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How Much should you Pay for Marketing Services?

This is a common question, especially this time of year when we are planning our time, money and priorities. To help you start, here are average hourly rates for different marketing services with links for more details:

  • Writing: As seen in this comprehensive guide to writing rates by project type, writing costs range significantly from $30-$200 / hour depending on the experience of the writer and the expertise required.
  • Website programmers / designers: While major development projects are quoted on a per project basis, for basic website updating and tweaking, rates are typically $75-$125 per hour.
  • Graphic designers: Most graphic designers will quote their hourly rates ($65-$150) but final quotes are always done based on project.
  • SEO or Search Engine Optimization specifics and pricing have changed dramatically in recent years. Hourly rates vary from $76-$200, but most SEO specialists will only initially quote for large projects with monthly retainers and 3-6 month minimums. Because SEO is now so closely linked to Social Media, many projects include services such as blog creation and posting and regular social media interactions with clients.
  • Social Media services vary greatly ($75-$200/hour) depending on whether you are looking for help with a higher-level social media strategy or the implementation of blog posts, tweets and Facebook posts. This recent link has some great details on the costs depending on the scope required.
  • PR professionals  charge from $40-$200/hour depending on whether they are freelancers, with an agency and/or have specialized contacts in your industry. Many have retainer minimums to start as seen in this buyer guide.
  • Virtual assistant services can help with anything from culling through emails to telemarketing or basic website updates. Rates are generally in the $25-$75/hour, depending on the expertise required and the number of hours purchased per month.

But of course the only truly important number should be your end ROI or the return you get after investing in these services. Next week I’ll share some tips on how to how to evaluate and manage marketing service providers so you get the best bang for your buck.

What do you pay (or charge if a service provider)? Share in the Comments section.

Jeanne RossommePresident, RoadMap Marketing
Jeanne uses her 20 years of marketing know-how to help small business owners reach their goals. Before becoming an entrepreneur, she held a variety of marketing positions with DuPont and General Electric. Jeanne regularly hosts online webinars and workshops in both English and Spanish. | @roadmapmarketin | More from Jeanne

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Discussion (5) Comment

  1. Trent ErwinVisitor

    I don’t like hourly rates because they don’t reflect the work properly. A monthly charge is better because the client is locked in to a certain amount and the pro does everything they can during that month for a flat rate.

  2. Justine H.Visitor

    How would I come across someone who can create a magnificant website and yet cost effective?

  3. Mike PoyntonVisitor

    Man, am I underselling my services! But then, I live in Costa Rica. So everything is relative. This is a great post! Thank you!

  4. Remember, it’s only a “cost” if it doesn’t work! What do you pay for phonest? What about email? Travel? Tradeshows?

    A smart company would deem these marketing activities as necessities, measure results, and adjust accordingly.

    We blogged about this a week ago:

  5. I try to remember that the cost of doing it all myself is also high as it takes time away from other duties, including photo workshops or video production, even if it’s for promotion, that could be helping me earn….
    I suppose it’s always a trade-off but I recommend to our video editor at ChiliDog Pictures – “hire someone if you could be editing client work and earning enough to comfortably cover the expense.”


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