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How Much To Charge? First "real" Gig
Posted 07 May 2005 - 10:10 PM
Here's the thing. I've been approached by a pretty good-sized company based on other work I do in the web and SEO fields to completely re-do their site for them. They want me to write a beginner's guide to SEO for their website clients (they build templates for small businesses), re-do every single one of their pages for optimial search placement, including all source code and input into content, AND they want me to be an ongoing seo consultant/go to person, coming up with their overall seo strategy.
! So honestly, this is the first real SEO gig I've gotten. I've done pretty much everything for free, and because I have a high-profile site that I write about seo and web search stuff, they came to me, plus they know my boss.
I have no idea how much to charge. I want to be fair, yet since this is my first SEO job, I don't want to go nuts. Any advice is appreciated.
Posted 07 May 2005 - 10:33 PM
Posted 07 May 2005 - 10:43 PM
Posted 07 May 2005 - 10:44 PM
Say, I'm not sure what to charge, how much is it worth to ya?
Posted 07 May 2005 - 10:46 PM
ETA: I'm being serious...this is a potentially big job and I'm wanting to do everything right here.
Posted 07 May 2005 - 11:44 PM
Posted 08 May 2005 - 04:29 AM
Then multiply it by 2 (take my word for it it always takes you longer)
Look at the normal fees in your business , but donīt underestiamte.
Not sure about the actual sitiuation but a fee between $50-75 sounds reasonable to me. Now you have at least figure to start with.
Ask your client if they have a budget and how much.
If they donīt have anything tell them you will make an estimate.
Divide your project in reasonable parts and put prices to it.
Overlook the whole estimate and look if there are any strange figures.
Adjust your estimate to what you think will seem reasonable to your client.
Look back at your first calculation and check it.
Now make sure every separate part could be sold independently.
Put a timeline in. ( now you calculate at least!! 4x the amountt of hours you originally calculated.)
Now your client can buy just the servies from you as you go along.
$10.000 sounds a lot more then 2275 + 3445+ 3760+ 2240 ( but it isnīt)
This way your client will have an īescapeī without obligations.
Also make sure you describe exactly what you will deliver for each sub-project.
Posted 08 May 2005 - 07:21 AM
As part of that, what robmarketshare is spot on:
To take that even further, $2500 up front to do an initial report, + $1500 for Directory submissions + $500 a month is also $10,000.
IMHO, monthly, recurring revenue is the key to long term business viability. It is too hard to make sales constantly, but if you have a guaranteed revenue that is a % of your monthly bills, you can get by. Even better, you can charge less upfront, and be less risky for potential clients cash flow. Also, monthly billing ensures an ongoing relationship with clients that is invaluable in the longer term.
I got a lot out of a meeting once in which a sales guy I knew said to a client "You just need a very basic package. $1500 upfront and $300 a month", and I thought, that is nothing. Work it out, and it is $5100 for the year. Not bad, really, for a "very basic package", when you consider how much many people work for.
So while I can't help you on what to charge, I would suggest thinking about how to braek the payments up.
Edited by projectphp, 08 May 2005 - 11:49 PM.
Posted 08 May 2005 - 11:06 PM
Posted 09 May 2005 - 09:50 AM
It sounds to me, from what they want - "beginners guide to seo" "ongoing seo consultant" "overall seo strategy" - that these people probably have a very good idea of of the real "value" of the seo process.
It also tells me they have probably done some homework and have some idea of what they are willing to pay for the services.
Honestly, I would ask what their budget is....BUT I think I would figure out (at least roughly) what it is worth to YOU first.
You definitely need a plan and proposal that includes prices and timeframes on at least:
X$ for initial keyword research and competition study, X$ for the guide, X$ for redoing the source code and content replacement, X$ for the seo work on all those pages, X$ for initial link building.....Then a retainer for the "ongoing seo" services which could include (it sounds to me) multiple responsibilities (on-going link building, inhouse consulting - etc.).
I didn't see you mention link building but I did because I hope you will include that as part of your presentation for an "overall seo strategy" and charge accordingly as (from what I can remember) theirs is a real competitive niche.
I guess my point is (sorry for going on and on) that if you feel you are up to the job - don't short change yourself - it's easy to do because you feel honored having this first paying client but you won't feel so honored when you wake up one day and realize that you're making the equivilant of about 50 cents per hour to work for them.
Posted 09 May 2005 - 11:05 AM
I ended up dividing up all the work into phases:
Phase 1: initial report
Phase 2: implementation/consultation/collaboration
Phase 3: maintenance
and I charged a flat fee for phase 1, then took Jill's advice and asked them what their budget is for the rest. I also said that maintenance is going to be on a monthly fee basis with a one year contract minimum.
Re: the SEO manual, I re-approached this and came up with a better (at least I think it's better) strategy, as well as them expecting me to be basically their goto person for SEO.
I felt very good about my outline, and much more confident about what I was doing and how much I was expecting to be compensated. This is a pretty good-size company and I'm totally honored to do this for them; however, I don't expect to do it for free and they don't want me to.
BTW, got a nice email back this morning already and they're very impressed with my outline..or at least impressed with the length of it (I'm long-winded.:>))
Thanks to all...I appreciate your help and feedback.
Posted 09 May 2005 - 02:49 PM
You GO! That is a Great start!!
Do a great job for this client (don't forget a CONTRACT) and you will become much more comfortable with charging appropriately for your services!
I just understand cuz I been there and have short changed myself =)
I'll never forget one job I was so thrilled about working on.....Even at that time, mind you, I had a lot of experience and should have known better BUT... they approached me and I took a look at the subject matter and KNEW I WANTED TO DO IT!
The problem was that I wanted this particular project sooooo bad (because I loved the subject matter dearly) that I forgot myself and cut my price in half! DUH? Once I <quiver>stated my price</quiver>, she said "Oh, money is not an issue! I just want to make sure YOU are willing do this for me." UGH!! Why didn't she say THAT up front? UMMMM....Cuz she was not stupidified? Unfortunately, I was.
I don't regret it really because anytime you can work on something you LOVE it is an awesome opportunity......BUT a scantly paid job, no matter how lovely and fun it is, does not pay bills!!
Moral of that story? It's easier to go down on a price than it is to go up...
if you are feeling unsure, shoot a bit high and leave room for bargaining.
Don't assume that the people who request your services are not ready to pay up!
I'm really glad I could encourage you to SEE what you really already know deep down
Keep us posted!!
Leann <who is a bit long-winded too! =) >
Posted 09 May 2005 - 05:44 PM
If your client doesnīt say: ouch
bu that for the real sales people , and we arent
Posted 09 May 2005 - 05:49 PM
I did mention that I wanted a contract. And they didn't even BLINK when I mentioned what I wanted for the initial report. Not even a quiver. I really want this job. It's a huge opportunity. Basically, I already have it..we're just hammering out terms.
and lo and behold, today I got someone else who approached me and wants me to do an entire seo campaign from the ground up; new site, everything. I'm a bit overwhelmed and a lot giddy.
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