I don’t know this for sure, but I think that several designers in my area have raised their hourly rates to $175 per hour. Do you think I should raise my hourly rate to $175 also?
Sure, it is good to raise your rates as long as you can answer yes to the following questions. I strongly encourage you to make sure these money pieces are solidly in place so your mindset and understanding of your own value is strong, before you consider a rate increase.
1. Are all of your clients paying the current rate? That means that no old clients get charged less than new ones because you are uncomfortable with telling them that you are now worth more.
2. Does your fixed fee for design services easily cover the amount of time you are putting into your design jobs? Or are you falling short because you underestimate the time it takes to complete the work, or give away more service than you contracted for?
3. If you are a single practitioner working alone, do you have an average of 18 to 20 hours of paid design time in every week? If you have an assistant, your paid time should be more. It is important to fill these available hours with paying clients because this is where it will show up as an increase in your bank account.
If all of these areas are good, go for it!