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How‌ ‌Much‌ ‌Should‌ ‌I‌ ‌Pay‌ ‌a‌ ‌Marketing‌ ‌Consultant?‌

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If you’re looking to hire a marketing consultant but are puzzled about how much you should pay them, don’t worry. We wrote this post with business owners like you in mind!

We’ll discuss what marketing consultants can do for your business and how much their services should cost. We’ll also consider the most commonly used pricing models and how to get the most value from your consultant or freelance digital marketer

So, let’s get right into it.

What Does a Marketing Consultant Do for a Business?

Marketing consultants help businesses develop effective marketing strategies and inform them on how to execute successfully. Essentially, their job comes in two categories — planning and strategizing, which later becomes implementation. 

The execution of marketing strategies isn’t always a part of the deal. Marketing consultants often only provide expert guidance and consultation. Plus, unlike permanent employees, they often work on an as-needed basis and get paid by the hour.

If you’re wondering about the benefits of hiring a marketing consultant, check out our blog post on what marketing is for a business.

How Are Marketing Consultants Paid?

Most marketing consultants charge using one of two pricing models. The first, most common method is by an hourly rate. The second is by a flat fee or bid on a project-by-project basis. 

The fixed bid is calculated based on their expected number of work hours for a marketing project multiplied by their hourly rate. 

These hourly rates generally depend on the consultant’s experience, current demand and capacity, geographical location, and market rate.

Recently, some marketing consultants have started offering their services on a monthly fee or retainer basis. 

If your business needs marketing guidance on an ongoing basis, a fixed monthly fee may be the ideal way to go. At a flat rate, you’ll always be aware of your upfront investment and will be better able to budget for it in advance.

This pricing model also guarantees that the consultant will always have the time to serve you. 

Monthly retainers can cost anywhere from one thousand to tens of thousands of dollars per month, depending on the type and level of services your business requires.

It might also be a good idea to hire a freelance marketing consultant. They’re self-taught, self-motivated, and usually cost less than a full-time employee. 

How Much Do Marketing Consultants Charge?

Marketing consultants charge anywhere between $65 and $300 per hour. The fee varies so much due to the differences in resume, demand, and overhead expenses associated with different consultants. 

Most experienced marketing consultants charge within the $100 to $200 per hour price range. 

Why Are the Services of Marketing Consultants So Expensive?

An average of $150 an hour might sound steep, especially when you compare it to the salary of an in-house staff member that may cost closer to $40 an hour. 

However, the extra price per hour consultants charge is justified, as you’ll see from the scenario below.

Let’s consider that you’re planning to implement a short-term marketing strategy that requires about twenty hours of work. 

At an average rate of $150 per hour, you’ll have to pay a total of $3000 if you choose to hire a marketing consultant. In contrast, the strategy will only cost you around $800 if you use an in-house employee to work twenty hours on the project. 

So, why would any business prefer hiring a marketing consultant in the first place? Why not just incorporate a marketing strategist into the permanent workforce instead? 

Well, it all boils down to the “true total cost” of a project. 

Having an in-house marketer means that you’ll have to provide them with office space, vacation time, equipment, lunch breaks, the internet, electricity, and other benefits. 

However, you rarely have to worry about these when working with an “as-needed” marketing consultant. These factors alone can justify the higher than expected hourly fee marketing consultants charge.

Also, in contrast to marketing consultants, in-house employees are paid full-time. Meaning that a marketing consultant’s twenty hours of work turns into a fixed forty paid hours per week for an in-house marketing strategist, even if you only need them to work on a twenty-hour-long project once a month. 

Hiring a permanent marketing consultant on a full-time basis may not be feasible for most small businesses.

How to Reduce the Cost of Hiring a Marketing Consultant?

The best way to reduce the cost associated with a marketing consultant is to create an excellent project brief before hiring them, letting the consultant understand your goals better and allowing them to wrap up the task in less time.

Here are a few suggestions for putting together a good project brief:

  • Outline your business’s services (or products) and other essential information about your brand and its background
  • List the objectives and goals you wish to achieve
  • Include a list of marketing activities performed by your closest competitors
  • Specify your target audience
  • Produce a timeline and set important milestones along the way
  • Mention how you measure success
  • List any critical legal parameters, guidelines, and assets of your business that the consultant should know about
  • Be very clear about your budget

Now You Know How Much to Pay a Marketing Consultant 

A marketing consultant can cost you anywhere between $65 to $300 per hour. Experienced consultants usually charge within the $100 to $200 an hour price range.

You might feel tempted to hire a full-time marketing consultant to reduce your expenditure. However, that’s not feasible for most small businesses, and it’s better to hire someone on an “as-needed” basis.

If you’re looking to save money on marketing, make sure to create a comprehensive, carefully-designed project brief before engaging a consultant. You should also consider hiring a freelance consultant online, who might be more affordable for your business than a conventional consultant. From marketing consultants to MetaTrader programmers, you can find the expert you need on Guru.

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