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What small publishers should charge for creative marketing services

Chances are you’ve heard about it and probably thought about it too. A growing number of traditional publishers are offering creative marketing services to diversify their revenue model.

And quite frankly, it makes sense.  With so many ad dollars moving to Google and Facebook, what publisher isn’t itching to fill an ad revenue gap?

The New Non-Agency Model

While some businesses already outsource their marketing needs to agencies and design firms, many businesses don’t – especially small businesses. The reality is that great marketing talent doesn’t come cheap.

While most agencies won’t charge a million dollars per logo, most marketing firms will not prosper from a once-in-a-blue-moon website update or an occasional print ad. As a business model, agencies focus on clients that need constant marketing support.  That’s why most marketing firms charge some form of monthly retainer to ensure consistent cash flow. Even for smaller shops, retainers can range from  $1,000-$5,000 a month – even before hourly rates, media buying commissions, and revenue cuts come into play.

The Small Publisher Advantage

Assuming that marketing work is just another revenue stream alongside advertising, subscriptions, and merchandise, you probably don’t have to charge a retainer to keep your doors open. As a result, there is limited risk when offering a website redesign, brochure, or any other marketing asset as an a la carte extension to an advertising proposal. Your creative team will still be busy after the client project is complete.

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