Pricing Questions & Answers

You need to grow your business, and you're willing to spend time and money to achieve your goals.
But just how much makes sense for your business? I'll do my best to explain my approach.

When I get the question, "How much do you charge for website design?", or "What is your typical rate for website management and marketing?", I cringe. No one wants to hear an answer like "Well, it depends".

It's the wrong conversation to have at first. I can't determine what to charge you without knowing what problem I am trying to solve. Sure, I can give you ballpark figures, or a price range, but it still is irrelevant to your situation and project scope.

Think of it another way -- you wouldn't ask a doctor to prescribe a medication or medical procedure for you before having her do a full physical or diagnosis, right? That would be malpractice and irresponsible for everyone involved.

Here's another scenario -- let's say you find out the hourly rate of a plumber you're considering to work on your house. He's the expert, not you (otherwise you'd do the work yourself, right?). But neither of you knows how much the final bill will be until you both discuss the scope of work before the work begins.

So what questions should you be asking?

The better question you should be asking yourself is,

"How much do I need to spend to reach my online goals?"

And of course, the right answer to your question is "I don’t know". Not yet, anyway.

Until I figure out your business situation and goals, I don't know what digital marketing solutions to prescribe. It could be simple website tweaks, a complete redesign, or enhancements to your inbound or outbound marketing.

The right investment to match your goals is figured by factoring things like the market, competition, your current position, and your online goals. That is why I prefer and recommend all projects start with a strategy road mapping session.

Rather than asking yourself how much do you need to spend on digital marketing, you should be asking

"How much can I afford to invest?"

If you're an experienced business owner, you know you need to spend money to make money. You also expect a reasonable return on investment (ROI). You've heard of the eight percent rate? According to the Small Business Administration, a business should spend roughly 8% of its total annual revenue on marketing and advertising.

You don't want to spend your entire marketing and advertising budget on digital outreach. That would be foolish to ignore offline outlets like print or other campaigns. So what is a good range? Here are some numbers as an example:

Annual business revenue $1,500,000
Industry average percentage of revenue to all marketing: 8% $120,000
Industry recommendation percentage of revenue of marketing to SEO: 2% $30,000
Typical website project investment (could be less or more) $10,000
Annual website management (~25% of web project) $2,500
Total digital marketing spend (35%) $42,500
Remaining non-digital marketing budget (65%) $77,500

FREE Return On Investment Analysis

How are you supposed to know how much to invest in website improvements? Calculate revenue projections you can bank on in less than a minute.

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