OFFLINE - Services and Prices

22 replies
OK, I don't want to force anyone to give up any "trade secrets", but in the offline niche, what are the various types of services that you offer to your clients, and what kinds of prices do you charge? Yes, I know the prices will vary, and it's based upon a lot of different factors, but I don't want averages, I'm looking for what people are charging and getting.

Some services to get this started:

- website creation
- hosting
- email services
- SEO (too broad - what specific services?)
- direct response email marketing (autoresponders - set up, writing of the campaigns, etc)
- special reports

Pricing is really what I'm trying to get at. I put up a quick site to target offline customers, but I'm totally stuck on the things I want to offer and how to price. Again, I know there are good WSOs out there that go into this in detail. I'm just looking for the basics here.

My business model will be an upfront fee and then some sort of monthly fee based on the type and number of services I provide. My short-term goal is $1000/mo, hopefully between $3-5K/mo in six months, and $10k/mo a year from now.
#offline #prices #services
  • Profile picture of the author Andyhenry
    That's funny - I do a lot of offline IM work but I don't usually do any of those things except maybe some of the SEM.

    Most companies need more strategic advice than actual implementation in my experience, but if you go for really small businesses that have none of that - you're probably reducing the amount you can make too.

    When I first start doing that type of stuff about 10 years ago I would charge about 250 a month but I wouldn't create/maintain their site for them - that's a recipe for lots of time-consuming messing about and constant tweeking.

    I think I've always only used 2 pricing strategies no matter what the service:

    1 - What is the outcome worth to them. THEY Decide how much something is worth. If you try to decide for them you'll almost always undersell and make less money.

    2 - What's my time worth - that's the MINIMUM I would ever consider charging.

    Somewhere between the two is where you need to end up.

    Andy
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  • Profile picture of the author CmdrStidd
    You said a mouthful when you said that there are a lot of different factors but I will try to give it to you as best as I can.

    Basic website w/o shopping cart starts at $800 and goes up depending on other services. This kind of website is strictly for information about the business in question. Best used for service industry types of businesses where they give varying bids to do different kinds of work.

    Basic website with shopping cart up to 50 items starts at $1200 and goes up depending on the amount of "tweeking" I have to do to the shopping cart for appearance and functionality.

    Software design and development starts at $2000 and goes up depending on many different factors too numerous to mention here.

    Ghostwriting starts at $0.05 a word and will vary depending on the amount of research, length of writing, cover design, if any and audience knowledge level.

    I hope that helps as that is about the best I can do for the question you have asked.
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  • Profile picture of the author GoGetta
    As far as pricing goes, to be honest nobody can really tell you what to charge, even as a guide. Even if someone popped up and said. I charge $1000 for web design, this doesn't mean squat!

    Each website is different, each takes different resources and design so each will command a different fee. That is just web design which I don't focus heavily on. But every service is the same!

    A new post on my offline blog in my sig talks about pricing, it may help you!

    GoGetta
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    • Profile picture of the author TycoonRob
      Originally Posted by GoGetta View Post

      As far as pricing goes, to be honest nobody can really tell you what to charge, even as a guide. Even if someone popped up and said. I charge $1000 for web design, this doesn't mean squat!

      A new post on my offline blog in my sig talks about pricing, it may help you!

      GoGetta
      Nice post. That helps me put into perspective what I probably need to do. I think that pricing my services up front or on the website is bad. But I'm still not sure about all the services I want to provide! Once I get that figured out, I can charge on a per-case basis. The whole point of this exercise was to have a ballpark figure of what it's worth.

      For example, a potential client wants an email marketing campaign set up. I'll have to set up an autoresponder for them (once they buy it), craft the messages, create the opt-in form, schedule the messages, and possibly create a short report as a giveaway. There could be more things involved, but this is my example. So I'm going to charge them $xxx.

      $xxx could be $199, or $499, or $1000, or $1500. Big difference. I guess maybe the key is to find their budget and what they want to spend and tailor your services to that price, but try to upsell and add value for what they need.
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  • Profile picture of the author TycoonRob
    Good advice, Andy. It's funny that you say you don't do most of that. Shows that my thinking in this niche is much more limited than I thought.

    As far as pricing goes, I think you're 100% correct, but I would think that I'd like to have an idea in mind on what to charge at least. For a business that is not very internet savvy, they may quote a price that is WAY underpriced for the value of the service(s), and if I counter with something 10x their price they might balk at that and walk away and my time has been wasted. Of course, this is hypothetical and I'm just assuming this would be how it would work, so maybe not.

    As a consumer, I want to see what it's gonna cost me so I can look at pursuing whatever the services are.
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    • Profile picture of the author Andyhenry
      Originally Posted by razztek View Post

      Good advice, Andy. It's funny that you say you don't do most of that. Shows that my thinking in this niche is much more limited than I thought.

      As far as pricing goes, I think you're 100% correct, but I would think that I'd like to have an idea in mind on what to charge at least. For a business that is not very internet savvy, they may quote a price that is WAY underpriced for the value of the service(s), and if I counter with something 10x their price they might balk at that and walk away and my time has been wasted. Of course, this is hypothetical and I'm just assuming this would be how it would work, so maybe not.

      As a consumer, I want to see what it's gonna cost me so I can look at pursuing whatever the services are.

      I understand where you're coming from, but what you have to ask yourself is - What value do you bring to their business and what is the minimum you need to charge?

      If you're just starting out and doing it as a part-time thing, then you may just want to charge enough to cover your time.

      If you're doing it full-time then you need to be focused on getting your bills paid. Find a niche within the business community and work it in a focused way by charging what you know that niche can support.

      For example you may decide to focus on setting up Church websites and newsletters and just covering your costs and time, but then a monthly fee - which as you move from church to church will build up into a nice residual income.

      Or you may decide to work with Restaurants and work with them to create a complete online marketing strategy where your consulting fees cover your basic financial needs and any actual work you do for them are enhancements which are paid for.

      YOU get to choose how you do this.

      I've done it from lots of angles and settled with a process where I help them create their strategy and then they/we get people to implement it. (either internal people in their business, or by outsourcing).

      I get bored quickly and I prefer a model that scales, so I prefer to consult and charge for my time and expertise than to get paid for doing the website stuff.

      You can choose what you prefer.

      Andy
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  • Profile picture of the author CmdrStidd
    Razztek,

    One of the biggest factors that you need to consider is what will the market handle where you are? My prices listed above would be way too low in someplace like New York or Las Angeles but it is what works here in Cincinnati. Get a feel for what the market will tolerate where you live and that will be the best guide of all for you.
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    • Profile picture of the author TycoonRob
      Originally Posted by CmdrStidd View Post

      Razztek,

      One of the biggest factors that you need to consider is what will the market handle where you are? My prices listed above would be way too low in someplace like New York or Las Angeles but it is what works here in Cincinnati. Get a feel for what the market will tolerate where you live and that will be the best guide of all for you.
      True. Funny, cuz I'm in Cincinnati too! I promise I won't muscle in on your business; hopefully there's plenty of it to go around!
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      • Profile picture of the author CmdrStidd
        Originally Posted by razztek View Post

        True. Funny, cuz I'm in Cincinnati too! I promise I won't muscle in on your business; hopefully there's plenty of it to go around!
        Believe me, there is plenty to go around. I wish you lots of success.
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        • Profile picture of the author TimCastleman
          I'll share a little bit.

          Everyone one of my services has 3 offerings - Good, Better, Best.

          Email marketing for instance.

          Good
          $295 gets the code put on the website and nothing else.

          Better
          $495 gets the code + 1 email a month to the list and an email collection device in the store

          Best
          $795 gets everything above plus 2-3 additional emails and we input the email addresses.

          The thing you need to understand is the value you are giving them. If they charge a buck for everything they sale good luck convincing them to hire you but if they are a dentist and charge $600 for a filling - well it doesn't take that much to show them how you aren't an expense, but an investment.

          Hope that helps.

          Tim
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  • Profile picture of the author kevinpotts
    I think Tim's way of describing his business offerings shows a little bit more about the "it depends" factor.

    To put your services a value you must offer the client a reason why the price is cheaper or more expensive than the rest.

    You can stimate your services cost by this and you might get good results!.

    K.
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  • Profile picture of the author MichaelHiles
    These days, I don't even do tactics until strategy is in place with corresponding systems to measure and manage each step of the process. Most of what gets preached in the "offline" space is akin to putting a roof on a house that doesn't have a foundation.

    To put this in place is anywhere between $2000 and $500,000 depending on the company and scope of project.

    Once that is done, all the lower level forms of lead generation and marketing communications can be explored within their proper place and perspective of the operations food chain.... that of a supporting function of lead generation or stimulus to promote advancement of a prospect or customer along the path of decision-making behavior. Any business that buys any tactical-level tool or service without a strategic-level system in place that corresponds to their business model and customer base, is generally throwing some portion of their money away.

    While the back-end revenue from all the hosting, SEO, SEM, site design, etc... services is nice, and it can easily be captured and controlled when you are engineering the business process at the strategic level, I tend to leave the tactical-level services to the hourly-types and niche service providers.
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  • Profile picture of the author DyLan Lee
    Originally Posted by razztek View Post

    OK, I don't want to force anyone to give up any "trade secrets", but in the offline niche, what are the various types of services that you offer to your clients, and what kinds of prices do you charge? Yes, I know the prices will vary, and it's based upon a lot of different factors, but I don't want averages, I'm looking for what people are charging and getting.

    Some services to get this started:

    - website creation
    - hosting
    - email services
    - SEO (too broad - what specific services?)
    - direct response email marketing (autoresponders - set up, writing of the campaigns, etc)
    - special reports

    Pricing is really what I'm trying to get at. I put up a quick site to target offline customers, but I'm totally stuck on the things I want to offer and how to price. Again, I know there are good WSOs out there that go into this in detail. I'm just looking for the basics here.

    My business model will be an upfront fee and then some sort of monthly fee based on the type and number of services I provide. My short-term goal is $1000/mo, hopefully between $3-5K/mo in six months, and $10k/mo a year from now.
    For website creation you can charge a one time fee at $2000. And later charge them $500-1000/month for maintenance. Depends on your service

    For hosting, i suggest you to talk to some hosting company for their charge and then you make your decision

    Direct response email marketing- you might want to include the auto responder software license when you charge people. You can probable charge a $300

    Hope that this helps.
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    • Profile picture of the author TimCastleman
      Here is the bottom line in selling - make it free. Seriously, show them how the product or service pays for itself.

      Yes Mr. business owner it is $795 start up plus $250 a month but understand this - that means if your email autoresponder does nothing more than get you a single client per year then it pays for itself. So really it's free and this is more of an investment instead of a purchase

      Again it depends on what type of businesses you are going to go after but I like the whales, let the dogs have the scraps.

      Tim
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      • Profile picture of the author TycoonRob
        Originally Posted by TimCastleman View Post

        Here is the bottom line in selling - make it free. Seriously, show them how the product or service pays for itself.

        Yes Mr. business owner it is $795 start up plus $250 a month but understand this - that means if your email autoresponder does nothing more than get you a single client per year then it pays for itself. So really it's free and this is more of an investment instead of a purchase

        Again it depends on what type of businesses you are going to go after but I like the whales, let the dogs have the scraps.

        Tim
        Tim - great advice. I like the way you think, so I went ahead and got in on your WSO for the offline reports, mp3s, and a chance at the laptop! I'm ready to get started, so watch out.
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      • Profile picture of the author JohnMcCabe
        I tend to land more in Michael's camp. Fielding a tool without knowing where it fits in the process is like random whittling and hoping you come out with one of those neat wooden chain things.

        Once the strategy is in place, you could break your services down into two components - mechanical and creative.

        Mechanical components would be things like web hosting, one-time additions of code, setting up scripts, loading their content into web templates or autoresponders, etc.

        Creative components would be things like copywriting, graphics, article writing, video scripting and such.

        Mechanical services tend to be competitive. Survey your market and try to place yourself at the upper end of the common range. For example, in this part of Florida it seems you can't swing a dead cat without hitting a web designer. From the one-man bands to local newspaper and magazine publishers, everyone with the capability is offering website design services to try to scratch more revenue. The going rate for a basic brochure site with the client furnishing the lion's share of the content is about $600. Small business hosting is about $30/month and includes what most "offliners" think you can charge $1000/mo or more for maintenance.

        Creative services are much more fluid. They are also more subjective. If you can demonstrate positive ROI, whether it comes from lead generation, direct sales or reducing service demands, you can charge a lot more. At the top end of the spectrum, a copywriter will ask for $25-50,000 up front plus a percentage of sales - not profits, gross sales - and fit you into his calendar. If he accepts you. Of course, guys like that aren't working with local hair salons or diners. They're working with outfits like Guthy-Renker, Rodale, Bottom Line, etc.

        I'll admit that wasn't the specific information you were asking for, but I hope it gives you another way to look at things...
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        • Profile picture of the author MichaelHiles
          Originally Posted by JohnMcCabe View Post

          I tend to land more in Michael's camp. ...
          Who wants to be a commodity?

          At that level, you're already being "offshored".

          I can get reliable graphic design, web design, or SEO services from the Philippines or India for the price of a cheeseburger.
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          • Profile picture of the author TycoonRob
            Originally Posted by MichaelHiles View Post

            I can get reliable graphic design, web design, or SEO services from the Philippines or India for the price of a cheeseburger.
            Do you just use eLance or some related site for this?
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  • Profile picture of the author TimCastleman
    Raz -

    Thank you for your comments. If you have any questions please feel free to email me. And good luck winning the laptop. My wife is pretty upset I am giving it away for $20 but I know that a warrior can use it more than me.

    Tim
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  • Profile picture of the author TycoonRob
    Actually John, this is a very informative post. I never thought about "dividing" the services like you mention. This will definitely help when trying to price my services.
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    • Profile picture of the author Andyhenry
      Originally Posted by razztek View Post

      Actually John, this is a very informative post. I never thought about "dividing" the services like you mention. This will definitely help when trying to price my services.
      This is really the best way to do your pricing because it let's you quote outside of their budget, but lets them bring you back into budget by choosing which elements they consider a priority, and it leaves you with more to sell later.
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  • Profile picture of the author Dexx
    I charge $96/hr and let them decide what their own budget is after I lay out a marketing strategy and what is all involved.

    For instance, SEO optimization for 4 keywords including competition analysis, keyword analysis, Google analytics reporting, and on-site optimization I quote at being 30 hours.

    But thanks to Market Samurai, Keyword Elite 2, and Google Analytics...takes me about an hour?

    Gotta love this business.

    Keep in mind, its not so much how long it would take YOU to do, it is also how long it would take them to LEARN what you KNOW AND also do what you do (without the software tools we have at our disposal they'd be doing manual research etc.)

    If the end results is worth enough in their eyes, they'll get the money to afford the services.
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