Home » How much am I worth? Setting Rates with Dennis Spring

How much am I worth? Setting Rates with Dennis Spring

In last month’s 12/60 program we looked at the nuts and bolts of taking the first formal steps of selecting a business entity and basics of branding. This month we were fortunate to have Dennis Spring join us to talk about prevailing rates and how to set your own. Program Chair Aerial Ellis moderated the session and here are some questions from the IPA members that Dennis answered for us:

Businessman Sailing in Boat Made of Money

Q: What about an introductory rate?

A: I’m not a fan and never will be of introductory rate for anyone, IPAs or regular agencies. If you bring a certain expertise to the table, you need to be compensated fairly. To lower your rates is an option – anybody can do it but I caution – it’s the same as full time people they may be earning $75K and they’re no longer there, and they’ll say to me …..I was earning $100 but will take $75K – don’t – that immediately locks you in perceptually into a certain level and once you’re in there it’s very difficult to get out of.

Q: How do you determine when the time is right to raise your rates with a current client?   How does one raise rates with clients?

A: If you are working with a client on an hourly or daily rates and the market rates for similar backgrounds in your geographic area – if you detect that those rates have risen you need to make an adjustment. If you have a retainer client with an agreed amount of time at a certain rate per hour or quarter and you first set these rates around certain parameters of what you’d be doing. If those change it’s time to raise your rates. Clients most often will question that, and you need to be ready to explain why you’re raising your rates or project estimate.

You can read the full transcript here, and Tim O’Brien, APR did a great write up about it in PRSA Tactics as well!  (Image credits: Tactics/harry briggs/corbis)



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