Hiring a marketing specialist is a great way to kick-start your business, product or website and take it to the next level. The problem, however, with the term marketing specialist is how vague it can be. There could be all types of marketing specialists with different specializations who all have varying prices. Do you want an email marketing consultant or an SEO specialist? Or are you looking for a Content Marketer or a Brand Strategist Consultant?

Picking a pricing strategy will depend on multiple factors including whether or not you care about the experience of the freelancer, whether you want someone for a simple project or long-term and if you mind hiring someone from a completely different time-zone.

Most of the guides out there make suggestions based solely on marketing trends, but instead of looking for trends, you need to focus on your results first and then take it from there. You also need to factor in how much you can afford to pay and if you can reach your needed results with that budget.

Are you paying too much for your marketing freelancers?

The freelancer pricing market is notoriously non-transparent. Whether hiring or being hired, anyone who has ever worked with a marketing freelancer has struggled with the question: what is the market rate for a quality marketing freelancer?

Of course, we all intuitively understand that this rate will vary with quality (what are the best marketing freelancers currently being paid?) and specialty (which skills can command the highest rate?).

It’s a complex guessing game based on gut feel and limited information. Right?

Enter real pricing data for premium marketing freelancers

Not any more. Now you can finally eradicate the guesswork and access real market data, based on data from freelancer proposals for specialist marketing projects received on Advisable.com in H2 2018.

[A note on the data: this data reflects the market rates being paid for premium marketing specialists. Advisable.com marketing freelancers are all proven experts at the top of their game in their chosen marketing specialism. If you’re interested in pricing data for run-of-the-mill generalist marketers then you’re probably better off checking out general freelancer platforms like upwork.com.]

Let’s talk turkey

Based on a wide range of project proposals (for everything from Adwords to Marketing Automation), the average hourly rate proposed by a marketing freelancer in H2 2018 was €105/hour.

However! The average hourly rate proposed by the marketing freelancers that were ultimately hired was significantly higher at €171/hour – over 60% higher than the average rate!

What does this mean?

Assuming that companies do indeed hire the best freelancers (rather than the best salespeople), this data suggests that:

  1. The best freelancers know they’re good and propose above average prices
  2. Companies are prepared to pay a (considerable) premium for the best freelancers

How should this affect your pricing strategy?

As a freelancer: price doesn’t seem to be a key factor in companies’ hiring decisions. Therefore, don’t be tempted to lower your prices to win a project. Even if you lose one particular project due to pricing, the data suggests that this is the hiring company’s problem, not yours.

As a company: the market is clearly prepared to pay for quality. It may be tempting to try to squeeze every penny and go for a lower price freelancer, but if your competitors are hiring the best freelancers, can you really afford not to?

Let’s dig a level deeper: hourly rates by acquisition channel and skill

The relatively new field of LinkedIn Ads specialists proposed an average hourly rate of only €66, whereas specialists in the mature (and entirely metrics based) Paid Search skill proposed an average rate of €134.

  • More traditional marketing activities such as Branding and PR command amongst the highest rates.
  • The generalist growth marketer is the most highly valued specialist – however, the much more narrowly focused paid search specialist is not far behind.

What else impacts the project price?

The hourly rate is impacted by additional factors, such as whether the project is a strategy or execution focused project.

  • Strategic projects involve a consideration of a wide range of strategic factors and tend to require more senior freelancers.
  • Execution focused projects are more “hands-on” and can offer less experienced freelancers the opportunity to demonstrate their abilities.

The project duration (i.e. the number of specialist hours required) also depends on these factors, both the type of project (strategy vs. execution based) and the type of specialist involved (launching a startup’s first email marketing campaign vs. re-branding a listed company!).

So how much should my marketing project cost?

As we’ve seen, the answer to this question is complex – it will depend on a wide range of factors, from the type of specialist to the type of project.

However, although a complex problem, it is also one that is entirely solvable with access to the right hiring data and expertise. In 2019, you simply cannot afford to be making your freelancer hiring decisions in the dark.

Freelancers take much less time to get your work done and their prices vary greatly. If you want to find below-minimum-wage prices, you will find them. However, in this case, you will also be compromising the quality of your work in the end. If you’re looking for real talent, be prepared to pay more.

The Advisable team is among the world’s foremost experts at hiring marketing freelancers. We have the data, we have the hiring expertise and, most importantly, we have the premium marketing specialists who can make your project a success.

Download the Complete Guide to Hiring Top Marketing Freelancers here!