Guess what I’ve never done? Correct… I’ve never raised the fee I charge to an existing client. No matter how long you’ve been with me (and I’ve got e-newsletter clients going on seven years now), I continue to charge the exact same amount for the same work.
Does that mean that all my clients pay the same fees? No, and in fact, as the result of raising prices over the years (for new clients), I’ve got some clients paying two or three times as much as others. But once we start working together, your rate will never go up.
But why not just bump the fees on the long time clients, particularly if I’ve got others who have demonstrated a willingness to pay much more for the same work? Two reasons.
First, my clients love it; I don’t have much client turnover. Ask around and you’ll never find another client who came on after you who pays less. It’s the exact opposite of what everyone from the phone company to your local YMCA does when they continually offer the best deals to the new customers (you know how that makes you feel).
Second, I love it. New clients come with a lot of "set up overhead." Getting to know each other, figuring out how to communicate, understanding what the definition of "success" is, etc., are all things which take time and effort. An established client, on the other hand, is easy to work with. The more of these I have, the less time I spend on the administrative side. And with such low client turnover, I don’t need to spend much time looking for new people to fill the bucket.
Try it, but make sure you choose your clients carefully. If your experience is anything like mine, you’re going to have them for a long time.