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DO Masterclass Minutes

DO Masterclass Minutes - Travis' Techniques to 10x your Freelancing Rates

April 14, 2023
Swaraa Lodha
8 MIN

DO Masterclass Minutes: A summary of the insights and learnings from each class. 🚀

Topic: Increasing your Rates 10x as a Freelancer

Expert Speaker: Travis Bennett, COO of Doerscircle

This session included listening to Travis’ experiences as a freelancer and the techniques he used to increase his freelancing rates 10x in a short time frame.  

So, without further ado, let’s get into a (summarized) recap of what we learnt in the class.

_______________________________________________________________

Everything has a price.  

We’ve all heard this phrase.  

Whether it’s in a movie or in our own business conversations, it rings true.  

Everything does have a price.  

But now try to remember.  

In what context have you usually heard or used this phrase?  

To me, it instantly signifies a bargain or a pitch.  

And that’s what every business deal is. It is an amalgamation of pitches and sometimes, yes - bargains.  

Whether you are selling tickets for a comedy show or pitching your copywriting services to a client, everything has a price.  

And the higher it is, the better.  

According to Travis, it does not matter what you are selling but it’s the way you’re selling that matters when you are trying to push your prices up.  

And this is where many freelancers tend to struggle. Freelancers can sometimes not know what to charge or need a mindset shift before they can charge prices they think and know they deserve.

So, how do you know if you need to raise your rates?

  • You think you could charge more for your services
  • You want to generate more income for your business
  • You want to attract more premium clients  
  • You haven’t raised your rates in the last 12 months
  • You’re booked out, but you’re not profitable enough
  • You don’t get push-back from clients on your rates
  • You deliver amazing results, and your clients love you

If some of these statements match your thoughts, then voila!  

It is time to raise your rates!

And it can be challenging to do so, but don’t worry! These tips and techniques will help in getting your prices up as you grow as a freelancer.  

Premium Values & Premium Prices

You need to position your services for their value, not for their price. Yes, this can seem vague since prices can’t be comparable and everything you do is valuable as a service provider. But remember that price and value work on opposite ends and it is more a negotiation than it is a collaboration. Clients want the highest value for the lowest price while you want the highest price for the value you provide. Despite whatever happens, asking for a certain price from a client, however understanding they may be, will be a negotiation. But you can use techniques to negotiate in a position of power.  

Shift Your Mindset

If you provide a service, great.  

But don’t market it like that.  

Understand the utilize the difference between providing services and delivering solutions. Yes, that’s what you need to do. Whether it is an email, a new website, 17 advertisements, or a photoshoot, you should not be selling a service. You should be delivering a solution to the client who hired you.  If you sell a service, clients can easily compare you to other freelancers who provide the same service. You have to figure out what your client wants – find their main desire. Then position your service accordingly to portray yourself as the best solution for them. Don’t bite more than you can chew and agree to do something you have no clue about though! But do remember that you will get a high value only if you can show it to your client. Besides that, look for opportunities where clients need you more.  

For instance, you are a freelance developer who is being hired to fix a website that has gotten hacked and is losing $15,000 a day in sales because of it. That is a major problem with a bold-red “urgency” sign hanging from it. The client (business owner) is most likely not going to care if you are getting paid $50 or $350 an hour to fix this issue. All they will want is a solution - and if you do the job swiftly and effectively, you can easily get paid than what you would have originally planned. On the other hand, if a small business is trying to get their website live, after they were told by customers that it would help, it could be tougher for you to ask for higher rates and get them immediately. Being a small business, they may not have ever realized the importance of a website or it may not be their priority to drive profits. In this case, you will have a harder time asking for $350 an hour since there is no sense of pain or urgency. In this case, you need to work harder and tell them what their current value proposition is missing. Show them what their issues are (even better if you can point out issues they would have missed!) and then demonstrate how you are the solution.

Connect & Create Real Impact

This is as simple as it looks.  

Whatever you deliver will need to, and should, have a direct impact on the cash coming in for the client. Your work, project, contribution, whatever it may be, should directly be affecting their revenues and profits. If there is no tangible bottom line impact you can point out, you are not going to be valued. For instance, if you are charging $5,000 to write 5 opening emails for a client, it may seem like a lot of money to them and maybe anyone reading this sentence. But, according to Travis, this is not at all a great amount to ask for if you can prove that it is worth it. If spending $5,000 on your services (or shall I say solution?) is bringing in $25,000 in sales for the client, they will not hesitate to pay you what you have asked for. Doing so with one client will also make it much easier for you to get your future clients to pay you the same and more given that you will have results to prove your skills.  

But now that you have created your impact, what next? Show it off.

Create a portfolio of your previous work and make it easy for clients to understand. Build a history of your contribution and showcase real money value for it. For future clients, remember to set your targets as “close to cash” as possible and make your deliverables realistic.  

Become the Only (Logical) Choice

Remember 3 factors that will help you in becoming the only choice clients should and will choose.  

  1. The Fix
  2. The News
  3. The Proof

The Fix: This is a simple recommendation/solution you provide to them that will get an immediate result. It could be a quick bug on their website that you noticed or a simple piece of advice to drive up their sales. Don’t give away all your secrets, but just showcase your knowledge a little, so they want more of that and ultimately, more of you.

The News: Mention things that the company/CEO has said in the press to show that you have researched about them. If they are running a certain project, throw in some quick knowledge you have about the topic. Mention something that you think could be relevant to them because it will make you look extremely smart and give you a chance to follow up as you can send the information (article/video/etc.) later to restart the conversation.  

The Proof: This is an example of your previous work that shows the client that you can solve the problem they are facing. You just have to plant a seed or set the scene and then showcase the full work maybe a bit later to maintain suspense as well as make them more interested. Showing your work will build instant credibility and show them that you know what you’re doing. Utilizing these three factors will prove to clients that you are the only logical choice they should make, regardless of what your rates are.

But what if they push back?

Yes, that is totally normal and yes, you should expect clients to push back. They want the lowest prices possible (for the highest value), so they will 100% try to haggle down whatever you put in front of them.

The possible things you will hear back from them:

  1. You are a bit out of my budget
  2. This offer feels like overkill
  3. We don’t actually need everything right now

The answers to all these are: Yes, you’re right. But, hear me out.  

You need to explain that yes, I may be out of your budget, but you need me.  

You also need to explain that yes, you might be overkill but what your plan is for each aspect and why you think all of them are needed. Otherwise, you might play the trump card (that can also backfire, so be careful!) and tell the clients they “they should hire someone more junior.” This might anger them for obvious reasons, but if not, it may push them to choose you as an option because they will feel like you’re saying that their work is too simple for you. Handle the clients sweetly and use reverse psychology when you can. As for the budget, you simply need to refocus your work and scope down for the project. Instead of doing the original 5 tasks for $5,000, if their budget is $,2000, do just 2-3 tasks instead and scope down.  

Travis’s Golden Rule #1: NEVER drop your rates for a piece of work. If their budget is low, do less work for that much but never lower your prices for whatever they are asking.

Travis’s Golden Rule #2: Losing clients is not bad. You will lose clients and sometimes, that is the best thing that can happen to you. So don’t worry about it.  

Just because you’ve been working for a certain price until now, does not mean you need to stay at that number for longer. If anything, staying in that position for long enough should be a reason you grow from there and increase your skills and then, prices.  

So, know your worth and ask for it too!

And that’s it for this Masterclass!
Stay tuned for the next one, folks!

About the Expert: Travis Bennett is a former freelancer and the current COO of Doerscircle. He ran his own marketing consultancy firm where he built websites and then pivoted into copywriting. He currently oversees commercial verticals at Doerscircle and focuses on driving revenue, partnerships, new members, and expansions.  

Upcoming DO Masterclass: Blockchain in Business 101

Expert: Vishwas Thakkar, Founder & Head of Digital Strategy at Concinnity

Date: 28th April 2023

Time: 3 PM SGT (Singapore Time) ‍

#Knowmoretogrowmore

DO Masterclass Minutes - Travis' Techniques to 10x your Freelancing Rates

Freelancers can sometimes not know what to charge or need a mindset shift before they can charge prices they think and know they deserve. But fret not, because with Travis' tricks and techniques, you can increase your freelancing rates and earn what you deserve!
Published on
April 14, 2023

DO Masterclass Minutes: A summary of the insights and learnings from each class. 🚀

Topic: Increasing your Rates 10x as a Freelancer

Expert Speaker: Travis Bennett, COO of Doerscircle

This session included listening to Travis’ experiences as a freelancer and the techniques he used to increase his freelancing rates 10x in a short time frame.  

So, without further ado, let’s get into a (summarized) recap of what we learnt in the class.

_______________________________________________________________

Everything has a price.  

We’ve all heard this phrase.  

Whether it’s in a movie or in our own business conversations, it rings true.  

Everything does have a price.  

But now try to remember.  

In what context have you usually heard or used this phrase?  

To me, it instantly signifies a bargain or a pitch.  

And that’s what every business deal is. It is an amalgamation of pitches and sometimes, yes - bargains.  

Whether you are selling tickets for a comedy show or pitching your copywriting services to a client, everything has a price.  

And the higher it is, the better.  

According to Travis, it does not matter what you are selling but it’s the way you’re selling that matters when you are trying to push your prices up.  

And this is where many freelancers tend to struggle. Freelancers can sometimes not know what to charge or need a mindset shift before they can charge prices they think and know they deserve.

So, how do you know if you need to raise your rates?

  • You think you could charge more for your services
  • You want to generate more income for your business
  • You want to attract more premium clients  
  • You haven’t raised your rates in the last 12 months
  • You’re booked out, but you’re not profitable enough
  • You don’t get push-back from clients on your rates
  • You deliver amazing results, and your clients love you

If some of these statements match your thoughts, then voila!  

It is time to raise your rates!

And it can be challenging to do so, but don’t worry! These tips and techniques will help in getting your prices up as you grow as a freelancer.  

Premium Values & Premium Prices

You need to position your services for their value, not for their price. Yes, this can seem vague since prices can’t be comparable and everything you do is valuable as a service provider. But remember that price and value work on opposite ends and it is more a negotiation than it is a collaboration. Clients want the highest value for the lowest price while you want the highest price for the value you provide. Despite whatever happens, asking for a certain price from a client, however understanding they may be, will be a negotiation. But you can use techniques to negotiate in a position of power.  

Shift Your Mindset

If you provide a service, great.  

But don’t market it like that.  

Understand the utilize the difference between providing services and delivering solutions. Yes, that’s what you need to do. Whether it is an email, a new website, 17 advertisements, or a photoshoot, you should not be selling a service. You should be delivering a solution to the client who hired you.  If you sell a service, clients can easily compare you to other freelancers who provide the same service. You have to figure out what your client wants – find their main desire. Then position your service accordingly to portray yourself as the best solution for them. Don’t bite more than you can chew and agree to do something you have no clue about though! But do remember that you will get a high value only if you can show it to your client. Besides that, look for opportunities where clients need you more.  

For instance, you are a freelance developer who is being hired to fix a website that has gotten hacked and is losing $15,000 a day in sales because of it. That is a major problem with a bold-red “urgency” sign hanging from it. The client (business owner) is most likely not going to care if you are getting paid $50 or $350 an hour to fix this issue. All they will want is a solution - and if you do the job swiftly and effectively, you can easily get paid than what you would have originally planned. On the other hand, if a small business is trying to get their website live, after they were told by customers that it would help, it could be tougher for you to ask for higher rates and get them immediately. Being a small business, they may not have ever realized the importance of a website or it may not be their priority to drive profits. In this case, you will have a harder time asking for $350 an hour since there is no sense of pain or urgency. In this case, you need to work harder and tell them what their current value proposition is missing. Show them what their issues are (even better if you can point out issues they would have missed!) and then demonstrate how you are the solution.

Connect & Create Real Impact

This is as simple as it looks.  

Whatever you deliver will need to, and should, have a direct impact on the cash coming in for the client. Your work, project, contribution, whatever it may be, should directly be affecting their revenues and profits. If there is no tangible bottom line impact you can point out, you are not going to be valued. For instance, if you are charging $5,000 to write 5 opening emails for a client, it may seem like a lot of money to them and maybe anyone reading this sentence. But, according to Travis, this is not at all a great amount to ask for if you can prove that it is worth it. If spending $5,000 on your services (or shall I say solution?) is bringing in $25,000 in sales for the client, they will not hesitate to pay you what you have asked for. Doing so with one client will also make it much easier for you to get your future clients to pay you the same and more given that you will have results to prove your skills.  

But now that you have created your impact, what next? Show it off.

Create a portfolio of your previous work and make it easy for clients to understand. Build a history of your contribution and showcase real money value for it. For future clients, remember to set your targets as “close to cash” as possible and make your deliverables realistic.  

Become the Only (Logical) Choice

Remember 3 factors that will help you in becoming the only choice clients should and will choose.  

  1. The Fix
  2. The News
  3. The Proof

The Fix: This is a simple recommendation/solution you provide to them that will get an immediate result. It could be a quick bug on their website that you noticed or a simple piece of advice to drive up their sales. Don’t give away all your secrets, but just showcase your knowledge a little, so they want more of that and ultimately, more of you.

The News: Mention things that the company/CEO has said in the press to show that you have researched about them. If they are running a certain project, throw in some quick knowledge you have about the topic. Mention something that you think could be relevant to them because it will make you look extremely smart and give you a chance to follow up as you can send the information (article/video/etc.) later to restart the conversation.  

The Proof: This is an example of your previous work that shows the client that you can solve the problem they are facing. You just have to plant a seed or set the scene and then showcase the full work maybe a bit later to maintain suspense as well as make them more interested. Showing your work will build instant credibility and show them that you know what you’re doing. Utilizing these three factors will prove to clients that you are the only logical choice they should make, regardless of what your rates are.

But what if they push back?

Yes, that is totally normal and yes, you should expect clients to push back. They want the lowest prices possible (for the highest value), so they will 100% try to haggle down whatever you put in front of them.

The possible things you will hear back from them:

  1. You are a bit out of my budget
  2. This offer feels like overkill
  3. We don’t actually need everything right now

The answers to all these are: Yes, you’re right. But, hear me out.  

You need to explain that yes, I may be out of your budget, but you need me.  

You also need to explain that yes, you might be overkill but what your plan is for each aspect and why you think all of them are needed. Otherwise, you might play the trump card (that can also backfire, so be careful!) and tell the clients they “they should hire someone more junior.” This might anger them for obvious reasons, but if not, it may push them to choose you as an option because they will feel like you’re saying that their work is too simple for you. Handle the clients sweetly and use reverse psychology when you can. As for the budget, you simply need to refocus your work and scope down for the project. Instead of doing the original 5 tasks for $5,000, if their budget is $,2000, do just 2-3 tasks instead and scope down.  

Travis’s Golden Rule #1: NEVER drop your rates for a piece of work. If their budget is low, do less work for that much but never lower your prices for whatever they are asking.

Travis’s Golden Rule #2: Losing clients is not bad. You will lose clients and sometimes, that is the best thing that can happen to you. So don’t worry about it.  

Just because you’ve been working for a certain price until now, does not mean you need to stay at that number for longer. If anything, staying in that position for long enough should be a reason you grow from there and increase your skills and then, prices.  

So, know your worth and ask for it too!

And that’s it for this Masterclass!
Stay tuned for the next one, folks!

About the Expert: Travis Bennett is a former freelancer and the current COO of Doerscircle. He ran his own marketing consultancy firm where he built websites and then pivoted into copywriting. He currently oversees commercial verticals at Doerscircle and focuses on driving revenue, partnerships, new members, and expansions.  

Upcoming DO Masterclass: Blockchain in Business 101

Expert: Vishwas Thakkar, Founder & Head of Digital Strategy at Concinnity

Date: 28th April 2023

Time: 3 PM SGT (Singapore Time) ‍

#Knowmoretogrowmore

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DO Masterclass Minutes: A summary of the insights and learnings from each class. 🚀

Topic: Increasing your Rates 10x as a Freelancer

Expert Speaker: Travis Bennett, COO of Doerscircle

This session included listening to Travis’ experiences as a freelancer and the techniques he used to increase his freelancing rates 10x in a short time frame.  

So, without further ado, let’s get into a (summarized) recap of what we learnt in the class.

_______________________________________________________________

Everything has a price.  

We’ve all heard this phrase.  

Whether it’s in a movie or in our own business conversations, it rings true.  

Everything does have a price.  

But now try to remember.  

In what context have you usually heard or used this phrase?  

To me, it instantly signifies a bargain or a pitch.  

And that’s what every business deal is. It is an amalgamation of pitches and sometimes, yes - bargains.  

Whether you are selling tickets for a comedy show or pitching your copywriting services to a client, everything has a price.  

And the higher it is, the better.  

According to Travis, it does not matter what you are selling but it’s the way you’re selling that matters when you are trying to push your prices up.  

And this is where many freelancers tend to struggle. Freelancers can sometimes not know what to charge or need a mindset shift before they can charge prices they think and know they deserve.

So, how do you know if you need to raise your rates?

  • You think you could charge more for your services
  • You want to generate more income for your business
  • You want to attract more premium clients  
  • You haven’t raised your rates in the last 12 months
  • You’re booked out, but you’re not profitable enough
  • You don’t get push-back from clients on your rates
  • You deliver amazing results, and your clients love you

If some of these statements match your thoughts, then voila!  

It is time to raise your rates!

And it can be challenging to do so, but don’t worry! These tips and techniques will help in getting your prices up as you grow as a freelancer.  

Premium Values & Premium Prices

You need to position your services for their value, not for their price. Yes, this can seem vague since prices can’t be comparable and everything you do is valuable as a service provider. But remember that price and value work on opposite ends and it is more a negotiation than it is a collaboration. Clients want the highest value for the lowest price while you want the highest price for the value you provide. Despite whatever happens, asking for a certain price from a client, however understanding they may be, will be a negotiation. But you can use techniques to negotiate in a position of power.  

Shift Your Mindset

If you provide a service, great.  

But don’t market it like that.  

Understand the utilize the difference between providing services and delivering solutions. Yes, that’s what you need to do. Whether it is an email, a new website, 17 advertisements, or a photoshoot, you should not be selling a service. You should be delivering a solution to the client who hired you.  If you sell a service, clients can easily compare you to other freelancers who provide the same service. You have to figure out what your client wants – find their main desire. Then position your service accordingly to portray yourself as the best solution for them. Don’t bite more than you can chew and agree to do something you have no clue about though! But do remember that you will get a high value only if you can show it to your client. Besides that, look for opportunities where clients need you more.  

For instance, you are a freelance developer who is being hired to fix a website that has gotten hacked and is losing $15,000 a day in sales because of it. That is a major problem with a bold-red “urgency” sign hanging from it. The client (business owner) is most likely not going to care if you are getting paid $50 or $350 an hour to fix this issue. All they will want is a solution - and if you do the job swiftly and effectively, you can easily get paid than what you would have originally planned. On the other hand, if a small business is trying to get their website live, after they were told by customers that it would help, it could be tougher for you to ask for higher rates and get them immediately. Being a small business, they may not have ever realized the importance of a website or it may not be their priority to drive profits. In this case, you will have a harder time asking for $350 an hour since there is no sense of pain or urgency. In this case, you need to work harder and tell them what their current value proposition is missing. Show them what their issues are (even better if you can point out issues they would have missed!) and then demonstrate how you are the solution.

Connect & Create Real Impact

This is as simple as it looks.  

Whatever you deliver will need to, and should, have a direct impact on the cash coming in for the client. Your work, project, contribution, whatever it may be, should directly be affecting their revenues and profits. If there is no tangible bottom line impact you can point out, you are not going to be valued. For instance, if you are charging $5,000 to write 5 opening emails for a client, it may seem like a lot of money to them and maybe anyone reading this sentence. But, according to Travis, this is not at all a great amount to ask for if you can prove that it is worth it. If spending $5,000 on your services (or shall I say solution?) is bringing in $25,000 in sales for the client, they will not hesitate to pay you what you have asked for. Doing so with one client will also make it much easier for you to get your future clients to pay you the same and more given that you will have results to prove your skills.  

But now that you have created your impact, what next? Show it off.

Create a portfolio of your previous work and make it easy for clients to understand. Build a history of your contribution and showcase real money value for it. For future clients, remember to set your targets as “close to cash” as possible and make your deliverables realistic.  

Become the Only (Logical) Choice

Remember 3 factors that will help you in becoming the only choice clients should and will choose.  

  1. The Fix
  2. The News
  3. The Proof

The Fix: This is a simple recommendation/solution you provide to them that will get an immediate result. It could be a quick bug on their website that you noticed or a simple piece of advice to drive up their sales. Don’t give away all your secrets, but just showcase your knowledge a little, so they want more of that and ultimately, more of you.

The News: Mention things that the company/CEO has said in the press to show that you have researched about them. If they are running a certain project, throw in some quick knowledge you have about the topic. Mention something that you think could be relevant to them because it will make you look extremely smart and give you a chance to follow up as you can send the information (article/video/etc.) later to restart the conversation.  

The Proof: This is an example of your previous work that shows the client that you can solve the problem they are facing. You just have to plant a seed or set the scene and then showcase the full work maybe a bit later to maintain suspense as well as make them more interested. Showing your work will build instant credibility and show them that you know what you’re doing. Utilizing these three factors will prove to clients that you are the only logical choice they should make, regardless of what your rates are.

But what if they push back?

Yes, that is totally normal and yes, you should expect clients to push back. They want the lowest prices possible (for the highest value), so they will 100% try to haggle down whatever you put in front of them.

The possible things you will hear back from them:

  1. You are a bit out of my budget
  2. This offer feels like overkill
  3. We don’t actually need everything right now

The answers to all these are: Yes, you’re right. But, hear me out.  

You need to explain that yes, I may be out of your budget, but you need me.  

You also need to explain that yes, you might be overkill but what your plan is for each aspect and why you think all of them are needed. Otherwise, you might play the trump card (that can also backfire, so be careful!) and tell the clients they “they should hire someone more junior.” This might anger them for obvious reasons, but if not, it may push them to choose you as an option because they will feel like you’re saying that their work is too simple for you. Handle the clients sweetly and use reverse psychology when you can. As for the budget, you simply need to refocus your work and scope down for the project. Instead of doing the original 5 tasks for $5,000, if their budget is $,2000, do just 2-3 tasks instead and scope down.  

Travis’s Golden Rule #1: NEVER drop your rates for a piece of work. If their budget is low, do less work for that much but never lower your prices for whatever they are asking.

Travis’s Golden Rule #2: Losing clients is not bad. You will lose clients and sometimes, that is the best thing that can happen to you. So don’t worry about it.  

Just because you’ve been working for a certain price until now, does not mean you need to stay at that number for longer. If anything, staying in that position for long enough should be a reason you grow from there and increase your skills and then, prices.  

So, know your worth and ask for it too!

And that’s it for this Masterclass!
Stay tuned for the next one, folks!

About the Expert: Travis Bennett is a former freelancer and the current COO of Doerscircle. He ran his own marketing consultancy firm where he built websites and then pivoted into copywriting. He currently oversees commercial verticals at Doerscircle and focuses on driving revenue, partnerships, new members, and expansions.  

Upcoming DO Masterclass: Blockchain in Business 101

Expert: Vishwas Thakkar, Founder & Head of Digital Strategy at Concinnity

Date: 28th April 2023

Time: 3 PM SGT (Singapore Time) ‍

#Knowmoretogrowmore

DO Masterclass Minutes: A summary of the insights and learnings from each class. 🚀

Topic: Increasing your Rates 10x as a Freelancer

Expert Speaker: Travis Bennett, COO of Doerscircle

This session included listening to Travis’ experiences as a freelancer and the techniques he used to increase his freelancing rates 10x in a short time frame.  

So, without further ado, let’s get into a (summarized) recap of what we learnt in the class.

_______________________________________________________________

Everything has a price.  

We’ve all heard this phrase.  

Whether it’s in a movie or in our own business conversations, it rings true.  

Everything does have a price.  

But now try to remember.  

In what context have you usually heard or used this phrase?  

To me, it instantly signifies a bargain or a pitch.  

And that’s what every business deal is. It is an amalgamation of pitches and sometimes, yes - bargains.  

Whether you are selling tickets for a comedy show or pitching your copywriting services to a client, everything has a price.  

And the higher it is, the better.  

According to Travis, it does not matter what you are selling but it’s the way you’re selling that matters when you are trying to push your prices up.  

And this is where many freelancers tend to struggle. Freelancers can sometimes not know what to charge or need a mindset shift before they can charge prices they think and know they deserve.

So, how do you know if you need to raise your rates?

  • You think you could charge more for your services
  • You want to generate more income for your business
  • You want to attract more premium clients  
  • You haven’t raised your rates in the last 12 months
  • You’re booked out, but you’re not profitable enough
  • You don’t get push-back from clients on your rates
  • You deliver amazing results, and your clients love you

If some of these statements match your thoughts, then voila!  

It is time to raise your rates!

And it can be challenging to do so, but don’t worry! These tips and techniques will help in getting your prices up as you grow as a freelancer.  

Premium Values & Premium Prices

You need to position your services for their value, not for their price. Yes, this can seem vague since prices can’t be comparable and everything you do is valuable as a service provider. But remember that price and value work on opposite ends and it is more a negotiation than it is a collaboration. Clients want the highest value for the lowest price while you want the highest price for the value you provide. Despite whatever happens, asking for a certain price from a client, however understanding they may be, will be a negotiation. But you can use techniques to negotiate in a position of power.  

Shift Your Mindset

If you provide a service, great.  

But don’t market it like that.  

Understand the utilize the difference between providing services and delivering solutions. Yes, that’s what you need to do. Whether it is an email, a new website, 17 advertisements, or a photoshoot, you should not be selling a service. You should be delivering a solution to the client who hired you.  If you sell a service, clients can easily compare you to other freelancers who provide the same service. You have to figure out what your client wants – find their main desire. Then position your service accordingly to portray yourself as the best solution for them. Don’t bite more than you can chew and agree to do something you have no clue about though! But do remember that you will get a high value only if you can show it to your client. Besides that, look for opportunities where clients need you more.  

For instance, you are a freelance developer who is being hired to fix a website that has gotten hacked and is losing $15,000 a day in sales because of it. That is a major problem with a bold-red “urgency” sign hanging from it. The client (business owner) is most likely not going to care if you are getting paid $50 or $350 an hour to fix this issue. All they will want is a solution - and if you do the job swiftly and effectively, you can easily get paid than what you would have originally planned. On the other hand, if a small business is trying to get their website live, after they were told by customers that it would help, it could be tougher for you to ask for higher rates and get them immediately. Being a small business, they may not have ever realized the importance of a website or it may not be their priority to drive profits. In this case, you will have a harder time asking for $350 an hour since there is no sense of pain or urgency. In this case, you need to work harder and tell them what their current value proposition is missing. Show them what their issues are (even better if you can point out issues they would have missed!) and then demonstrate how you are the solution.

Connect & Create Real Impact

This is as simple as it looks.  

Whatever you deliver will need to, and should, have a direct impact on the cash coming in for the client. Your work, project, contribution, whatever it may be, should directly be affecting their revenues and profits. If there is no tangible bottom line impact you can point out, you are not going to be valued. For instance, if you are charging $5,000 to write 5 opening emails for a client, it may seem like a lot of money to them and maybe anyone reading this sentence. But, according to Travis, this is not at all a great amount to ask for if you can prove that it is worth it. If spending $5,000 on your services (or shall I say solution?) is bringing in $25,000 in sales for the client, they will not hesitate to pay you what you have asked for. Doing so with one client will also make it much easier for you to get your future clients to pay you the same and more given that you will have results to prove your skills.  

But now that you have created your impact, what next? Show it off.

Create a portfolio of your previous work and make it easy for clients to understand. Build a history of your contribution and showcase real money value for it. For future clients, remember to set your targets as “close to cash” as possible and make your deliverables realistic.  

Become the Only (Logical) Choice

Remember 3 factors that will help you in becoming the only choice clients should and will choose.  

  1. The Fix
  2. The News
  3. The Proof

The Fix: This is a simple recommendation/solution you provide to them that will get an immediate result. It could be a quick bug on their website that you noticed or a simple piece of advice to drive up their sales. Don’t give away all your secrets, but just showcase your knowledge a little, so they want more of that and ultimately, more of you.

The News: Mention things that the company/CEO has said in the press to show that you have researched about them. If they are running a certain project, throw in some quick knowledge you have about the topic. Mention something that you think could be relevant to them because it will make you look extremely smart and give you a chance to follow up as you can send the information (article/video/etc.) later to restart the conversation.  

The Proof: This is an example of your previous work that shows the client that you can solve the problem they are facing. You just have to plant a seed or set the scene and then showcase the full work maybe a bit later to maintain suspense as well as make them more interested. Showing your work will build instant credibility and show them that you know what you’re doing. Utilizing these three factors will prove to clients that you are the only logical choice they should make, regardless of what your rates are.

But what if they push back?

Yes, that is totally normal and yes, you should expect clients to push back. They want the lowest prices possible (for the highest value), so they will 100% try to haggle down whatever you put in front of them.

The possible things you will hear back from them:

  1. You are a bit out of my budget
  2. This offer feels like overkill
  3. We don’t actually need everything right now

The answers to all these are: Yes, you’re right. But, hear me out.  

You need to explain that yes, I may be out of your budget, but you need me.  

You also need to explain that yes, you might be overkill but what your plan is for each aspect and why you think all of them are needed. Otherwise, you might play the trump card (that can also backfire, so be careful!) and tell the clients they “they should hire someone more junior.” This might anger them for obvious reasons, but if not, it may push them to choose you as an option because they will feel like you’re saying that their work is too simple for you. Handle the clients sweetly and use reverse psychology when you can. As for the budget, you simply need to refocus your work and scope down for the project. Instead of doing the original 5 tasks for $5,000, if their budget is $,2000, do just 2-3 tasks instead and scope down.  

Travis’s Golden Rule #1: NEVER drop your rates for a piece of work. If their budget is low, do less work for that much but never lower your prices for whatever they are asking.

Travis’s Golden Rule #2: Losing clients is not bad. You will lose clients and sometimes, that is the best thing that can happen to you. So don’t worry about it.  

Just because you’ve been working for a certain price until now, does not mean you need to stay at that number for longer. If anything, staying in that position for long enough should be a reason you grow from there and increase your skills and then, prices.  

So, know your worth and ask for it too!

And that’s it for this Masterclass!
Stay tuned for the next one, folks!

About the Expert: Travis Bennett is a former freelancer and the current COO of Doerscircle. He ran his own marketing consultancy firm where he built websites and then pivoted into copywriting. He currently oversees commercial verticals at Doerscircle and focuses on driving revenue, partnerships, new members, and expansions.  

Upcoming DO Masterclass: Blockchain in Business 101

Expert: Vishwas Thakkar, Founder & Head of Digital Strategy at Concinnity

Date: 28th April 2023

Time: 3 PM SGT (Singapore Time) ‍

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