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How to Raise Your Consulting Fees the Right Way in 2021

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Published:
November 27, 2020
Reading Time:
7 minutes
Leo Saini
Experienced copywriter who spends a lot of money at restaurants and regrets it later.

Hello!? Are you still quoting your age-old beginner rates to new clients?

Well, then for this new year, let one of your resolutions be to increase your consulting fees.

But it’s not as easy as it sounds. Raising your fees requires the right mindset and a foolproof strategy.

In this article, we’ll discuss four tips that could potentially make 2021 your most profitable year.

1. Increase Your Management Consulting Fee for the Right Reasons

Why do you want to raise your independent consultant rates? Is it because you want to get-rich-quick? Or is it because you believe that you’re actually providing enough financial value to your client? Well, the former is not the right reason because it’s only about you. The latter is right because it’s about you and your client.

It’s simple, the value you’re providing to your client, in the short-term or long-term, should be 10X of what you’re charging. When this happens, even the client will see consulting engagements as an investment, not an expense. Your freelance consultant salary is directly related to the complexity of the problems you’re solving. Taking on big challenges is a surefire way to raise your rates. But remember, it’s not just about saying yes to challenging projects, you also have to produce results.

"Pricing is actually pretty simple... Customers will not pay literally a penny more than the true value of the product." - Ron Johnson

2. Use a Fee Structure That Offers Maximum Profit

Before you take on a freelance management consulting project, you might want to close your bedroom door, sit alone behind your desk, and strategize the best way to set the maximum management consulting fee. Do this before you have a meeting with the potential client. Here are some fee structures to be aware of:

  • Hourly rate: Good for small projects with predictable billable hours
  • Project-based fee: An agreed-upon one-time fee for the entire project
  • Retainer model: A monthly freelance consultant salary for providing services on an ongoing basis
  • Base + commission: An ROI-based fee structure in which the client pays you a percentage of revenue you help them generate

Work on these fee structures and choose the one that is the most beneficial for you from a financial perspective. For example, if you’re helping your client earn $100,000 extra every money, you could charge 10% commission on that and earn $10,000—instead of going for an hourly rate and making way less.

3. Let Go of the Limiting Beliefs That Are Stopping You From Charging the Right Price

“I’m a freelance consultant, not a company. For this reason, I can’t charge a lot of fees.”

“I don’t know how the client will react.”

“What if they say ‘No’.”

“I don’t want to come off as a greedy person.”

management consulting fee, How to Raise Your Consulting Fees the Right Way in 2021

Have you ever had these thoughts? Well, then this might be the reason why you’re unable to charge what you’re really worth. There might be some business out there who’d see you as an investment, not an expense, and agree to pay a high fee with a big smile on their face. But your limiting beliefs could stop you from finding these clients. And you know what? The management consulting fee that seems a lot to you might appear normal to the right client.

Whatever is stopping you from increasing your independent consultant rates might only be a figment of your imagination. Get rid of it, and boldly go for the freelance consultant salary you deserve. And what you deserve is a reasonable share of the profit you’re helping your clients earn. What you deserve is the reward for putting hours of your life into honing your craft. So, throw those limiting beliefs out of the window and go for the win.

Upsell and Cross-Sell

If you have built a connection with your potential client and are at a stage where both of you are discussing the project scope, you might want to use this opportunity to add new tasks to the project—the ones that would completely take your client’s business to the next level.

For example, traditionally, a management consultant’s job is to study their client’s problem, collect relevant data, analyze it, and offer recommendations. However, you could explain to your client how the implementation stage is as important as recommendations. If they decide to keep you on board for a little longer to help them with the implementation, you would potentially be able to add another digit to your management consulting fee.

4. Don’t Accept the Projects That Don’t Meet Your Pricing Standards

Raising your price includes doing the right things, like the ones mentioned above, and also not doing the wrong things. To raise your management consulting fee, you’re going to have to say “No” a lot more than you think.

If you put yourself into the cycle of charging way less than what you deserve, the opportunities for the well-paid consulting engagements will pass you by without you even noticing them. This is because you’d be so busy working on projects that pay way less than what you’re worth that you won’t even be on the radar of big clients who are looking for someone like you.

So, say “No” to accepting a project if you feel like you’re going to earn way less than what you deserve. And in the meanwhile, stay in touch with an online consulting platform who could connect you with the clients who don’t mind signing fat checks for the right consultant.

Final Thoughts

If you think you’re making way less than a consultant than you should, you’re probably right. But sometimes, the right method to raise your consulting fee isn’t always quoting a higher price. It’s also about having the confidence and mental clarity to charge what you’re worth. Taking on challenging projects and providing massive value through upselling and cross-selling are also surefire ways of increasing your earning potential. And last but not least, make sure that you never settle for gigs that don’t meet your expectations. Use that time to upskill yourself, build your brand, and grow your network of clients through a freelance consulting platform