What do you charge? How do you set your fees? These are the most daunting – and among the most important – questions PR consultants ask. Though a one-size-fits-all answer would be nice, unfortunately there isn't one. There are many variables that go into setting the best rate for you, which is why even veteran PR consultants grapple with this issue on an ongoing basis.
This week on the Solo PR PRO Premium membership site, as everyone prepares for 2012, we've released Part One of a multi-part series called Show Me the Money!, which steps members through the process of managing expenses, setting rates, and maximizing profits with multiple 20+ page ebooks, worksheets and templates. Being able to produce resource-intensive courses like this is why we launched the Premium site in November, so we're excited to birth this baby!
As we worked on this course, we've identified some of the most common mistakes consultants make when setting their fees. I had a chance to sit down with Show Me the Money! co-author, Jenny Schmitt (@Cloudspark on Twitter) and chat about this critical topic. (note: there were technical difficulties and the video on my end wasn't recorded, but that's OK — Jenny is the one you want to see!)
If you can't see the video, you can watch it on YouTube here.
Do you agree? What mistakes have you seen consultants make, and what issues do you still struggle with when it comes to setting your rates?
Great stuff, Jenny & Kelly! It really set home when Jenny spoke of consultants, mainly women, who apologize for their rate. As if their time is less valuable than their client’s. I think much of this stems from lack of confidence (and as Kelly put it “people pleasing”), but when you’re solo you MUST project confidence from the get-go. If you’re charging rates lower than you’re worth (and can cover your expenses), I think you already start off with a “bargain basement” persona. Also, I’ve found that those who question your rate or constantly challenge it tend to be more work than they are worth. If your client is only worried about nickles and dimes, they tend to not focus on true objectives. Nightmare will ensue.
I am a new consultant and I agree that it’s hard setting prices. It would be really helpful if you gave a pay range for new independent practitioners. I know that’s touchy, but a range would be really helpful.
Thanks, Jen! You’re alluding to a very important point: the question of perceived value. I know many pros who have gotten a lot *more* work shortly after raising their rates, because the clients associate high fees with high value/expertise.
Hi JRed- thanks for your comment! I’m afraid the range would be anywhere from $25/hr – $250hr.or more, depending on experience, geography, industry specialty, etc.
But not to leave you hanging, one freely available source that can be helpful is the annual publication called Writer’s Market, which most public libraries have in their reference section. Though it focuses on writers (who traditionally have lower rates than PR pros), it includes many of the deliverables PR pros provide, and shows a high/med/low range for those items. Hope that helps!