What’s your budget? How much money do you have to spend on the project?
It’s an uncomfortable question that we need to ask potential clients before we create a proposal.
The answer in 9 out of 10 discussions?
I don’t know.
And that makes sense.
For many firms, they have never done a project like it before, so they literally don’t know.
For others, they don’t trust you enough so they don’t feel comfortable revealing it.
To make things clearer, we have put together this post, for anyone thinking about a new project who doesn't have any idea on pricing.
We’ve tried to outline price ranges, as well as give you an idea of what causes the cost to go up or down. In the end, there are so many variables and that's why we always tailor a price and scope for each project.
For smaller brands like a 1-5 partner firm the range tends to be $7500-$15,000 depending on inclusions. For bigger businesses, you are looking at a far bigger range ($20-100k+) depending on business size.
Price is largely about responsibility, number of revisions, number of stakeholders to take into account (this matters a lot) and size of business. Yes, things cost more for bigger businesses because the stakes are higher and there is more value to add and protect.
Branding takes a lot of work. Generally, we are quoting on at least three rounds of design, at least three different strategy and consulting sessions, and a plethora of small tasks.
There is a big dose of guesswork as well around what the clients individual expectations are and their ability to give feedback in a timely manner.
For a complete rebrand or new brand, you are looking at a 10-16 week process. An example process looks like this:
In terms of budget, the biggest factors that lead to increases in scope are the time it takes to get feedback, the type and scale of revisions, the need for new rounds of revisions and the number of stakeholders involved. The more clients trust our expertise, the quicker the process.
Unfortunately, yes, clients regularly change their minds entirely mid-project.
And yes, we have to revise the scope if required as most revisions add at least another 20 hours to a project. With branding it is worth remembering that small changes can make massive impacts, so while something may seem minor it could well have significant flow on affects to the entire design process.
But perhaps you don’t want a full brand and just need help with individual projects?
Below are some stand-alone prices for individual pieces:
Pricing websites is complex because like everything, one size does not fit all.
For small firms expect a range of $5,000 to $20,000.
For larger firms $20,000 - $100,000+.
These are some big ranges, but there is a good reason for that. There are a lot of things that affect the price including:
There are other factors, but you get the idea.
So how do you save money on a site build?
Keep it simple, limit revisions, be fast with feedback and be crystal clear on your target audience.
Can you buy a template site that looks like a million other anonymous firms?
And if that’s your firm's brand then that makes sense, but most firms aspire to be differentiated, so this is a bad strategy.
If you want to make your site work, a tailored solution makes the most sense.
The type of copy and quality of copy will play a big role in what you pay, but we’ve provided a range of what to expect.
The range is generally an indication of expertise though. For instance, you can get a normal copywriter to write an article, or you can get someone with a legal background to do it who is also a copywriter.
One will do a good job for someone without legal experience, the other will do a far better job because they have the relevant legal background.
Like anything, you pay for quality.
We regularly put together ongoing social media content solutions for clients which involve 10-15 social posts, blog posts, videos, carousels and newsletters.
They tend to range from $1750 to $7500 a month depending on volume and the type of content.
Again it’s a big range, but some businesses want to make a splash.
Most of our clients understand the need to get strategy and brand positioning right at the outset no matter the project (because that is what great lawyers do as well).
Whether you’re a new business or an established one, and want help with brand positioning or targeted advice on social media, we tailor our strategy to suit our client’s needs.
Even if you are a bit unclear, there is always a budget range because no one has unlimited money!
It really doesn’t matter what that is, all that matters is that for businesses of all sizes there will be a range. It’s up to you to determine that based on the value of the project to your business, your ability to invest in it, and the timing of the project.
Now you know what things cost, it is easier to sit down and work out your range.
It might be $10,000, it might be $150,000. Professional businesses understand the value of investing in quality, so few would ever want the “cheapest option” because they would never want to be that themselves and understand that would reflect in their brand.
Similarly to legal and professional services pricing, whatever the range a client can spend will determine what can be fit into it. Above a certain based point most agencies will happily quote based on your range to give you options even if you can’t fit in everything you want.
That is certainly our approach.
We work with clients to try and deliver as much as we can within their budget range based on all the variables we outline above. That could mean we can do everything, or it could mean making strategic decisions about what can fit within the range.
Having a range also allows you to get multiple options from lower in the range to higher. At least then you know what you can achieve with the spend, and make a clear decision based on the investment you want to make.
In the end it is an investment.
Any project should be about adding some form of value. Whether that is attracting, converting or retaining more clients, attracting new joiners or empowering your existing team it is worth reflecting on all projects in the context of what you want to achieve.
We find that most firms who need strategy have a brand that isn’t aligned with their key client so ultimately need a rebrand and a new website. That tends to result in a 2-3 step process over a few months to move them from their poor branding to something that will help their business grow.
Most agencies like us will create a campaign based price on this basis that allows us to manage cost vs charging on an individual basis. It’s also easier to negotiate when putting a package together because some strategic work can serve a dual purpose and help inform content creation or other deliverables.
To illustrate, below are a couple of examples of packages:
Everyone starts somewhere, and most new firms do so with no assets, no strategy and no branding. In this scenario we would usually offer
Presuming a process with 1-2 revisions in each stage a new firm should budget $15,000 to $25,000 for the entire project. Cost largely depends on the size of the site, the amount of revisions and timeframes.
Many firms get to the 3-5 year stage and realise their brand assets and website don't match their ambitions. Generally it is because they have changed and the client they want to go after now has a different expectation. Refreshes are not dissimilar to entire new brand creation projects.
Generally more established firms will need to spend more on the website because they need more pages made. It can also be more work to refresh branding because you are already working with established assets. You should expect to be in the range of $20,000 to $40,000 depening on the size of firm, how many stakeholders are in place andthe website. It can be cheaper especially if the website needs less work but that can be fleshed out in a scope.
Hopefully this sheds some light on pricing and what to expect so you can make plans for your business!