Starting a digital marketing agency or social media marketing agency is a great idea to get your year off to a good start. However, it’s a path that comes with some challenges.
When starting your own agency, one of the most important decisions you will have to make is what services you want to offer and how you want to price them. In fact, improperly pricing and underpricing services is one of the biggest reasons why most agency owners fail.
When starting off with little to no experience, you might be hard-pressed to figure out just how much you should be charging your clients, and it’s essential that you are always value your time and skill—no matter your experience level.
In this article, I’m going to be going over how you can put together pricing step-by-step for your digital marketing services and how you can work with your client’s marketing budgets in 2019!
First and foremost, before we get into the details of pricing, it is important to understand at every point that you need to value and take into consideration your time and your skill. This is especially crucial when meeting with clients for the first time and are asking them questions that will determine the budget you will be working with.
The two most basic things to remember when pricing your services are:
- Don’t undersell yourself to land the client
- Always put together base packages that can be customized to the client’s budget
Social Media Management
Social media management should be included to some extent in every package you offer. It is one of the most effective ways to increase engagement and sales, on top of being one of the cheapest, so it is a very useful and appealing service for clients.
The pricing for social media management will vary based on the amount of social media platforms you will be expected to manage (i.e. just Facebook and Instagram, or Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube), the frequency of posts, and the level of customization desired.
A good starting point for social media would be $500 for 2 or 3 platforms where you are posting a few times a week, with the price increasing with the amount of platforms and services performed on each platform. A good target for social media management is the $1,000-$1,500 range.
If part of the social media strategy includes advertising through social media, then the Ad spend is added ON TOP of the monthly management fee. The industry standard for ad management budgets is typically anywhere from 20% to 30% of the ad spend.
This means if your client is already spending $500 for management, and decided to add $300 for ad spend, you would take an extra $60 to $90 for your business and spend $240 to $210 on the ads. However, this can vary based on what the client’s budget is, particularly if the budget is under $3,000 per month. Personally, I do a flat rate of $500 for anything under $3000 and 20 to 30% for anything over that amount.
Email marketing is an inexpensive and effective service to offer, making it an incredibly cost effective option for clients.
Many automation or email marketing software applications are not only cheap to use, but offer discounts for managing multiple accounts on one platform.
Offer email marketing consulting, with the price increasing with added management services and automation in the more expensive packages. For basic email marketing management and automation, pricing should start at around $500 a month, with the cost increasing with increased emails, automations, segmentation, etc.
A GOOD email automation/sales funnel can sell from $1,000 to $50,000+ per month depending on the complexity of the automation, the type of client, what services you provide, and how long you project the automation to take to create, update, and optimize. As such, this is certainly a service you want to not only offer, but value correctly.
Search engine optimization (SEO) is incredibly important to digital marketing and will likely be one of the services your clients are most interested in. Basic SEO pricing should start at no less than $500 a month.
To properly provide this service you will need to look into software or an app to manage, review, and list sites. The cost of the software you use should factor into the price you set. For Example:
Software Cost (Vendasta)= $249/ month
Customer Cost = $500
If you are charging over $500 a month for SEO, services to include are:
- Planning keyword strategy
- Uploading and optimizing blog/site content (does not writing the blog/content)
- Listing management
- Creation of PBN (Private blog networks)
- Article directory building/submission
- Social bookmarking
- Engaging with community pages and posts
PPC (Search Engine Ads)
PPC (Pay Per Click) campaigns are expensive, so if a client is unable to spend more than $1000 it is not recommended to suggest this as a service.
The standard for PPC, or search engine ads, is the same as what I discussed for social media ads.
Web development is one of the hardest services to price, as it depends heavily on the industry the client is in and what will be necessary on their website.
A basic 4-8 page build should range anywhere from $1,000 to $5,000. However, this kind of basic build is NOT suitable for websites that include:
- Payment gateways
- Anything related to drugs or alcohol
- Financial institutions
- Insurance businesses
It is important to understand the scope of the project before settling on a price, and it may be worth hiring someone to price and manage the project for you if you do not have the skill or time to dedicate to these services.
Websites for businesses that involve any kind of e-commerce, large product inventory, online banking, or anything related to drugs or anything else that is heavily regulated could cost anywhere between $8,000 to $75,000+, so if you are new to web development, hiring a Web Development Project Manager may be the right choice for you.
Building Landing Pages/Lead Magnets
Building landing pages and lead magnets should be taken into consideration when you are giving your clients a quote for a website build or web development. These elements are very effective and would place a website into the higher price range of a basic build.
Landing Pages can go from $500 up to $50,000 depending on the complexity and what the client is requesting of the page.
The cost of creating content will depend on the type of content—be it blogs, website copy and content, or long-form posts—as well as the frequency of creation.
Your pricing could range anywhere from $50 to $1500 depending on whether it’s a one-off piece of content for a website, or weekly blog posts.
When figuring out the price, take into consideration the amount of time you will be spending to complete each piece of content and how much research or specification will be needed for each piece of content.
Video content requires more experience and skill, more expensive equipment than written content, and is more time-consuming than written content. These factors should be taken into consideration when coming up with content creation costs. Research the average hourly rates of videographers and editors when determining your pricing for video content.
The services you offer and the confidence you feel in your skill in these services will grow and develop as your agency grows. While you may feel it’s necessary to offer lower prices when starting out, make sure your pricing grows as your agency grows.
Though I’ve set out these guidelines for pricing, remember that your digital marketing approach should be specific to each new client you bring on board, and your pricing should reflect this. Additionally, as you grow your business and gain more experience, you will be able to charge more.
If you are ready to start your own digital marketing agency in 2019, then enroll in our online Digital Marketing School today! You can also follow us on YouTube, Facebook, and Instagram for helpful tips and updates, or visit Cereal Entrepreneur’s blog for more FREE training.