Eventually, you find yourself talking about cost.
If you’re a sales funnel builder and expert strategist, as I am, you’ve been asked how much your services cost thousands of times.
And you end up having to make some decisions:
- What services exactly am I providing for this potential client?
- How many hours do I think will this take my team and I to complete?
- How much is the completion of this funnel project worth to the client, from a business perspective? How much return on investment is he/she able to gain from this funnel?
- Does the client have money? Is the client clear on where he/she wants to take their business?
- Should I charge hourly, by project or a retainer?
- Is this a one off funnel project or, is there potential for a long term partnership with this client?
- How busy am I or is my team? Do I need to take on this project? Do I even want it? How passionate am I about it?
Asking yourself these questions to begin with are very important. Also, how you are going to answer these is important. Evaluating the client from the beginning is crucial.
Why? Because every interaction I am going to have with the client in the future will help me learn more about them and the project at hand. Therefore, it will affect what the cost for the funnel project will be.
Of course, it’s also important to say that cost often times depend on market on location to where you’re based out of.
For the purpose of giving you as much behind-the-scenes information as I can, I’m talking to an American audience in U.S. dollars.
Please take those numbers and prices with a grain of salt, depending on where you live and what the economy and market demand is like in your country.
How much should a custom Sales Funnel project cost?
My team and I have built sales and marketing funnels, or been a part of funnel projects — all on Clickfunnels or BuilderAll — that have ranged in cost from under $1,000 to over $25,000, for complete funnels.
So in short: it depends.
This is why I can not provide you with an exact estimate of the cost or say, “This is what you should charge!”. Because, it varies a LOT.
The thing is, most people’s budget is on average 2-3 times smaller than their wishes or expectations. So if I give you an exact estimate, it’s highly unlikely both of you will be happy once it’s all said and done.
A proper estimate costs money
Let’s talk about the first thing I think a lot of marketing agencies or funnel builders miss out on when quoting for a sales funnel project:
It’s the estimate.
Creating a cost estimate of a funnel project takes time. A lot more time actually than 90% of prospects anticipate. That is, if you’re doing it right and you know what you’re doing.
You might wonder what all is needed to quote someone for a proper funnel project after the initial call with the prospect.
Here’s a quick list:
- Market research.
- Funnel hacking of competitors to see a potential marketing angle we could take for your project.
- Existing social media landscape analysis.
- Overall existing and potential traffic analysis.
- Target audience research and analysis.
- Coming up with ideas for testing potential marketing hooks.
- Taking inventory if the client has all the assets needed to proceed and create a proper funnel or, if there would be any hold ups (like i.e. there’s a need for creating a teaser video, etc.).
- Deciding on a funnel type.
Most funnel builders and/or agencies spend hours and hours to put together a proper proposal for a client.
IF they are not yet charging for creating a price estimate and a proposal for the prospective clients, they are not only leaving money on the table but are not serving their clients at the highest levels.
Prices for such cost estimates from what I’ve seen can range from: $250 up to $5,500.
It’s up to the service provider if he discounts the client the price of the proposal once the client decides to continue working with the service provider.
Who is the funnel consultant?
If you are a funnel consultant of any type that is reading this right now, there are certainly a few common price ranges I can establish for you.
I’ll try my best to be specific with this post but because there are SO many different types of funnel projects you could be working on (like an eCommerce funnel, Book funnel, Digital Course Product sales funnel, B2B Lead Generation funnel, etc.), this is really, really hard.
Well, let’s start by segmenting based on WHO you are working with.
Basically, working with a freelancer will normally be cheaper than working with a marketing agency.
Agencies have more overhead, more padding built in, are more worried about cash flow, and generally just tend to be a bit more on the expensive side.
If you work with an agency, the risk of them falling off the map is generally a little lower, but they probably move a little slower too because they are typically working on numerous projects at once.
Furthermore and when you work with bigger and more established agencies, you’ll have to deal with changing contacts as the project progresses (from sales to design to development to maintenance, etc.).
If you work with a single freelancer, your risks are a bit higher that they might disappear someday.
This means that you want to vet them more carefully and this will be more important than if you decide to work with an agency (big or small).
But freelancers also tend to move much more quickly and don’t juggle as many projects at once. Often times, they even choose to work on one project at a time and that is totally okay if the freelancer knows what he/she is doing and just prefers to work this way.
Additionally, you have the benefit of working with (typically) one person that knows everything about your project the entire time, and you don’t feel like you’re constantly getting bounced around contacts which can happen in some agencies.
Again, for agencies this is totally normal and the most effective way for them to transform a project from conception to completion.
All in all, it is totally possible to have a great relationship with a freelancer or with an agency.
I think it typically depends on the client’s mentality and requirements as to determining which route is better.
In general, freelancers are great for jobs that fit the following criteria:
- The job is small enough for one person to handle the entire thing (note, most funnel projects fit this category!)
- The timeline is tight, and you want them to start quickly
- Communication channels don’t have to be too formal
- Big contractor agreements don’t have to be signed and the contractor doesn’t need insurance or other common big-business requirements
In general, agencies are better for the following criteria:
- You don’t want to risk your consultant disappearing
- You’re okay with a project structure you don’t define (most agencies have established processes you need to be following)
- You’re okay with a multi-month project (I’d say most agency projects last between 2-6 months)
- You don’t mind waiting until you can be fit into their schedule to start (often 30-90 days… but great freelancers often have significant backlogs too – so again, it depends)
- You want a dedicated project manager (some freelancers are phone-call averse, so if you don’t mind that – great!)
- Your project will require multiple full-time folks working simultaneously, either due to deadlines or huge project scope
Freelancer rates vs Agency rates
First of all, for the sake of this article, I’m going to assume that the funnel project stays in house with the agencies (and is not going to be outsourced or sub-contracted to a third party) and the freelancer is working on the project him-/her-self.
Next, I won’t get into hourly versus project billing and retainers yet.
Most of the time and even if they don’t charge hourly, both the freelancer and the agency has to estimate the amount of hours it will take them to complete the project.
That’s just common business sense because you have to have a feel for how much man power needs to be allocated to create the desired results.
Finally, I’m utilizing these hourly rates as if it’s for billable work and known costs. So, if the rate is $100 per hour and the funel strategy + design will take 50 hours and the development + implementation will take 50 hours and you build in 25 hours for project management, it would be 125 hours and the project would cost $12,500.
Profits, overhead, and everything else are “built in” to the internal hourly rate — just like if someone were billing the client hourly for the work.
- Beginner freelancer: $25-$40 per hour
- Intermediate freelancer: $40-75 per hour
- Good, experienced freelancer: $75 – $125 per hour
- Excellent, in demand freelancer: $125 – $175 per hour
- Specialist, best in industry: $175 – $400 per hour
- Small market general agency: $50 – $75 per hour
- Medium market general agency: $75 – $115 per hour
- Medium market reputable agency: $115 – $150 per hour
- Medium market high end agency: $150 – $175 per hour
- Medium market best in industry agency: $175 – $225 per hour
- Large market reputable agency: $150 – $175 per hour
- Large market high end agency: $175 – $250 per hour
- Large market best in industry agency: $200 – $275 per hour
When I say “best in industry”, I’m referring to an agency that’s made a name for itself in regard to something specific — maybe high-end Clickfunnels websites, or they are famous for doing certain types of funnels for certain industries/markets/target audiences extremely well. It depends.
When I talk market size, I mean the difference between working in big towns or small cities (small market), cities that are thriving but not huge are medium market, or the type of city that’s got pro sports teams and 1 million+ people which would be a large market.
Not listed, but notable, are the mega-markets like New York, Los Angeles and San Francisco types. I’m sure you can pay as much as you desire for services in such places!
Also, these are all guesses.
Please, please, please don’t take these guesses as offense if you think I’m totally off. I’m purely trying to paint a picture of the landscape for you, as best as I see and have experienced it of my 5.5 years of running a marketing agency in this industry :).
You see, I talk to a lot of people. I read a ton – offline and online. I interview a ton of experts on my podcast. I go to numerous conferences throughout the year.
Therefore, I think I have a decent take on the market and how it has been developing these past 5.5 years. And I think, this is a practical range to work with, especially if you feel totally lost on this topic (I hope not anymore!).
Consultants break their own rules all the time
Freelancers and agencies though break their own rules all the time. It’s just part of the game.
For example, say you’re contacted by a big brand and your absolute dream client. In order to have a competitive edge and bid out all the other competitors, a consultant can end up lowering his/her rates by a third (or even more).
Also when working with referrals, the numbers get changed at times and don’t add up anymore to what I’ve previously listed.
Consultants may also charge less if a client continues to work with them over and over again on new funnel projects. Or, they will offer a special pricing if you sign a monthly retainer with them for up to six months or even a year. Naturally, this varies by consultant.
Who is the client?
The client is always a huge factor in price. In short, if I estimate that a client is going to be difficult (based off of our past conversations and communication) and I still decide to take on the client because I believe in his project so much, it can affect the ‘client multiplication effect’ I put on the overall project cost. The same is true the other way round.
What is a ‘client multiplication effect’?
Well, I’m so glad you asked!
Over a number of years now, my team and I started to pick up on certain client qualities that end up well,… costing money.
Here is only a short list of some things that can get expensive:
- The client doesn’t have one point of contact (instead, multiple people always have to be looped into communication and are needed to make one decision)
- The client has to get some form of committee or industry approval (think non-profit organizations and the financial industry)
- The client contact isn’t decisive, or doesn’t seem capable to play the “consultant advocate” role well internally
- The client has a lot of red tape for decision making
- The client’s payment schedules are really bad (as in, I might not get paid for work I’ve done for weeks or even months and hence, everything is put on hold!)
- The client contact is prone to huge, essay-long email threads over small issues with a project
- The client contact wants daily or frequent phone calls or hour-long meetings
- The client doesn’t have a clear business plan, constantly changes who he wants to be targeting in the first place and will require a lot of advising and hand-holding along the way
As you can tell, all of these are client-related issues and people or organizational matters. They have little to do with the actual project itself.
Let’s say the work for a project will be around $15,000. I usually add up the estimated ‘client multiplication effect’ by looking at these and similar qualities that could end up getting costly from a project management perspective and apply them to the overall cost.
In a $15,000 project, it’s not uncommon for $3,000 of that to be actual project management costs.
If I decide there are enough concerns to warrant 50% higher project management costs, the project gets a $2,500, or 12.5%, increase in overall project cost.
Looking for client qualities that trigger higher costs is vital as a consultant!
And for potential clients out there and reading this right now: keep in mind that your qualities (organizational and behavioral) affect your consultant’s price and potentially, even his/her performance.
Costs ranges for different types of funnels
There are many types of funnels for various industries (I’ve actually never even heard of an industry where it wouldn’t be beneficial to use a funnel as part of their marketing), and each has their own potential costs associated.
The many different types of funnels
I tend to rank sites in complexity like this:
- Email opt in funnel: A funnel that has the purpose of building someone’s email list online. Typically, we have an opt in page where something of value is offered for free in exchange for an email address. Then, there is a subsequent thank you page with a possible up-sell or other follow up page.
- Webinar or online presentation funnel: This is a funnel often used across industries and the primary purpose is to sell a higher-ticket item or, to pre-prep and pre-qualify people and get them on a call with you.
- Online sales funnel: This can be used to sell digital products of any kind. It’s usually full of up-sells, down-sells, etc. Regardless of, if you’re ‘funneling’ people down to a membership site or to a core offer with up-sells, the difficulty level for such a project is around the same.
- B2B lead generation funnel: B2b lead generation requires a bunch of things to be integrated with a few funnel sites. Typically, there are bots involved to optimize the lead generation and more.
- eCommerce funnel: These types of funnels usually require a bunch of outside integrations plus configurations, as well as custom coding due to order counts, etc. There are also a bunch of up-sells and down-sells involved.
- Podcaster funnel: This is a funnel that is mainly designed for existing podcasters to accelerate your podcast’s success, extend your reach and monetize on your audience.
- A whole funnel network: Take any one of the previous funnels and think of creating an entire online network with any number of those. This project is the most extensive and time-consuming one.
The hours it takes to build these different types of funnels can vary tremendously; it depends on the consultant’s experience, whether they’ve done similar work before in a particular or related niche, how many “gotchas” appear in the project, how particular the client is about any given funnel step, etc.
However and in my opinion, there are a few key concepts about pricing.
Generally, I try to estimate and evaluate the following before I can wrap my head around how much it’s going to cost and how long it will take before we see results.
- Does the client have an engaged social media following? How does it look like and how engaged/big is it?
- Does the client have a big paid advertisement budget or rather not?
- If the client has an existing website, how many unique views a month on his/her website are there?
- Has the client proven the HOOK of his product he/she is planning on selling?
- Does the client have an attractive character for his brand and a relatable, engaging brand story that we can use for marketing?
- Is the client’s product OFFER strong enough or, will we have to work on it?
- Has the client sold online before and if so, how many unites on a regular daily/weekly and monthly basis?
- Has the client used a funnel before or, is this his/her first one?
There are a few more identification factors but these are pretty much the most important ones. In case I forgot any, be sure to leave a comment down below.
Now, why is getting this information important?
Well, the client can have a big advertisement budget and an active, engaged social media following plus he/she could have sold online the product before (so it’s a ‘proven sell’). As a result, we will be able to see conversions and a return on investment really quickly with any funnel we’d built for such a client.
If the client has no active social media following, a very small paid advertisement budget and has just launched a brand-new product that has no social proof yet, it is going to take any funnel consultant much longer to get you conversions, in essence.
I hope I was able to illustrate with these two extremes what a funnel consultant is able to do for you and where he/she might be struggling.
Creating and implementing a funnel for a business is not a magical wand swish. It is rather an amplification of how well a business is currently doing and a helping system to take it to the next level.
Let’s Talk Pricing Content
With Clickfunnels (or pretty much any other funnel building software), for example, you can add as many funnel pages as you want. The more funnel pages a marketing strategy might require, the more complex the new project will be. However, again, ‘more pages’ do not mean ‘more effective’ (in terms of ROI).
A funnel with, for example, 3 pages can be way more effective than a funnel with 12 pages. Again, it depends on the client, market and the overall strategy your funnel consultant comes up with.
Now, before sending out a proposal (or understanding the one from your funnel consultant) there are typically a lot of individual factors that you want to take into consideration with:
- Has the funnel strategy be done before-hand or will it be created as part of the project?
- How many integrations are needed (think email marketing softwares, etc.)?
- What software will be used to implement the funnel?
- Are there any particular specifications or wishes in regards to the design?
- If copy is included in the funnel project proposal or, will the copy for the funnel pages be provided by the client?
- If paid advertisement (in the form of Facebook Ads, Youtube Ads, etc.) will be covered as well and in what shape or form? We’re talking how many campaigns, re-targeting campaigns, audience research, you name it.
- If organic social media marketing is included or, done by the client or, another freelancer?
- Are emails included or not?
These are just some quick thoughts on content of a funnel proposal. There are more, but this is a great starting point.
Side note: Digital assets of any kind are typically always provided by the client.
Custom design vs a pre-built theme
You may have noticed I have not once brought up the question of whether the funnel is built using custom design or with a pre-built distributed software theme (regardless of funnel software you choose to use).
Honestly, funnels cost money for many reasons far beyond the base styles.
In my 5.5 years of being in this business, I can honestly say that the effectiveness in terms of R.O.I. of a funnel has absolutely nothing to do with the fact that a template was used or the funnel was custom built.
If a funnel consultant knows what he/she is doing, they know that focusing on things like nailing the marketing message, the flow of the offers and offer value itself – are things (among many others) that are way more important than answering the question if a pre-built theme should be used or the funnel should be custom designed.
Pricing remains hard
Are you confused yet? Good.
Pricing is tough. Really. Tough.
People write books on this subject and teach courses about it for different industries and consultants to no end. I’ve written over 3,000 words thus far and I’m not even sure if I’ve done it any justice at all. But bear with me.
Custom funnel prices
Okay, so after all of this information, how much is it really?
Hopefully now you realize it could be… anything.
People are not kidding when they say $1,000 or even $1,000,000 (or more!). Yes, I’ve honestly heard and seen it all!
However, in the interest of being helpful, I think here are some “ballparks” to consider:
Can you get a custom funnel for under $1,000? Yes, but be very careful and know your risk of getting something imperfect is really high.
If you work with a good freelancer who understands funnel marketing, I think ~70% of custom funnels for average folks and average businesses will cost between $3,000 and $15,000.
If you work with a good agency in a medium market, I think ~70% of custom funnels for average folks and average businesses will cost between $8,000 and $75,000.
This difference from freelancers is because larger companies and ‘bigger entrepreneurs’ will naturally gear toward agencies and agencies will be less likely to take on smaller projects if they can take on the bigger ones instead.
That said, some agencies love the small jobs, because they get really good over time at doing quality work for a very particular niche in less time than the competition.
If you work with say the best in business freelancer for doing specific funnels in a specific niche and that’s what he/she is sought after, you’ll probably spend between $10,000 and $105,000+. The freelancer you work with will probably utilize a team of other subcontractors in this scenario, because it’s rare for someone to truly deliver all the things you need running solo. And that freelancer will know exactly what is needed.
If you work with a best in business agency to build something special (regardless of funnel type), you’ll probably spend between $15,000 and $500,000+. Most agencies will self-perform the work, and often times you can expect them to be available for retainer contracts, hosting / maintenance agreements, and other long-term relationship style services included in such a proposal.
It’s also worth noting that in large projects, it’s very common to break them into multiple projects and phase them.
This is very typical with seven-figure clients, and in these scenarios it’s not uncommon for some agencies to have multi-million dollar per year clients, whether billed by project, profit share or retainer, or a combination of all.
Please note: I wrote this post for three audiences:
- Clients looking to hire a funnel consultant, and not knowing what to consider when comparing costs.
- Funnel consultants that are still trying to wrap their head around pricing.
- Me, because my team and I have been building funnels for years, and we’re honestly not even close to having it down.
I hope this has helped you and I apologize if it offended you in any shape or form.
If you have more to add, I’d love to hear more about it in the comments down below.
If you are a funnel consultant (or aspiring one) and you’ve loved this article and want to dive even deeper into the concept of pricing, sales and more, check out the Funnel Pro Academy. All the info you could possibly want or need is inside this membership site.
For more info, click here: https://funnelproacademy.com