There are several hoops to jump through in becoming a marketing consultant. One ever-expanding hoop is of course is how to set your rates? This can be tricky, so use guidelines because with rates too expensive, you may price yourself out of the market and with no packaged rates at all, good luck trying to “reel in” sales.
Truth be told, this was one of our largest hurdles to jump over when setting out on our journey as being a professional online marketing consulting firm. In fact, how to set your rates as a marketing consultant should be the very last thing you actually solidify in your marketing plan before you set out to prospect customers.
The reason why is because without experience, you just don’t know how good what you have to offer really is until you give it a shot! Sometimes you’ll be successful and sometimes you won’t – isn’t that what being an entrepreneur is all about?
If I was to provide you with a blanket answer that would not be fair because what you charge clients for services really depends. We were throwing out quotes to prospective clients that were front-end loaded into the thousands in the beginning and getting totally frustrated at all of the NO’S we were getting.
This is when we realized the power of providing an a la carte menu of services, as well as a packaged rate for our services. When designing your sales and marketing funnel, I would suggest starting at the end first.
Beginning with the end in mind allows you to best know EXACTLY what your clients will be receiving from you. Once you know what you’ll be supplying them, it’s easy to be more revealing and honest on the front-end of your exchanges.
On the a la carte menu, have some ballpark numbers to work with so that you provide both you and your clients the flexibility to create a nice mixture of back and forth correspondence until you agree to the most ideal arrangement.
Most offline business owners know two things about online marketing. First, most are happy to admit know nothing about websites, HTML coding, auto-responder email marketing, QR codes, Facebook, Twitter and who knows what else. All they really want is to be more findable online and make more money.
They are also not very shy about letting you know their prior experience with other online consultants or online marketing services; most services haven’t provided favorable results in the past and they can’t express candidly enough that you’ll be swimming up-stream just to get the chance to prove to them that you can help improve and better their bottom line. They’ll open up if you stay with it.
So my best answer in helping you understand how to set your rates as a marketing consultant is to work off a baseline grid and attempt to package your suite of services into one, all-inclusive monthly cost.
One final tip is that many times, a client is much more receptive to rolling their set-up costs into their monthly cost if you are willing to amortize it over the course of the year agreement you make.
If they have the cash and are willing to pay, don’t offer them the option to pay it throughout the year and put them on a month-to-month, client at will basis.