Q: WHAT DO YOU CHARGE?
A detailed critique of your current creative costs $265. If it leads to a project, its costs nothing.
You’ll gain insights and ideas you can implement immediately. A fresh take on what you’re doing now. Specific things you might do better. And a solid sense of how I think and solve problems.
These comprehensive creative and strategy reviews are often just the catalyst you need to enlist colleagues and move ahead confidently. All-in-all, a sensible and practical way to get started.
- First-time projects for new clients range from $500 to $25,000
Here’s what representative creative projects recently cost:
— #10 voucher direct mail package: $5,000
— 6x9 beat-the-control direct mail package: $10,000
— Bespoke new magazine launch package: $15,000
— Magazine wraps, insert cards, house ads: $2,500
— Email campaigns and associated landing pages: $4,000
— Website subscription guides and native promotions $7,500
— Banners, search marketing, text links: $500
— Online audio and video productions: $25,000
Current and former clients typically pay lower rates
If my homework is mostly complete, and I am familiar with your overall marketing, my rates for creative are significantly lower. Approximately 30% to 40% lower than new client rates.
Here’s how small publications with no money can afford me
The economics of regional magazines, special-interest titles, and new launches do not support the rates national publications pay for creative. Yet these smaller clients and start-ups present some of the most interesting, challenging, and ultimately satisfying opportunities in subscription marketing.
I make myself affordable for these desirable assignments by being paid for performance — earning royalties for the subscription sales my work directly generates.
Each agreement is different, but there’s always an advance to start (as low as $2,500). Followed by a fixed-rate per year royalty for continued use of the creative. Capped by a maximum payout no matter how successful the results prove to be. If this kind of arrangement is best for your budget, let’s talk.
- Some clients prefer a fixed retainer of $3,000-$5,000/month
When clients know they want to use me, but are not exactly sure for what and when, we establish a fixed retainer for a three-month trial. And I set time aside for what usually amounts to one large project a month or three smaller ones.
In establishing the retainer, my time is calculated at a rate of $165/hour instead of the open rate of $265/hour. During the three months, my time is billed at the fixed retainer regardless of the actual number of hours worked.
At the end of the trial, we mutually evaluate the relationship. If both sides agree, we continue for nine more months and include a 60-day cancellation option. Otherwise, we simply return to the project rate.
- My open rate is $265/hour
I bill in 15-minute increments.
- My onsite consulting rate is $2,500/day
An intensive circulation day conducted in your office with your staff and your colleagues can yield creative subscription marketing ideas and solutions that can transform your year.
In-person consultations are preceded by extensive planning and preparation to maximize the value for each participant. My fee covers a full day onsite. Out-of-pocket expenses such as travel and accommodations are additional.
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Q: WHAT’S INCLUDED?
A: Almost everything. Projects typically include consultation and due diligence, initial creative concepts, two rounds of copy and design, followed by prepress and/or digital prep of materials made ready for publication and delivery. Schedules always include numerous client reviews.
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Q: HOW LONG DOES A PROJECT TAKE?
A: Allow two weeks for one-offs like ads, emails, and banners. Four weeks for assignments like direct mail packages and online guides. Six weeks for large projects like launches and integrated campaigns. My availability is limited by my work load. So while I am usually able to accept a sudden project, I am always more effective when I have advance notice of upcoming assignments.
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Q: WHO PERFORMS THE WORK?
A: I am the principal writer, designer, and creative director on every assignment. Because my value is measured by direct sales I rarely farm out work. When I do, it’s with creatives and coders who have specific talents different and greater than my own — a small group of colleagues with whom I have teamed several times over many years.
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Q: ARE THERE ANY EXTRA COSTS?
A: No, not usually. My fee includes consultation, copy, design, prepress, and supervision of any outside creative services — typically everything needed to complete a production-ready project.
If deliverables such as original photography or custom coding are required, they are estimated in advance. Client authorization is required before purchases are made. And these specific items are billed at net cost without mark-up.
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Q: WHO OWNS THE CREATIVE PRODUCT?
A: You do. Everything I create is a work for hire.
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