The demand for digital marketing services has never been stronger.
At the same time, the competition for selling those services has never been greater.
What is the best way to sell your services in such a highly competitive environment?
Setting prices can be difficult, especially if you are just starting out.
It’s hard for many to determine “How much would a client value me?” or “What is my service actually worth?”
You don’t want to set your prices unreasonably high, but at the same time you don’t want to leave money on the table.
Ultimately, your prices should be based on what services you provide, the market value of those services and most importantly, what clients and prospects are willing to pay.
Over time, you can build a portfolio of success stories as well as a financially rewarding career.
There are a number of ways to price digital marketing services, with the most popular explained, below.
Many digital marketers offer a selection of “packages.”
Clients are given the option to pick and choose from available services.
Packaged pricing is convenient for both the provider and clients, providing transparency regarding deliverables.
Clients can choose a package that best fits their needs and budget.
If you are offering packaged pricing, be sure to have the knowledge and experience necessary to perform all of the tasks that you are promoting.
Most packages are patterned after the tried and true “Good, Better, Best” bundle approach.
An added benefit of this form of pricing is that it pre-qualifies prospects.
Potential buyers know the cost of services upfront.
Instead of bundling options, one may decide it’s better to price services individually.
That way, prospects have the option to pick and choose precisely what they want or need.
The public pricing model is especially appealing to individuals who don’t like to sacrifice privacy by filling out a contact form, just to get pricing info.
Price Quote Calculator
This option is effectively a Hybrid of the Package and Public models.
Just set a price for each service, then clients can then build their own packages, using the calculator.
Price = (Service choice + Extra services) * Quantity
This method allows prospects to buy exactly what they want at a budget they are comfortable with.
This also lets clients get a customized quote without having to email or call you.
There are a number of plugins, widgets, and scripts available online that make it relatively easy to implement.
Hourly pricing can be tricky.
It’s often difficult to estimate the time necessary to complete a given task.
Startups and clients with smaller budgets may steer clear of hourly pricing because they don’t want to be surprised and end up with a hefty bill they cannot afford.
That said, smaller clients with minimal and predictable needs may prefer an hourly approach.
Enterprise-level accounts with larger budgets and complex websites expect to pay by the hour.
They understand that unforeseeable issues, requiring added resources, are to be expected.
As with any service, there is a wide range of pricing in the digital marketing space.
For SEO, you can expect to pay $100 – $150 per hour.
The going rate for content creators ranges from $16 to $100 per hour.
Projects demanding a higher level of authority or expertise may pay more.
Video marketing has seen a huge boom, with many more businesses getting on board.
The cost of video production typically runs anywhere from $19 to $100 per hour. Video marketers doing complex work can earn much more, making hundreds of dollars an hour.
Smart digital marketers are very careful with hourly contracts. They often overestimate how much time it will take to complete a project.
This protects them against losing money, in the event that a job takes longer than expected. That said, don’t go overboard or you won’t be competitive.
Flat Fees/Project-Based Pricing
Some SEO projects, like Google penalty recovery, are one-offs.
Other projects, like keyword research, technical audits and content audits are important, but not required every month.
Those are the kinds of tasks that are perfect candidates for flat-fee pricing.
Also suited for a flat fee approach is paid advertising.
If a client hires you for PPC, you can expect to earn anywhere from $500 to $5,000 per month in flat (management) fees.
Depending on how the deal is structured, you may also be able to negotiate an extra 15-30% of ad spend.
An SEO campaign runs, on average, $2,500 to $5,000 per month in the U,S.
Larger websites will spend more. Some pay as much as $25,000 to $50,000 per month.
Content creation is frequently priced by the project (flat rate).
According to Jason McBride, beginning freelance writers can expect to earn anywhere from $25 for a basic 350-500 word blog post up to $140 for a 500-1,000 word sales page.
Content that is not strictly text-based may command more.
Graphic design, for example, can add an extra layer of complexity not associated with just researching a topic and writing about it.
White paper and technical marketing also requires special skills and content creators can often charge more for those.
Flat fee prices for video marketing projects are determined by the scope of work.
Some clients are prepared to pay upwards of $50,000 for video marketing services. Others have no budget and start their search on Fiverr.
Flat fee projects can be great, but problems arise if you underestimate how much time, effort, and resources will be needed.
If your project ends up taking 20 more hours than you factored into your agreement, your profit margin will take a severe hit.
Remember, if you’re not making money it isn’t a business – it’s a hobby.
It’s preferable to make an evaluation before ever establishing a budget.
Quite often, prospective clients really don’t know what they need.
A consultation will help put them on the right path to making an informed decision.
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