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Danny Margulius On “Raising Your Rate” & 7 Tactics To Get Freelance Clients To Pay You More

About a year or so ago I was trying to soak up all I could on freelancing.

Aww shoot, I’m still doing that. lol ????

Really, I think, we should always be upping our game, learning new skills, and catapulting our freelance income into the next tax bracket.

Want to know why?

Life is dynamic. Things change. And that includes your freelancing career.

But, really, change isn’t a big deal — as long as you accept it.

Accept that things change.

Because when you accept that change is a part of freelancing…

You’re always on the lookout for new tactics, tricks, and hacks to boost your career, raise your rates, and keep you at the top of the freelancing pack.

So what are you going to learn today?

Today, I’m going to share with you the TOP TAKEAWAYS I got from Danny Margulius Raise Your Rate Masterclass. Danny is quite literally the first freelancer putting it all on the line and sharing HOW THE F**K he made a living freelancing.

… And he’s really doing it. Or, at least, he’s done it.

What Really Makes This Blog Post Of Freelance Rate Raising Hacks Valuable is This:

1. Everything on this list has been vetted by time

That’s because, I actually went through this course back in in February. Which is good news because I’ve had time to personally implement some of the tactics learned. If I’m sharing them now, it’s because they work.

2. I vouch for and have used EVERY tactic I’m sharing with you here.

YEP! This stuff works.

So are you ready to raise your freelancing rate right now?

This Is How You Do it….

Tactic #1: The Rock Climbing Method

Danny coined the term. And this may seem like common sense for some of you. But it’s a really simple, and effective way to continually raise your freelancing rate.

Here’s how…

When you’re at your perfect busy level.

You know, when you’re doing a good amount of work. Making some pretty good cash. And, you still have plenty of time to go out and enjoy life. 

That’s a perfect busy level.

Perfect Busy Formula: Income + Free Time = Fun!

So, when you’re at that level….

Instead of just hitting the trails and letting your “bid on work” work slip away:

NOPE! That’s not what you do. Instead, you bid on new work! 


Here’s the catch.

You ask for higher rates. And you only accept new contracts where you’ll be paid more than you’re currently being paid.

That’s the rock climber method. It works because you’re in a position of power when negotiating. You know you don’t really need new work, and you know you want to raise your rates.

So when someone asks you:

Can you do it for less?

You know you could.

But you won’t!

You turn down the lower rate, because your #1 goal is not to land a new client. It’s to raise your freelancing rate.

And guess what happens when you turn down the lower offer?

They’ll likely hire you anyway!

And if not….

Oh well, you don’t want that client, right now, anyway.


They don’t meet your priorities. 

That’s ok.

Move on and find another new client willing to pay the rates you want.

Danny calls this the rock climber method since, when you rock climb, you always secure three of your four limbs before making your next move. 

Think about it like this….

You’ve got both your hands and one of your feet secure with good paying work. Then, you take that next step with your other foot to get a higher rate. This one foot is ‘insecure’ because it has to move away from the wall to secure your new position.

If you miss the ledge (i.e. you don’t get your higher rate)

It’s ok! You don’t fall off the wall completely!

But if you do secure a higher rate…

Pretty soon…

You climb the wall of rates to exactly the freelancing rate you want to be paid. And you either have:

a. More income coming in
b. More free time since you can work less

And that makes for a damn good freelance life. 

Tactic #2: Turn Customers Into Repeat Customers

Simple enough. Do such good work that your clients bring you more work. That way you can have a secure income, and be able to “take the risk” by asking for — and getting — higher rates.

Tactic #3: Raise Your Rates When You Don’t Need More Work

This one was embedded in to the Rock Climbing method above. But I’m going to cover it again. A lot of the time, when your schedule is full, the default response is to:

Not bid for new work.

This is a mistake.

And actually, this is the time when you “reach” out for contracts at higher rates.

(Remember the rock climber method?)


Maybe your schedule is full at $95/hour.

But is it full at $125/hour?


So when you have a full schedule….

Keep scouring the job boards.

Make sure you’re asking for higher rates.
And make sure to not accept a lower rate. Nope. Not at all. Not worth it!

In your head you can think:

“Nope, my schedule is already full at $my_current_rate”

And to your clients, a simple:

“Sorry I’m not taking any new contracts at a rate less than $my_new_higher_rate.”

Will do!

Try it. See what happens. My prediction – and I’ve tested for results – is this:


Tactic #4: Think of You & Your Potential Client As a Team 

This one has to do with negotiating. When you’re negotiating, the mindset to take is that you’re on a team. It’s you and your potential client. That’s the team.

It’s not you-vs-them! 

It’s you-and-them!

When you hold this mindset, the solutions you come up with will benefit both parties. And that’s how successful negotiations are made.

Tactic #5: Focus On Your Clients Needs First

This is another negotiating hack. Instead of saying:

“Sorry $potential_client, I can’t write 10 blog posts for $1000. It’s just less than I can accept for my work”

You make it about them:

“Sorry $potential_client, I know you really need high quality blog posts that readers engage with, and want to read more of. I can produce blogs that accomplish this, but posts like this take time. And if I were to accept $1000 for 10 blog posts I wouldn’t have enough time to deliver the quality work you need. It’s not a win-win for either of us. :(“

Tactic #6: If You Don’t Value Your Services Your Clients Won’t Either

The funny thing is this…

When you’re raising your rate and you know you won’t drop price for any reason.

You get paid higher rates.

Imagine that ????

Here’s what happens:

You’re not wishy-washy. And your potential clients sense your conviction. They obviously know you want to work with them. But they also know you don’t NEED to work with them.

And that puts you in a position of power. Want to know the other thing it does?

It tells your client that you’re worth the price you’re asking.

When you know you’re worth the price….

Clients pay it.

Imagine that ???? 

Tactic #7: Act Like A Human Being When Dealing With Clients

I’ve said this before too. In my own words you need to:

Showcase your personality


As Danny said, you need to be human.

Clients want to deal with humans. And when you showcase your personality with human-ness…

That’s the version of you that clients want to work with!

So just be you. 

Don’t think “I need to act like this” Or “if I say this I’ll close the deal”

Just be you. Let you shine through.

And sooner than you know it…

Your schedule will be full of clients that want to work with YOU!

Bonus Tactic: You’re Interviewing Your Potential Clients Too

This is another trick that puts you in a position of power when going into an interview. And it’s true…

Not every client will be for you.

That’s ok.

Yes, when you talk to a client they’re figuring out if you’re the freelancer for them. But at the same time, you need to be figuring out if they are the client for you.

When you adopt this mindset…

Guess what happens?

You start asking questions. You make clients clarify what they need. You stand your ground on what you can provide. You admit when you don’t have experience for a portion of the project. You let your client know exactly what your skill set is and why they want to work with you.

It turns into a dual-sided interview.

And if it’s a match on both ends…

BAM! Accept the contract! Start the job!

That’s what I got from Danny’s Raise Your Rate Masterclass. 

Have you taken his course? Did you learn a thing or two from this post?

If so, post up your comments below and let me know what I missed! Or let us know what you learned from this post and how it helped you raise your rate.

About the author

Eric Kleist

Eric is a freelance email copywriter who consistently lands clients whenever he's in the market for more work -- he is also the founder of, and the owner of (a completely undeveloped website that he's trying to think of a BIG idea for). He lives in Boise, Idaho, where he spends his time trying to convince himself that it's "home."