What should my consulting rates be as a freelance developer who can also do SEO, social media optimization and other marketing services?

I am a freelance WordPress web developer who provides a host of other services, including: SEO, social media profile optimization, email marketing campaign management, social media strategy, consulting, graphic design and the list goes on... I'm currently preparing to overhaul my operation with new pricing, more structured policies and a vastly improved image. Since I'm a one man army, I'm struggling with how I should price my services, as I feel there is a huge variation in the value provided. Would it be best to charge a flat rate for all services, including monthly routine maintenance and plugin updates, or would it be advisable to charge a premium for more expert services such as marketing strategy, optimization, and design, then charge a lower rate for routine technical stuff? Opinions and advice on this subject would be very appreciated. :)


Pricing for different tasks that require the same amount of time from you tells the Customer (and your subconscious) that you're working at a 5 on task x, but working at a 9 on task y simply because it costs/earns more. That seems to be a disconnect. Your time is your most precious asset, and I would charge for it whatever you're doing. If you build a site, and they are happy with your dev fee, but feel like you should charge less for SEO, simply let them find another SEO guy. That's their choice, but YOU are worth $xx.xx, no matter what you're doing.

Also, in general, take whatever you're charging and add 10% to it. If you're still busy, add another 10%. Let the demand level determine how much work you do, and at what cost.

Answered 11 years ago

Great question. I stay at the competitive rates, not more expensive than the competition and not so low where potential clients do not think your services provide no value.

For me, $90 per hour has worked wonders, because some clients think anything with 3 digits like $100 and up per hour is too expensive.

The best pricing strategy that works well is an "a la carte" proposal where you provide as many services for your clients as you think they need, but let them choose what they need.

For example, you can offer the a la carte as:
- SEO at 5 hours per month
- Social Media at 10 hours per month
- Email Marketing at 15 hours per month
- Wordpress design at 8 hours per month

If the client only wants Social Media and Email Marketing services, you charge them $2,250 per month ($1,350 + $900) per month. It works well for me and my clients.

I would be willing to speak to you to show you samples of my proposals to my clients and how the A La Carte approach works to offer your services like email marketing, social media marketing, and SEO.


Answered 11 years ago

I suggest dividing your services into transactional services (like hosting, updates, or design work) and consultative or strategic services (like consulting and marketing campaign development).

Transactional services can be project, hourly, or retainer based (i.e. $5,000 for a new website, $75/hr for ongoing design needs, or $200/mo for updates). Consultative services are better on retainer (i.e. $500-1000/mo to advise on the best keywords, review copy, and report success).

From a business perspective, the more clients you can fit into a monthly package, the more efficient you'll be. Let me know if I can help in any way!

Answered 11 years ago

There are three prices, low mid and high. Most people will be in the low to mid ranges and very few will be at the high end. I ALWAYS price myself to be the BEST and the best costs more. I'd say package your prices into a high end rate and a mid tier rate. This way you can give options and say I recommend this package which do you want. Then you can let them sell themselves on what they want or even use your lower price as a down sell to your higher price.

Most people are scared to price high and want to stay competitive. That's a bunch of BS. There's always going to be a high end rate so why not have that be YOU? I'd say have like a $10k package as your low end and then a $25k or $50k package as your high end. Then position yourself as the best in front of your ideal audience.

Don't let price get in your way and scare you, people who know they get what they pay for will hire you and it's not about price. Price is never the reason people don't hire you, it's value. If you show the value then how can the NOT hire you at those rates because it won't cost them a penny.

Show them ROI and COI. ROI is Return on Investment but COI is Cost of Inaction. What's it costing them to NOT hire you now at those rates. I coach people on this all the time and it's just a fear they have. Fear of the unknown is what keeps people where they are undercharging and undervaluing their services.

You have a choice as to where to be in the market place. Have confidence in yourself and your services. Where do you choose to be? Where everyone else is or to separate yourself as the best?

Answered 9 years ago

I totally agree with Preston. People will pay based on value. People usually have the money to pay for the things they value the most. Case in point, I've worked with impoverished families who need financial assistance and food gifts. Yet, some of them always have money for beer and cigarettes. Ironic, isn't it? Don't make it about price, make it about the value you provide in solving their needs or pain points.

Perceived value is also important to remember. You know the saying, "you get what you pay for". Well, that is a double edged sword. If you price too low, people will expect a low-end product or output. But, if you price too high and do not deliver the value you promised, you will never see them again and your negative reviews will eventually put you out of business or force you to change your model.

So, like Preston, I say price at the high end of the market provided your can deliver great value and customer service. If you try to price in the low - mid end of the market, you are just a commodity that can easily be priced shopped.

Sell in terms of the client's "investment" not "cost". Differentiate and show them how working with you will yield them greater results than hiring a commodity provider.

Call me if you need more help with your strategy. All the best!

Answered 9 years ago

Riddle me this... What brand is the #1 cola drink? OK, you're right, Coke it is. Who is the #3? No clue, right? Because no one cares about #3.

No one cares about you if you aren't #1 (or maybe #2) in your niche/market. You sure don't want to be the cheapest. So if you're in the middle, you're nobody.

You can never win if you are playing someone else's game!

So how do you win?


You MUST create your own game. Then you are automatically #1!

Here's your SEO biz model in a box:
• hyper focus on a very narrow niche - make sure it is full of PWM (Players With Money)
• instead of SEO/social media everything for everyone, specialize - you are the SEO Wizard who gets unbelievable walk-in results for ONLY multi-location dental practices doing over $1M in annual revenue
• further narrowing: you pick a target city and tell all your perfect buyer prospects that you are accepting applications to work with you
• you'll only work with the highest bidder starting at $2k per month and the rest of them will become competition that your client will decimate with your superior SEO skillz
• sign them to a 12 month contract because SEO takes time to work its magic then go month to month
• if your client wants to cancel, no problem - you'll go to their competition and they'll soon lose their new patient traffic and go out of business

Gotta run - busy helping a couple more winners win more by doing less, better...
- Daniel

Answered 6 years ago

Pricing is a marketing decision! You cannot answer that question by asking a forum like this. You need to ask your customers and prospects. List out the top companies in your field that serve the same market you are targeting and check out what they charge and how their services are bundled. Test out your findings with as many people in your target market as you can and carefully record the feedback you are getting. Adjust when required and keep reviewing your market and competition. It's ok to start as one person but extra help is important too. I will be happy to work with you to make this happen.

Answered 9 years ago

Imaging you are sitting on a beach and really thirsty for a beer and your buddy said "Hey, I'm going to get a beer, do you want one?" Then picture two scenarios, the first is the only option to get the beer is at a fancy resort. In the USA you'd probably be okay in telling him "as long as it's less than $10, yeah, get me one."

The other scenario is that the only place for the beer is a small grocery store. In that case you'd tell him something like "as long as it's less than $5, yeah, get me one."

Given the same need (thirst) why would you spend twice as much from one vendor than another? The other is the perception of the vendor.

You need to decide whether to market yourself like a high-end resort or a low-end grocery store. This is called branding.

Either can work but you have to be consistent in the way you brand yourself and go to market.

Answered 5 years ago

your pricing should reflect your servicing ability, quality of work and market demand...don't sell yourself cheap but be smart and don't out price yourself either

Answered 4 years ago

There cannot be an exact answer as to what your consulting rates can be because it depends on a lot of factors, these factors are as follows:
1. Hourly rates by world region: The regions where English is a native language are usually in advantage when it comes to hourly rates. This is especially a factor in the industries that requires fluency in the English language - the clients are more likely to hire professionals whose native language is English, so these professionals are in the position to command higher rates. This is the case with developers - according to a survey that included over 5000 freelancers around the world, people from the United States, Australia, New Zealand and Canada command the highest rates, while people from North Africa get paid the least.
2. Hourly rates by country: Apart from the world region, the country you’re living in determines the hourly rates as well. Again, English speaking countries usually reign in terms of the highest hourly rates. According to the a same survey that covered developers, Australia is the country with the highest hourly rates, with Switzerland as a close second; the country that has the lowest hourly rates for developers is Pakistan, with $43/hour. The figures for graphics designers show that Switzerland($48/hour) and Australia ($28/hour) are once again high on the list, while Sweden ($59/hour) offers the highest rates. In comparison to its position on the developers’ list, Pakistan has a better position, and evens with the UK ($13/hour). Russia is once again low on the list ($7/hour), but its India who offers the lowest rate ($4/hour).
3. Consulting rates by skill and experience (engineering and design): Skills and experience are a vital factor in determining your hourly rates - as an example, here’s how the figures unfold for engineers and graphic designers across various experience levels: Entry-level employees have up to 1 year in experience - because they lack extensive professional experience, their hourly rates are typically lower. For example, entry level developers earn $26/hour on average, while graphic designers just starting out earn about $24/hour on average.
4. Hourly rates by education: Education can be an important factor for clients who are looking to hire a freelance, but one Payoneer statistics shows that clients value experience more than education. There is little difference between the earnings of a freelance with a high-school diploma, and a freelance with a bachelor’s degree - surprisingly, freelancers with only a High School diploma outlearn college graduates with bachelor’s degrees. College makes a difference only at later stages of your education - freelancers with master’s and Ph.D. degrees command higher hourly rates than other freelancers. If you’re still haven’t earned you high school diploma, freelancing isn’t out of reach - but, as you’re probably still learning your freelance skills and don’t have an extensive portfolio, expect to make around the equivalent of the minimum wage in your country.
5. Hourly rates by gender: Although the idea of closing the gender pay gap is a popular one, the results of the Payoneer survey indicate that the gap persists despite many who speak against it - men still outlearn women in all surveyed industries. On average, freelance men earn $20, and freelancer women earn $16, though the actual figures vary by industry once again. Men out earn women for $3 on average across industries - the only two industries where the difference is minimal ($1) are Design & Multimedia and Writing & Translation. The biggest difference ($5) is in the field of IT & Programming, where men earn $21 and women $16. However, despite the gender pay gap being a norm in most of the world, there is a small number of countries where freelance men and women earn the same, like Venezuela (15$) and Romania ($23). Also, there are a few countries where freelance women earn more than freelance men like Bolivia (men $18 vs women $22) and Indonesia (men $18 vs women $19).
Average freelance and consulting hourly rates: According to the Payoneer survey, without taking into consideration any factor (like industry, location, and skill level), freelancers on average charge $19/hour
Consulting hourly rates by industry: Hourly rates vary across industries, from $28/hour for the Legal field, to $11/hour for the Customer & Administrative field. Here’s what the hourly rates are for 8 prominent industries:
1. Multimedia & design - $20
1. Graphic Designer - $17
2. Illustrator - $19
3. Web designer - $21
4. Multimedia production - $23
2. Legal field - $28
1. Fraud analyser - $27
2. Professional in charge of contracts - $28
3. Paralegal - $28
4. Legal consulting - $29
5. Tax lawyer - $30
3. IT & Programming - $21
1. IT Support - $18
2. QA - $18
3. Web programmers - $21
4. Database programmer - $21
5. Mobile programmer - $22
6. Developer - $23
7. Game programmer - $24
4. Manufacturing & Engineering - $21
1. Telecommunications - $21
2. Product designer - $22
3. Hardware engineer - $23
5. Management & Finances - $19
1. Accountant - $18
2. HR - $18
3. Project manager - $20
4. Financial analyzer - $21
5. Business manager - $21
6. Marketing & Sales - $18
1. Social Media - $16
2. CRM - $18
3. Sales - $18
4. SEO - $19
7. Writing & Translation - $16
1. Content writing - $15
2. Web content - $16
3. Translation - $16
4. Sales content - $16
5. Research - $17
8. Customer & Administrative support -$11
1. Data entry - $11
2. Virtual assistant - $11
3. Administrative support - $12
4. Customer services - $12
Besides if you do have any questions give me a call:

Answered 4 years ago

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