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How much should your marketing cost?

Big question! The common answer I give is “how long is a piece of string?”

And it’s an honest answer as, like most things, there are a lot of factors that need to be taken into account.

But alas, I will attempt to break it down for you.

The term marketing is a big term to start with. It encompasses a lot of things and means different things to everyone. What you consider marketing, I might not. So, I will keep this general for ease of explanation.

The more experience someone has, the more likely they are going to pay higher rates and that is fair and reasonable as you should pay for their IP and experience.

Also, consider that paying someone $150 an hour could be well worth that cost when you consider how long it might take them to complete a task V’s you doing it yourself. Eg: if you pay a marketing consultant to do a task that takes them an hour V’s it taking you 3-4 hours, you will likely come out in front by engaging them to do the task for you. (and with less mistakes)

There are many different types of marketing projects tasks that you might engage a consultant for. Let’s look at some of the most common.

Marketing strategy

The size and complexity of the strategy will impact the cost. I often deliver a basic strategy that covers the basics for between $1500-$1800. A much more detailed strategy with more channels, tactics, and audiences might be close to the $4K. In some cases, it could be higher, depending on complexity.


Marketing services

These are usually costed on the number of hours you engage them for a month. The higher your budget the more hours they will have to work on your marketing for you. My services range from $1,500 to $4,000 per month and what you need can depend on the speed you need your plan actioned. AKA: the more money you spend = the more time you are buying = faster it gets executed.

Social Media Marketing

This is one of the most under-budgeted areas of marketing. You might think it only takes a few minutes to post on social but there are many factors that contribute to it. This includes understanding your audience, research, drafting posts, creating content plans, finding images, getting approvals, scheduling, reviewing data, and reporting. If your budget is $500 per month, it won’t go far so be realistic.

If you want to hire a consultant or agency to run social media ads, you need to allow the cost for their service as well as your ad budget which is also a big variable.


Search marketing
There are two areas of Search – SEO and SEM.

SEO is focused on helping you get found in Google organically whereas SEM is basically Google Ads. SEO takes longer to get results, in general. SEM requires a budget for your marketing agency as well as your advertising spend.  You can pay anywhere from $500 to thousands per month for an agency to handle this for you. (note: I don’t do SEO and would refer you to a reputable agency to do this).

BEWARE: Of the person who promises to get you on the front page of Google in month 1 – a red flag and run a mile. Dodgy!


Marketing Advice

One of the most cost-effective ways to get help is by engaging a marketing specialist to give you advice and act as your sounding board. An advisor will review your marketing, provide feedback, give suggestions, share tools and shortcuts on how to use your time wisely.

This is one of my favourite services and I am currently offering a new program that provides this service. The Better Marketing Conversations Program does exactly that for $495 per month ** (strictly limited)

You need to be realistic about what your marketing will cost. Hiring a full time person with good experience is likely to cost you from $80-120K in salary and consider what value the investment in marketing adds for your business.

And like most people you engage, if you aren’t going to listen to their advice then why bother.