Is it time to offer marketing packages to your clients?
We’ve all been there. We visit a client’s website and think of the things we would do to optimize it. We see a client’s ad in the wild and are redesigning it in our heads. If you’re looking for a way to expand your role in marketing at your firm, and increase the size of your team, why not offer marketing packages as a service to your clients? Here’s how you can go from offering value-added marketing to becoming a full-fledged marketing department.
Step One: Prove your worth with value-added marketing services
It may be hard to prove to your firm that adding marketing as a service line is a worthwhile endeavor from the outset, but you can start to demonstrate how much marketing help your clients need by engaging in some value-added services for them.
Tell me if this sounds familiar. At my firm, I’d occasionally get asked by someone to do a quick favor for a client: Clean up a PowerPoint presentation, add a transparent background to a logo, or redesign an ad. These favors were meant to be kind gestures to our clients and were pure value adds. I was careful to document the amount of time it took for me to do each of these tasks, and while most were relatively quick, the value to the clients was obvious.
To those uninitiated with what a good marketer can do, even simple tasks that don’t eat up too much time can seem like magic to them. It was a good way to get email and phone confirmation from clients that these services were useful, and that they would recommend us to others for the same kind of help.
Step Two: Learn how to translate value-added services into profitable, billable work
While I’m always happy to help a client out of a jam, one of the problems I ran into with these favors is that it was hard to monetize them if the scope of work started to eat into my day. Plus, while I was technically capable of doing the work they were asking, some of it didn’t speak to my strongest talents. I knew that in order for marketing to be a profitable service for us, it would have to include work that played to my strengths.
I’m in charge of interviewing clients for testimonials and case studies. Sometimes during those conversations, I get questions from the client about marketing: My stance on certain tactics, how important I find x/y/z in strategy, or what advice I have about their LinkedIn profile, to name a few. I started getting into more in-depth conversations with one client in particular. He wanted to revise his website, boost his social media presence, and start sending out more marketing emails to leads, and he wanted to know if I could help with that. It seemed like the perfect opportunity, so I decided to bring it to the firm. We agreed to bring this client on as a test to see if we could sell marketing as a service on a larger scale.
After settling on an hourly rate, I wrote out a scope of work that emphasized how I could best use my talents to benefit our clients. The quote included strategy work, content writing, email marketing, and consulting on web development along the way. I learned quickly that high-level advice was very helpful to them since they were operating in new territory. Some things that felt like obvious suggestions to me were revelations to them.
Step Three: Productize your services where you can to offer marketing packages
I knew that with this first client, working on marketing services would include a lot of exploration. I wasn’t sure where I was going to be the most useful at the outset, but figured it out quickly and offered my services accordingly. The ultimate goal is to create a marketing package you could easily duplicate with future clients. Turn what you do into a product or suite of products to offer to clients so that you are not starting from scratch each time. Create templates for deliverables, tier your offerings, and price out a package deal after you figure out the approximate number of hours it will take to complete the work. Put set amounts to the value you are offering clients with the work you do, keeping in mind that it’s not just about the hours you spend on the work, but the hours you are saving the client from having to figure things out themselves. We know it’s easy to sell ourselves short on consultative work; creating packaged marketing services can help solve that problem.
I hope this helps you find a clear route to offering marketing packages at your firm. Remember – you may have to start small with value adds, but find those clients who may be good test subjects, try out what you’d like to offer in terms of services with them, and productize from there. Most importantly, don’t underestimate the value of your marketing knowledge!
About Sammi Dittloff
Sammi Dittloff is a Marketing Consultant, writer, and founder of Needs More Fiber, an agency dedicated to adding substance to a brand's content. She previously worked as the Marketing Director for Chortek LLP for 3 years. As a freelance content marketer, consultant, and strategist, Sammi specializes in content strategy, brand manuals, SEO, and analytics. She has 15 years of experience in marketing, writing, promotions, advertising, and analytics. Sammi was a Media Writing TA while pursuing her MA in Media Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, and has since returned to school for an MS in Nutrition. Her latest projects can be found at needsmorefiber.com and hisammi.com.