Independent contractor filter: what is the best way to simultaneously raise my rates
About 3 months ago, I left my full time web developer job and sort of fell into freelancing. Basically, I was looking for a new job
, saw an ad looking for freelancers, answered it, and this company became one of my first real clients.
At the time, I gave them a hourly rate ($X) that I pulled out of the air based on my hourly rate as a web developer for a corporation. As time went on, I discovered I actually need to charge $Y as a freelancer.
How do I gently and professionally let the company know that my rates have changed for work going forward? This is complicated by a couple of things:
- my increase from $X to $Y is about 58% -- which is a pretty substantial change to just spring on someone.
- I have a great working relationship and fun assignments with this company, and really don't want to lose the business. It almost matters more to me than the money.
Would it be smarter to conservatively raise the rates over time, so I'm not just springing a 58% increase on them? Or am I just not being fair to myself at that point? Did working as a corporate code monkey for a few years dissolve my spine, and I just need to learn to be more assertive already?
Any thoughts on this, how ever out there, are appreciated.