How to Justify a Price Increase Without Losing Customers

In this week's episode of Chill & Prosper, we’re talking about price increases.  

Pricing is one of the hardest things in business. 

Wouldn’t it be nice if someone told you what to charge - and also told you the perfect time to raise your prices? 

Well - I’m not doing that! 

Price increases bring up a lot of fear and insecurity. Will you get criticized by some people? Yes. 

Will you lose all your clients? NO! 

It doesn’t have to be scary at all. But there are definitely some strategies to help you justify it to yourself!


I talk about ...

  • Getting real about your value
  • Getting past the resistance
  • Understanding your demand and results
  • The mindset of raising prices


Hey gorgeous. Today we are talking about price increases and I know this brings up a lot for people, which is why I love talking about pricing so much because it is one of the trickiest things in business. When you start your business for yourself, suddenly you have to put a value on what you do and that in itself can really derail people for a very long time. Graduating from free to paid can feel really painful. Coming up with that price in the first place can feel really painful. I have done other solo episodes just about setting your prices but today we want to talk about increasing your prices because this is another massive pain point for so many women. You set the price in the first place, you get over all of that and then you realize you've either undercharged or maybe you're just getting amazing results for people but you've realized that you've set the wrong price.

So that's what we're talking about today. How to justify increasing your prices. So the first thing I want you to reflect on is when's the last time you increased your price? Because you might think that there are rules around this. You might think, "Oh, I can only do it in January or I can only do it, the side of the financial year or I can only do it when something's happened. I've sold a hundred or when someone else gives me the permission to do it." And the truth is you can increase your prices as many times as you like whenever you like, because most people I know are undercharging in the first place and they're getting burnt out, they're getting resentful and all that kind of stuff. So it's really something that you should do regularly in your business is increase your prices.

It doesn't need to be scary but let's look at some of those things that come up about how you can justify it to yourself and your clients without feeling bad or like a greedy bitch. So let's be honest. When you think about increasing your prices, how are you feeling about it? Does it make you feel guilty? Does it make you feel vulnerable? Does it make you feel like a little kid or you're waiting for someone to give you permission? Now that is really normal. Think about it when you're in a job, the company sets the price but then they also increase the price for you. So when I was working as a junior in a consulting firm, years and years ago, when I lived in London, I started out at a junior rate but pretty much every time I learnt something or got a little certificate or pretty much every couple of clients, my firm will like, "Well, Denise is more experienced now."

And they increased my charge outright, regularly and I had zero money blocks around that but when I started working for myself, I was like, "Oh gosh, how do I increase my prices?" I was just waiting for someone else to do it. So there's a couple of different factors I want you to think about. Number one is really looking at your experience and you might be new in business or you might be new at a particular part of your business and what I find is that sometimes people discount previous experiences they've had in jobs or in other businesses but as I said, this is normally in the corporate world. Different consultants get charged out at different day rates. Even salons, hairdressing salons charge different rates depending on if it's a junior or senior stylists and their rates change rapidly as they get better and that's totally fair.

But what I find for a lot of people in business is that they really resist being more expensive. They feel that everybody no matter where they're at in their life or business or their customer lifecycle, should be able to access our expertise and value at a price that they can afford no matter where they're at. Now of course, there is a price point for every market and budget and this is true for almost every single business and industry. You don't have to feel you're leaving people out if you're charging yourself out of their budget. There'll be somebody else who can serve them at their budget. It's just a mismatch. Your experience totally counts because your experience often means better results for your clients and remember your knowledge and expertise didn't come for free. Okay? So you've probably paid to get that experience or you have done it through trial and error but remember that there some skills and talents that just come in nightly to you, that you might be judging yourself for being new in and a perfect example of this is social media.

There are people who are so good at social media. When I look at some of the kids on TikTok and the videos that they can produce, I'm just like, "Holy crap." That is incredible. Teach me your ways and you might think, "Oh, well, do they know more than someone who's been in video editing for 20 years?" I don't know but they've met the market and it's new and fresh and exciting. So their value that they're bringing to the marketplace isn't from years, years and years. It's not through longevity, it's through pure talent. So see where there are things in your life or your business that you're offering that it's just purely innate or it's just your time and you're judging it going "Well, I can't charge because I haven't done this for 20 years." Some businesses haven't been around for 20 years and you can't. The longevity just isn't there.

So remember to factor that into your pricing. Sometimes things are of the moment and the value doesn't have to equal years and years. Okay and you can charge whatever you like for that. Let's look at... another factor is demand. Now, if you are worried about doing a big price increase right now, I really want to look at your wait list. Are people really wanting to work with you and they just can't get in? Now this is a big one. So if you have a ton and ton and ton of clients and they're all back to back, and you've got people who are still waiting for you, chances are that you can justify a big price increase. You might lose some of your clients. You might not keep all of them and that's going to bring up some stuff for you as well.

But if you're super popular, it's really a textbook sign that you should put up your prices because either demand won't drop off or you'll be able to work with fewer clients and make the same, or if not more money. Now, let me tell you on the flip side of this. I am someone who loves instant gratification. So someone will tell me about something like, "Oh, you need to have a reading with this business intuitive. She's so amazing, oh she's psychic, she's so amazing" and I'll go to the website and if it's six weeks booked out, I'm like, "Ugh" because I just want it there and then. That's the ADHD part of me. That's just like, "But I want it now." But if there was a skip the queue, I'll always go for skip the queue. If there's a VIP option, I'll always go for VIP option because I value that. I value speed.

I want it jammed into bright brain right now and I'm willing to pay for it. So not everyone is and that's okay. So I talk about this in my book, Chillpreneur, that you could have a regular rate and skip the queue rate you could have Thursday, Friday be your regular clients and you could keep Tuesday, Wednesday for the skip the queue people. This works in almost every other industry. If you go to the post office and they say, do you want it there in two days? Or do you want it there in six days, you pay more for the two days. This works in every other industry, but yet we feel like bitches for making it quicker and easier for somebody. If somebody needs a website and they need it tomorrow, they shouldn't pay the same as your customers who wait for six weeks. They should pay a premium.

And that's a whole different conversation which we can talk about after the break is charging more for instant gratification people. Okay. So I believe that most businesses could really withstand a 10 to 20% price increase without losing most of the people and the ones that you do, It's okay. You don't have to be at someone's budget for the rest of your and their life. Okay. The next factor is just that awesomeness factor of getting results fast and quick and amazing results for people. Now, I see this happen sometimes that someone is a great business coach, or they're a great strategist and their clients start to get incredible results and they're a resentment fit. A resentment kind of creeps in and you just go, oh, they just not grateful or they're not appreciative and it's because your awesomeness is out of alignment to your pricing.

Okay. So if you get amazing results for people and they rave about you, you can totally justify a price that reflects those results. Especially if you're making or saving them a lot of money or time or stress, then you can justify that price increase and this is really honestly one of the things where I say to people. If you don't charge appropriately, you are going to feel it in your body. You are going to feel the deficit in your body and I'll have a story for that after the break as well. So there's a lot of mindset stuff that's going to come up around this about being awesome about having people save up to work with you, to have people who can't afford to work with you. It's a massive mindset shift and I'm going to share all of that after the break. See you in a sec.

Hi, I'm Angela Bryant and I live in a small village near Oxford in the UK. I'm the founder of Angel Rated, an independent review site where you can add and read reviews of all the courses, coaches and tools you've used to build your online business. In my spare time, I swim in the local river and have just finished a challenge where I swim multiple times a week all through the winter. I joined Money Bootcamp in 2018. I was at Heathrow on my way to Los Angeles for work and remember sitting in the cafe on my laptop and signing up just before I boarded the plane. I thought about it many times before, but looking out over the airport, it just felt the time was right to take the plunge. I'd read Denise's books, had attended her events in London and had always loved her vibe and down to earth approach.

So it seemed like the logical next step. Soon after joining Bootcamp, I uncovered a massive money block. This I couldn't, or shouldn't earn more money for myself than I did as a paid employee. I'd set a ceiling on what I could receive that matched my old corporate salary. It was a real eye-opening moment. Bootcamp is one of those courses that you return to over and over again. I'd absolutely recommend it to anyone who wants to dig into and shift their beliefs around money. We all have so many to uncover and it's amazing to have the support of Denise and the wonderful Lucky B community to help you work through them. I can't wait to see what the next year brings and look forward to helping more people find the perfect person, program or platform for the next stage of their business growth.

Okay. Welcome back. So we are talking about justifying a pricing craze and of course, it's your business. You don't have to justify crap but you are going to feel that way. Yeah. You're going to feel you to have to explain it, over deliver, all those kinds of things but just let me tell you a story first about when I realized that I wasn't charging enough for my speaking because I was really resisting charging at all for my speaking because it's not my zone of genius. I don't love leaving the house, putting on a bra, I'm an introvert, I don't love going up on stage but I know I'm really good at it, but I was going, oh, I can't justify charging for it because I don't prepare. I just do divine downloads. It's not really my... I don't really love it. So I can't charge for all these things.

So I started off sabotaging myself by only speaking at my friends events. So then I was like, "I can't justify charging them. They're my friends" but what I found was that friend line started creeping outward and outward. So instead of it being my best friend, it would be someone I met once at a conference, I was like, "I can't justify charging them." Until one day I went and I spoke at this person's event. It was supposed to be an hour. It ended up being three hours and when I got into the cab to go to the airport, I was a shell of a woman. My whole body hurt. It really hurt and so I was like, "What's going on?" And I realized that that energy has to come from somewhere.

If your pricing is not win-win, that deficit comes from your energy. It comes from your peace of mind, your wellbeing. It comes from your time off. It just comes from your energy somewhere. So if you're undercharging, trust me, the universe is balancing it out somewhere but you don't want it to come from your life force just to balance it out and then after that I did start charging more for those speaking gigs and I charged my friends. I do. I'm like, "Yep, you can come but you have to pay this." Okay. So I made a little note. Oh yes. I talked, I said I was going to talk about the turnaround price if someone wants it quicker. Now there's a real art to that too. You should absolutely charge for people if they're not organized and people who want things now and also people who are just instant gratification people. It's totally okay to charge for those things. It's a premium rate.

It's a last minute request. It's totally okay and if you are in a business that gets those requests quite regularly, you can block that out in your calendar. You can make space for that. You can plan for it. You can have those responses written ahead of time and you should charge up front by the way because I've seen it where people are like, "Ah, I need it tomorrow. It's really urgent" and then you pull it all out for them and then they don't even pay. So it's totally okay to charge a premium rate for rush jobs. Don't make people wrong for wanting quick results. Just plan for it, charge for it and have the boundary around it. It's totally cool.

Okay. So what happens if you're on board, you're cool. I can justify it. What do you actually do about those increases? How do you practically make it happen? So I actually think announcing price increases are an amazing business tool and a marketing tool for your business. So don't just make it a quiet increase, make a big freaking deal about it. Send everyone an email, especially those people who've wanted to work with you and say, "Hey, just to let you know on the 1st of July, my prices are going up. This is what the new price is going to be. I would love to work with you." And I've got the exact script in Chillpreneur by the way, if you want that but it's just really simple. Just send an email out. Hey, just to let you know, 1st of July, whatever it is, and then send regular followups.

Hey, just a reminder that this you've only got three weeks left. You've only got two weeks left. You only got one week left. You've only got three days left to have that current price and it does a couple of things. One is, sometimes people do a big price increase. They don't make a big deal out of it and then their worst dreams come true. That there's a little bit of a slump in sales and they go "See, I told you I shouldn't have done it Denise, you suck." And then you freak out. So by doing this, you often get a big nice influx of new work that might keep you busy while you're waiting for the confidence to catch up with your pricing. It's so simple. It's just like, "Hey guys, just to let you know the pricing for my website in a weekend package is going up on the 1st of July. So if you want to look that pricing now, here's the link to do it."

It's simple because all those people who told you that you were too expensive. It's suddenly, they're realizing that's only going to be more expensive and it's a bargain to work with you at the current rates. Okay. So then you can book it all in. I would say for all of those people, make sure you give them a deadline of when you can use it by because otherwise you'll get those zombie clients come up three years later and go, "I'm back. I want that thing now." And by then you would have increased your prices a million times. So this can be such a good marketing tool for you if you use it and if you're brave enough to tell people about it and then you've got to stick to your guns, okay.

So make a decision right now. What your new price is going to be? When it's going to go up by and what the deadline is? And then put it everywhere. Put it on your sales page, put it on your social media. You could batch those ahead of time of the three weeks ago, two weeks ago, one week to go three days to go, you can batch that ahead of time, schedule it so you don't chicken out and then I would even reach out to a few clients who were kind of on the fence a little bit and just say, "Hey, I don't want you to miss out. I just wanted to make sure you saw this, that my prices are going up and I would love to work with you." Okay. So that's a big thing that price increases can be just such an amazing marketing tool.

Okay. Here's the other mindset piece about feeling bad that people might not be able to work with you anymore and here's where I want to dispel that for you. One, you can't force every client to come along with you on your business journey and you can't stay small to make sure that you are staying with every client for the rest of their business journey as well. Some people you are going to outgrow. Some people you need to outgrow to free them up for other things too but when you have win-win pricing for what you do, you no longer feel resentful, maybe you'll buy back a little bit of time so you can create resources for the people who can't afford to work with you one-to-one or for you're premium stuff. Let me give you an example.

So say for example, you've got a million clients and you're burnt out because you're over-delivering and undercharging for all of them. You increase your prices. You buy back a little bit of time. You buy back a little bit of bandwidth. You buy back a little bit of energy and creativity. It gives you some time to create an e-book of what you do. An e-course of what you do. A DIY version of what you do and then it has two purposes. One, it creates a way for those people to work with you at a lower cost but it's not necessarily your time and energy and your highest price thing. It creates a great pipeline of marketing for your high pricing too because someone might buy your book. For example, they'll buy my Get Rich, Lucky Bitch and then they'll buy my Bootcamp but I had to buy back time to write that book. They will get excited about working with you. They will learn some skills that make it a prerequisite to work with you.

So it's easier to work with people and the other cool thing that it does, it creates this virtuous circle. You've bought back some time and energy so you don't have to work with everybody when you increase your prices. It gives you time and energy to create lower cost and passive income products so people can work with you, which gives you even more money and more bandwidth to create even more good stuff in the world. See, it's a virtuous circle. It really is. So let's recap what we've spoken about today. How do you justify your price increase? Hey, guess what. You really don't have to, but if you do, you can look at the good results that you get for people, the speed and the experience. You can go and look at all your testimonials. That's it. That's really cool. Then you can look at your pricing, see we can add VIP or rush job turnarounds for people who want it now. For the instant gratification people.

You can increase your prices so you can buy back some time and space. So you don't have resentment that's going to manifest in your body and then you can use that to create some more resources for people. So you can help people even more. How cool is that? So hopefully that's given you some inspiration to increase your prices, to make that announcement, let people know that your prices are going up. It could be your best marketing tool and back in my early days, when I was doing one-to-one coaching, I increased my prices every two months. You can do it every couple of clients. There are no rules about when you can and can't do it. This is your business, your rules and what you do really helps people. So go forth and prosper and yet increase those prices. I'll be right back with my final thoughts after this break.

Hey, I'm Daphne Rouse from south island of New Zealand. I'm a professionally certified and credentialed business success and freedom coach and numerologist for Hartley Woman who at a Crossroad. I joined Money Bootcamp in 2016. When I joined, I was stuck in a toxic relationship, dirt broke and scared to earn anything lest the man stole it from me again. I felt alone, isolated, angry and frustrated. I'd been following Denise for a year or two and able to take the plunge and join. Finally, I managed to scrape enough together without him knowing to make the first payment and trusted the rest will be there when I needed that. Since joining Bootcamp, my biggest aha has been realizing how fear and scarcity based my upbringing had been and how much that had impacted my life up until then. I knew I was smart and had gifts to share with the world.

That I was trapped and didn't know how to get out. After joining Bootcamp, I practically inhaled Denise's teachings, did all the lessons to clutter like a maniac. Yep. The man's one of the first things to go. Listened to the audio books over and over again, absorbed all the wisdom and support from the other Lucky Bs. I've grown in so many ways and made me an amazing woman. I'm so glad I joined them. It's been a lifesaver for me. My life and my business are completely different now. We're both on an exponential growth trajectory. Sky's the limit. I highly recommend Bootcamp to anyone wanting to change their money reality. I'm deeply grateful I found Denise when I did and for all the other Lucky Bs and Bootcamp.

Hey, beautiful. Thank you so much for hanging out with me today and here is my final thought for today. The vow of poverty ends with you. You know what? In previous generations, a lot of women often became nuns or went into the church because of lots of different reasons. It was a career path for some people or it was an escape for some people and you think of how many women who have come before us or how many ancestors that you have, who might have literally made a vow of poverty and you might have even made a vow of poverty unknowingly in some areas of your life. So some people go into certain professions and during the training, they say, "I hope you're not in here to make money. I hope you're here to help people, not make filthy lucre out of this."

You know what? This is a really fun, powerful exercise. You don't have to wait til there's a full moon. You don't have to make a big deal out of it but you could literally just say out loud and when I did this, it felt like something shifted in me. I just said, "Hey, if I've made a vow of poverty in any and all lifetimes, I now revoke that vow of poverty or I now complete that vow of poverty." It's super fun. I actually get people to do it when they come to all my Rose Farm retreats, we have a fire, I get them to write it down, we burn it in the fire but you don't need to do that. You could literally just say it out loud now and just say the vow of poverty ends with me.

And I know it could open some worms for you. It could make you feel a bit weird, but just try it. See how it feels and I would love to hear from you if this brings up some stuff for you. My social handle is @DeniseDT across the whole interwebs but yeah, you can even just send it to me. Just literally tweet it at me or just say, Denise, I just want you to witness these. The vow of poverty ends with me and it really does and if poverty doesn't float your boat, you can put in the vow chastity or the dysfunction ends with me because it really does. It really is your time. Go forth, Chill and Prosper, peace out for me and I will see you on the next episode. Bye.

About the Show

Chill & Prosper is your weekly dose of money mindset, marketing and humour from best-selling author and entrepreneur Denise Duffield-Thomas.

Denise's philosophy is that there is ALWAYS an easier way to make money and that's what she's here to help you do. Each week, you'll get actionable advice to help you make more money, with less work. There's no need to hustle - let Denise show you how to embrace the Chillpreneur way.

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