I read an article today about how to raise rates and keep your clients. In one suggestion, writers were supposed to sit clients down, explain that the writer's demand was so great that rates had to go up, but that the writer was letting this client know because "You're a favorite client."
It felt contrived.
I don't know how you guys raise your rates, but I prefer not to announce it (unless it's a low-paying client who's either going to cough up more or disappear with my blessing). I just increase the bill. Current clients usually get a small percentage break if they're sending me regular projects. Maybe that's the chicken-shit way of doing things, but since I quote per-project on most things, I don't see too much of an issue.
With new clients, they hear the new rate.
How do you handle raising your rates without the uncomfortable conversation? Or do you just dive in and let them deal with it?