Want to earn a higher fee for the projects you handle? A few years ago, I stumbled upon a technique that works wonders for me.
Charge a separate “consulting fee” for non-writing services.
Think about it. There are probably writing projects you handle that involve non-writing activities … activities you’re not currently getting paid for.
Let’s say, for example, you write a press release for a client, then submit it to PRWeb.com, then make follow-up calls to a few targeted editors. That additional work isn’t really writing — it’s consulting. If your writing fee is $500 for the press release, it’s not unreasonable to ask for another $500 for the additional consulting work.
Voila! You’ve just doubled your fee.
Opportunities like this come up all the time if you keep your eyes open.
Here’s another example: M.K. — a friend of my editor — writes grant proposals for nonprofits. While the money is okay for this type of work, M.K. soon discovered that many of her clients had no idea which foundations and corporations were giving away grant money in their areas of need. So she purchased a good foundation database and now charges almost as much to search foundation requirements and provide clients with a solid list of leads as she does to write the actual proposals!
And because of the extra value M.K. now provides her clients, she gets a lot more work — and respect. Prior to offering this additional consulting service, she wrote about six grants a year. Now she averages 18, at almost twice the fee!
How do you get this “consulting fee” strategy working for you?
Think about the writing projects you’ve handled over the past few months or years. How many times have you …
… helped a client figure out what he needs to create to achieve his marketing goal? (A sales letter? A landing page? A PPC ad?)
… worked with a client to plan the links, pages, and content of a website?
… created a tagline or slogan while writing a product brochure?
… researched keywords to use on a web page for SEO purposes?
… advised a client on how to best generate publicity for his business?
… surveyed a client’s customers to uncover potential success stories for use as testimonials or case studies?
… developed a topic list, editorial plan, or complete Editorial Calendar for an email newsletter program?
… walked clients through the process of launching a Google AdWords campaign?
… created a “Key Message Copy Platform” for use as a guide in creating marketing materials for a new product?
All these activities — which you may have done at no cost — can potentially be packaged as a consulting service that is separate from the writing.
So don’t bury a consulting activity in your writing work where clients cannot see and appreciate it. Pull it out, present it as a distinct service, and charge accordingly. Your clients will not only be okay with this, many will even respect you more for it.
And you’ll get paid more, too.