What To Charge As A Freelance Marketing Consultant

You may be asking yourself, “I want to become a freelance marketing consultant, but what should I charge for my services?”

Good question; The answer is not straightforward, and it varies from person to person. There are multiple factors that need to be considered before deciding on your hourly rate. We’ve decided to write this article to help you decide how much you should charge as a freelance marketing consultant.

How do you set your rates as a consultant? – YouTube
1. Research industry standards to understand the market rates for freelance marketing consulting services.
2. Consider your expertise, experience, and the value you provide when determining your rates.
3. Use tools and resources like the Ideal Freelance Hourly Rate Calculator to help calculate your ideal hourly rate.
4. Be prepared to negotiate with clients, emphasizing the value you bring and justifying your rates based on your skills and results.
5. Regularly evaluate and adjust your rates over time to stay competitive and ensure fair compensation for your services.

1. Try To Answer These Questions

A great way to start is to ask yourself a few questions. For instance, how much money do you need to earn in order to cover your expenses? How many hours do you want or need to work each week? What types of clients are you interested in working with? How much experience do you have in the marketing field, and what types of skills can you offer them?

The answers will give you a solid starting point in terms of how much and what types of services you should offer. If these are still a little bit murky for you and that’s totally okay. There are plenty of resources online that can help guide your decision-making process, including this helpful article from the Freelancers Union.

If you’re still not sure whether it’s time for an upgrade, take a quick look at what others who have similar qualifications as yours are charging. Do some research on other digital marketing firms and consultants who work with similar clients as yours. 

Then see what their average hourly rates are for their services. You’ll be able to set a starting point based on these rates so that when it comes time to pitch your own rates, there’s enough breathing room between your quote and theirs.

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2. Talk To Existing And Former Clients

One way to find out how much you should charge is to ask your current and former clients what they think is a fair rate.

It’s important not to phrase the question like, “How much should I be charging?” Instead, you want your clients to tell you what they think a reasonable fee would be for someone like yourself. You might say something like this:

“I’m currently doing some research into my pricing structure. Can you give me an idea of what other people are charging for services similar to mine? You don’t have to give me exact numbers if that doesn’t feel comfortable.”

In asking this question, you’re not forcing them to commit or put themselves in an awkward situation by telling you how much they’re paying other vendors. They can always just give a broad range rather than specific figures.

If you don’t have any current or former clients, consider sending out a survey to potential future clients who may be interested in working with you in the future. In some cases, posting your survey on social media can help people take it quickly and easily without giving out their email addresses or other contact information.

3. Know What Your Next Client Wants

Before you consider how much to charge for your services, know what your next client wants. Start by asking them about their goals, and what they need from a marketing strategy. Some clients may be looking to increase awareness of their brand, while others want to expand the reach of their product or service. 

Once you have an understanding of your client’s goals, it will be easier to determine the type of work you’ll be doing on a monthly basis. As mentioned previously, charging for hourly work is perfectly acceptable; however, pricing based on the services required will allow you to accurately reflect how many hours are required for each project.

For example: If a potential client wants only a specific amount of social media posts created per week that requires minimal research, you can easily calculate the number of hours needed and use those to assign each post with an hourly rate. 

However, if another client needs more time-consuming tasks performed like analyzing marketing data or creating custom graphics that require a lot of design brainstorming you should consider how many hours will be spent on each task so that you can price appropriately and fairly.

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4. Know What A Full-Time Employee Would Cost

The best way to determine what to charge is to know what a full-time employee would cost. Your first step is to figure out how much time you’ll spend working with the client. For example, if you expect to work 12 hours per month, then that’s 144 hours per year.

Next, you need to determine how much a full-time employee would cost in the same role. Don’t just think about the person’s salary you have to include benefits like insurance and vacation time, too! This will help you determine how much money is available for the position.

From here, it’s pretty simple: take 144 (the number of hours worked in this example) divided by 2,080 (standard full-time hours per year) and multiply it by $40k (the salary for an entry-level marketing manager). Now we have our answer: $2.7k per year or ~$230 per month for this role.

5. Put Together A Rate Sheet For Your Services

The best way to figure out what to charge and bill your clients is to build a rate sheet. To do this, you’ll need to start by researching your competition. Look at the rates of people in your area who provide similar services as you. 

Take notes on what they charge per hour or task and how long it takes them to do certain things. For example, if there are other freelance copywriters in your city, find out how much they charge for writing 500 words of copy.

Once you have gathered some data on the going rates in your area, it’s time to create a rate sheet for yourself. This will help keep you organized and help guide you when coming up with numbers for potential clients. To get started, use our handy rate sheet template:

When putting together a rate sheet, make sure that everything that goes into making money as a freelancer is accounted for your time spent on projects, travel expenses (if applicable), equipment needed (software licenses, computers), etc.)

At first glance, the cost of travel expenses might not seem like much; but if you are traveling all over town day after day via public transportation or taxi service, it does add up quickly. It should be factored into any large-scale project that requires a lot of face-to-face meetings or in-person interactions with clients (i.e., anything outside of packaging design).

A good rule of thumb is that even “small” details like these should be included in your rate sheet so that you can stay organized and ensure profitability for every contract or project you take on.

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6. Know Which Skills Matter Most

As a marketing consultant, your skills are the primary factor guiding how much you can charge. Having a strong and relevant resume is a must but even if it checks all the boxes, you’ll still want to be familiar with these skills since clients are likely to request them. Being familiar with all of them will also keep you qualified for more jobs. Here are the most-requested skills for marketing consultants:

  • Copywriting
  • Marketing Strategy
  • Social Media Marketing
  • Content Marketing
  • Email Marketing

7. Know Your Own Value

There are a couple of ways to figure this out. One is to think about what it would cost if you were hiring an agency instead of a freelancer, and then charge yourself accordingly. Another is to look at your own experience and determine what kind of value that brings to the table for clients in your industry. 

If you’re new to consulting, consider what other valuable skills you bring in addition to your marketing prowess. Maybe you’re also a web developer, or a designer, or an incredible writer. Don’t be afraid to draw on those skills when negotiating freelance contracts.

Remember: no matter how many marketing consultants there are out there, none of them can offer the same combination of skills and expertise as you do. So make sure they know it!

8. Charge Enough To Attract Clients

You want to attract clients, yes, but you also want to be able to justify your rate. What’s the point of a high rate if you don’t have the skills that make it worth it? If you can confidently demonstrate your worth, not only will you be able to charge enough for the value you provide, but clients will think well of you and want to work with you.

Determining your worth is an ongoing process filled with trial and error. The more information and resources at your disposal, the easier it will be for you (and your potential clients) to understand why they should pay for what they do.

Use this guide as a place to start when determining what you should charge as a freelance marketing consultant.

9. Use Data About The Market To Guide You

The market rate is the price that the majority of people are paying for a service. In order to determine what you should charge as a freelance marketing consultant, it helps to first understand this.

While you can always charge more than someone who’s just starting out in the industry, comparing yourself to your peers gives you a good idea of where you currently stand in your field and highlights any gaps in experience or knowledge that you need to address before moving forward. If you have more experience than your competitors, for example, but are charging less, then it’s time to increase your prices.

To find out what other freelancers are charging for their services and get an idea of what you should be asking from potential clients you can look at job adverts for similar roles. These will give you a good indication of what employers think these kinds of services are worth and where there might be gaps in the market that could allow you to charge more than others because they provide something extra or better quality work (i.e., better results).

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10. Be Ready To Negotiate Your Rates

The first step to negotiating a rate is being prepared. Research your market and figure out what you need to be charging. As I’ve said in other articles, it helps to have an objective benchmark for your own work and think about what that should be in your local market.

Secondly, have a plan for the negotiation. Don’t go into this with the idea that negotiations are all about money, so don’t let that get to you. Emotions can distract you from listening and understanding, so remain calm and focused on the true goal: creating a mutually beneficial relationship based on trust and mutual respect.

Finally, don’t give away too much information up front. Think of it as asking someone if they want a glass of orange juice or whether they want water with their meal: chances are they won’t be able to tell you how much water or how much orange juice is right for them other than saying “I’ll probably need some.” Once you’ve established that there will be enough space in their budget for your services, just ask if they’d like either water or orange juice (or both).

They’ll respond accordingly by saying “yes” or “no,” which means you can move on to the next step of talking about price and then moving on to any other questions relevant to them (as long as it’s not illegal, such as child labor). However many questions they ask you might seem like noise at the time just try not to let yourself get distracted by it!

11. As A Freelance Marketing Consultant, You Need A Strategy For Establishing And Negotiating Your Rates

Remember, the only way to know what you should charge or how much you need is to figure that out yourself. There’s no one set standard. For example, rates may vary from client to client, depending on the type of project and the industry. 

It could be a matter of the size of your company or similar factors such as experience and skills (and just how many years you’ve been in business). Your rate might also depend on a number of other things including your location, type of project, and even whether it’s for a consulting position or if it’s an ongoing relationship.

That said, here are some ways that you can plan ahead so that your rates don’t get jacked up:

  • Get familiar with different sectors of the marketing industry by checking out websites like Information is Beautiful (iisbeautiful.com) and Upwork (upwork.com). These sites list projects that have been posted by individuals searching for work within various fields/industries.

You can also check out LinkedIn (linkedin.com) and other similar networking sites in order to see what types of companies are hiring around your area currently; this will help make sure you’re targeting businesses that have budgets big enough to hire someone like yourself with limited experience or expertise in a specific field.

  • Another thing you can do while getting familiar with projects inside different industries is looking at average rates from previous clients. Read up on freelance marketing consultant blogs, too, as they can give insight into past experiences with pricing.

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Final Thoughts

To charge what you’re worth, you need to understand your own value. To position yourself in the market and to attract clients, you need to be able to explain why they should hire you. And if you want them to pay a premium rate for your services, they need to know exactly what makes you the right marketing consultant for their company. You might have all the skills a client is looking for but it doesn’t matter if they don’t know it. Part of being great at marketing is knowing how to market yourself.

All in all, this is a lot to keep in mind. And there’s one more thing: your prospects will be comparing prices before they hire you.

In addition to making sure that you’re delivering value and charging fairly, bear in mind that one of the biggest mistakes marketers make is getting caught up in the competition. It’s easy to get tunnel vision when looking at your potential competitors, but it’s important to remind yourself that there are larger forces at work here and these other groups likely have their own struggles as well.

Further Reading

Here are some additional resources to further explore the topic of freelance marketing consulting rates:

Ideal Freelance Hourly Rate Calculator: HubSpot’s blog offers an insightful article that includes a handy calculator to determine your ideal freelance hourly rate based on your financial goals, expenses, and desired income.

Marketing Consultant Rates Guide: HelloBonsai provides a comprehensive guide to marketing consultant rates, covering different factors that can influence pricing and offering tips on how to set competitive rates for your services.

Freelance Digital Marketing Pricing: Thrive Themes offers a detailed guide on freelance digital marketing pricing, including strategies to determine your pricing structure, negotiate with clients, and position yourself effectively in the market.

People Also Ask

Do You Need A Certificate To Be A Consultant?

No, you don’t need a certificate to be a consultant. A certification in any field would be helpful for people who are starting out in consulting. But, experience always trumps certificates. If you have tons of experience in email marketing and have been putting together successful campaigns for years, don’t worry about getting certified because your track record will speak volumes about your expertise.

How Do You Price A Consulting Project?

You can charge by the hour or by the project or task to get paid as a consultant. You should know how much time it’s going to take for you to complete any particular task and then decide what kind of pricing structure is appropriate for that specific project.

How Do I Start A Successful Consulting Business?

To start consulting successfully, follow these steps: 1) Decide what type of consultancy business is right for you; 2) Create your brand identity; 3) Gather all necessary tools; 4) Create an effective website and social platforms; 5) Market yourself to potential clients; 6) Be present with quality content on your site and social media platforms.

How Do I Price My Services As A Freelance Marketing Consultant?

Marketing consultants can only really charge for the work they do, not for the results. So when you’re pricing your services, you’ll want to think about how much time you’re going to put into each project so that you can be consistent with how you price.

What’s The Best Way To Get Referrals?

The best way to get referrals is to ask for them! One great way to ask for referrals is through email—you can send an email asking clients to pass your name along to people who might need your services. You should also include a referral request in your email signature so that every client sees it after every interaction.

How Can I Find More Freelance Clients?

There are many ways to find more freelance clients, but one of the most important steps is networking on LinkedIn. If you don’t have a LinkedIn profile yet, make sure to get one up and running ASAP! And even if you already have one, it’s a good idea to spend some time optimizing it so that it will be more appealing to potential clients.

What Should I Do If I Am Not Getting Any Work?

If you are not getting any work, then you likely need to build your network. The best way to do this is to start with people that you already know – family friends, former colleagues, etc. You can send them a message through LinkedIn or email, let them know that you are starting a business, and ask if they have any opportunities they can refer you to. 

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