or by the hour? You need to know what kind of work you are in for.
Are you an animator and a motion designer? It is all about value for money. If you can show your clients that you are versatile they will be happier with paying you more.
Always be honest with your clients. If you are upfront you will be able to keep your clients.
- Upselling and Cross-Selling Animation Services
You can offer your animation clients an ‘exclusivity extra’. This is when to provide them with more of your attention.
You would be more dedicated to prioritizing their work over other clients. Do not make any promises you are not able to keep. The idea is to not lose your clients.
You can also offer a ‘rush order’ price instead. This is when you quote your client for a project but say you can deliver earlier for a higher rate.
- Working Relationship with Animation Clients
If this is a current working relationship with a client, rather wait a while before raising rates. This might make them feel taken advantage of.
It can seem pushy to ask for a raise when you have just taken work from a client.
Taking some time will help you to make your animation an indispensable need for your client.
Taking that time will also help to prove your worth and for you to showcase your animation and motion design skills.
It is often a good idea to implement your new rates with a new client. There is no need for them to get your old rate.
Make sure they have not seen your old rate advertised.
Generally, it is good to know where you stand with your current and new clients. Here are a few questions that you can ask in order to figure this out:
- Have you made yourself replaceable or irreplaceable?
- Is there an animation service that you offer that your competitors do not?
- How does your way of doing things help keep your clients happy better than your competitors?
Once you have answered these questions try to find ways that you can improve. Find ways that you are able to act on them.
The goal is to raise your rates without upsetting your clients. The easiest way to do that is by proving that you are worth their money.
By Visual Stories / Micheile via unsplash.com
How To Raise Your Animation Rates Without Losing Clients
1. Make Animation Clients Aware of a Potential Increase
Give your current animation clients notice. They will need to be made aware of the rate increase.
This will help them prepare their budget for the upcoming year.
People like having time to think about issues. Especially when it comes to money. If enough time is given it can also leave your clients feeling like they have made the decision.
Rather than feeling like raising your rates was pushed upon them.
Giving your clients at least one month’s notice will help to keep them happy. This gives your clients time to process the change.
2. Set an Annual Increase For Animation Rates
The first time you raise your rates can come as a shock to your clients. That being said, if you make it clear that this will be an annual thing they will have time to prepare.
It is important to raise your rates without upsetting your clients. So being upfront about annual raising rates will help your working relationship with animation clients.
This also helps you to look professional. Like you have thought about budgets. And how to plan for the future.
It will also provide your current and new clients with the opportunity to keep their budgets up to date.
3. Create Quality Animations and Get Feedback
It is good to gather feedback from your clients before raising rates. Don’t lose your clients by making the assumption that they are satisfied.
Try to gather as much feedback about six months before a price increase.
This provides you with an opportunity to fix any problems that your animation clients might have.
This can also give you insight as to where you might be lacking in animation and motion design.
This way as a freelance animator you can approach your clients with the knowledge that they are happy with your work.
It goes without saying that you should always be providing your clients with the highest service. Always give them the best quality work when aminating. Not only when you are getting ready to ask for more money.
4. Be Negotiable with Animation Rates for Each Client
It is good to remember that each client is different. It is even more complicated now.
Maybe you can also raise your rates more with certain clients and less with others.
It is better to earn a bit less to keep your clients happy. Rather than losing them.
It might also be a case of you taking on less work from clients if their rates do not increase.
5. Set a Pricing Tier for Animation Services
This is a great way to open up your client’s way of thinking. Often freelance animators have a set rate.
If you open up for a pricing tier you can create an environment for animation clients to pay for what option suits their needs best.
This could be the difference between a client hiring you or moving on to the next freelance animator.
You can offer a structure of $80 per hour as your base rate.
Then you could say it will cost $100 per hour for certain services to be included.
Then you can even have another tier of $120 per hour for more services to be included.
Clients like to know exactly what they are getting and for how much.
You can also charge per project instead of hourly.
The upsell is still a classic tool that works well. If you have learned how to keep your clients happy this can be an easy thing to do.
You simply offer an extra service for an additional rate.
If a client only wants a one-time job done they can pay you for the number of months it will take to be done.
Then you are both free to go your separate ways.
6. Value of your Animation Work Not for Time Spent Animating
You are being paid for the value of your animation work. You are not being paid for your time.
There are certain jobs that you are able to do extremely efficiently. You should not be punished financially for that.
Make sure that you are setting your rates according to the quality of work that you produce.
7. Be Professional as a Freelance Animator
Never let your emotions cloud your judgment. Always approach your clients with a business mind.
It is easy to cross professional boundaries when you are a freelance animator. But at the end of the day, your clients pay you for a service. They do not pay you to be their friend.
8. Be Confident with Your Animation Services
It can be difficult to believe that you are worth the money you are asking for. It is essential to believe in yourself.
And to believe in your service. As a freelance animator, you depend on being able to raise your rates.
This self-belief comes from a space of experience. Experience in your service and handling your current clients in a professional way.
Also if you know why your client uses you over another animator can help. It can be a help with your confidence to know what qualities your client sees in you and your animation services.
If you know what these reasons are you can use them in your message when you inform your clients that you are raising your rates.
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Dealing With Client Rejection When Raising Animation Rates
9. Have Talking Points Ready if your Animation Rates are Rejected
You can always approach one client and see how it goes. Then you can approach the rest if all goes well.
It is important to remind your animation clients that the cost of your service is a blip in the budget.
You can tell them that an increase is essential to maintain the high-quality service that you provide for them. This is something that directly affects their client’s happiness.
10. Ask for Feedback on Your Animation Rates
What is the reason for rejecting your raising rates? Ask your clients for their reasons.
You need to be clear and concise when dealing with rejection. Try to find out what the client is unhappy about and if you can change this.
Without upsetting your client further, schedule a time to talk through their problems in a professional way.
It might be good to take some time to think about the services you provide and what they expect of you.
It is a good time to decide if this client is worth keeping.
11. What to do if Your Animation Client Walks Away From Your Offer
- Take some time to assess the services you offer
- Know that this is a standard business operation. Everyone raises rates annually.
- Try to negotiate the amount of the increase
- Listen to what their needs are
- Decide what your needs are
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How to Inform Clients for Raising Animation Rates
12. Send a Professional Letter, Email, or Video to Animation Clients
- Inform your clients that you will be raising your rates
- Provide them with a date of the increase
- Give reasons for your increase
- Mention any exciting extras for added services for the new year
- Ask for feedback and for improvements that can be made
13. New Rates on your Animation Website
You can start putting your raised rates on your website for any new clients that you will obtain.
You will also be able to see what clients’ reactions are in real-time.
Do this in advance to assist in informing your clients. This makes your business intentions clear.
By Austin Distel via unsplash.com
How to Raise Animation Rates and Not Lose Clients?
“Don’t think money does everything or you are going to end up doing everything for money.”Voltaire
It is such a balance trying to work in a world where raising rates without upsetting your clients.
It is good to remember that if you offer quality animation services there is no reason why you should not be paid what you are worth.
Make sure to do all of the preparation and go out there and ask for what you deserve.
If you want extra tips to help you develop your business skills as an animator have a look at our free masterclass and free marketing handbook.