|Andy Warhol - 200 One Dollar Bills|
You know agencies have rate cards? You don't? Well, that is because it is like "creativity" on some creatives - you hear about it but never see it. I no longer work in agencies and rarely work with them (though I do - sporadically).
I said it a million times and will say it again, the market is dead and no one is paying. Thankfully, I am at bay - my clients are quite restricted in list (and sadly cannot reveal most of them due to Non-Disclosure Agreements). But my clients pay, thank you very much.
Not too long ago I was initiating a consulting ouverture with a well-known store chain. Instead of consulting they came back with an in-house offer which included me handling their entire social media, their window stores (on all branches), staff training, their full image, all for the mind-boggling sum of...
Two thousand dollars a month.
Many people would have jumped on the offer.
I myself emailed back saying - "what you are offering needs a full department of one head and two assistants. Just jumping between your six branches would in itself burn the mentioned salary".
Naturally it did not help that in the original meeting whatever I was saying, the store owner was countering with a "no". Small sample: The receptionist at the branch where we were supposed to be meeting was incredibly unwelcoming, and sarcastic to boot refusing to grasp that the company owner wanted to meet me (as if I was unworthy of being met). I mentioned this in the meeting and he refused to admit she was. Staff training my butt!
So this brings us to - OK, Tarek what is the damn price you require?
I charge my clients one thousand Dollars per day.
I. Charge. My. Clients. One. Thousand. Dollars. Per. Day.
Take this incredibly lovely project that landed in my lap in February. Enormous, humongous project, but quite lovely. The client and myself agreed on 5000 USD as a price. He said he would not be expecting it before a month - which for any sane human would be a normal time considering how big it was. I said: "listen, for this project to be worth my while it needs to be wrapped in 5 days". Naturally, he did not believe me. It was done in three and a half days.
Another recent project was at 1500. Took me one day and a follow up meeting of half a day.
Notice the pattern?
When I get a new project, I estimate mentally how long it would take to do it and charge 1000 USD per day accordingly.
Exorbitant you might say?
Well, in the February project - which was double checked by around 5 people prior to me - I noticed so many errors (on the strategic and executional aspects) I was correcting them with the client's blessing as I went along.
Do note, what I am saying is - I have enough to justify such a fee.
If I am writing this today, it is because everyone seems coy about the money issue. There is no shame, we all live on the ground and have bills to pay. And I would rather not work than handle those corny two hundred Dollars projects where the client withholds the cheque and all that idiocy. Not worth it to be honest.
Actually I do not even take down payments - the reason is simple as I explained to a client "if you are going to screw me you will do it with half or the full sum. Plus I work so efficiently, by the time I finish, it would not be worth it to pay half the sum".
So there, the word is out:
I charge my clients one thousand Dollars per day in consulting.