Anyone who works in a service industry knows that when you sell to a client, two things are happening: The customer is trying to get the best deal they can, and you are
Generally speaking, hourly fees are more profitable for the marketer and more costly for client. A potential client will almost always prefer a package deal to an hourly fee, as the risk for loss is on them if you go overtime. This means that hourly rates should be reserved for short-term consulting and specialized work. An example of this might be bespoke marketing work for a legal firm who has hired you to come in and set them up for simple in-house marketing.
Tasks for a job like this might include gathering and uploading email lists, creating custom email and inbound advertisement templates, and integrating all these new structures into their website or Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software. In this situation, your position as an advising professional would put you in a position to ask for an hourly rate given the level of care asked for in the work. However, for businesses that want to do more themselves and just need a standard setup, a pre-packaged setup may be better.
Standard Setup Packages
There are currently many online marketing services available for businesses to automate their marketing pipeline. This can be especially attractive for small operations looking to get a foothold online without the need for a dedicated marketing team. The best way to win these customers over is to provide pre-packaged, flat-rate bundles that combine the basic tools of email marketing with content marketing and social media with a human touch. This often means in-person training in the email services and how to use templates, as well as minor trouble shooting along the way to ensure the implementation goes smoothly.
These packages can start around $500, but many go as high as $3000 depending on the services offered. To make the package attractive to the client and profitable to you, you need to be upfront both about the price and which services are and aren’t provided. In a study by the marketing platform Workamajig , well under half marketing firms surveyed gave a price upfront. If your prices are competitive, make them a selling point, and let businesses know exactly what they can get for their dollar.
The Full-Service Retainer
Finally, for businesses who want to place all marketing duties in the hands of a professional, there is the monthly retainer. This setup requires a great deal of trust between parties, so it’s important to establish a strong relationship with your potential long-term partner. While past work done provides the strongest indicator of value to your client, courting potential partners with free services such as marketing audits can be a powerful way to show the benefits of choosing your marketing service. Landing these contracts can be enormously profitable for your marketing service, so it is definitely worth putting in the work to pursue them. According to research by entrepreneur.com the average retainer is $1000-$3000 per month. For this price, your client will expect you to create successful campaigns on their behalf, set marketing goals, and keep them updated on progress. But that’s just the contract in broad strokes. When it comes to the details, you need to specific about the expectation and limitations of the retainer. In a contract, vague language like ‘solving minor issues’ or ‘bug fixes’ can mean different things to you and your client. Be sure to describe the timeframe a ‘minor issue’ takes to fix, and differentiate between a fix and a feature. This way, your client doesn’t feel cheated, and you can be fairly compensated for extra work done.
To run a successful marketing service, it is necessary to balance the types of clients you have. Hourly rates will work for spot-polishing a business’s marketing setup, but more in-depth client
needs will be a better fit for a package or a retainer. Most important is to always be testing new prices and new services. No one format is guaranteed to work, so make sure the business model for your marketing service is flexible. Following the market and adjusting accordingly in the only way to survive in today’s fast-moving economy.