Great post from our local craigslisters:
It's so true. Businesses are willing to pay plumbers and mechanics $70 - $100 an hour, bookkeepers and accountants $75 - $200 an hour, Attorneys $150 - $350 an hour... but when it comes to their public brand, marketing strategies, web presence and other collateral touch points, the perceived value of paying for quality deliverable's is apparently zilch.
Ten years ago to create a compelling, high-definition video would have averaged around $1,000 per second. To design and produce a custom website with shopping carts, branding, SEO and CMS integration, break-out $20k -- $150k+ depending on the complexity. Want a solid brand strategy with an ID kit (logo, letterhead, biz cards, etc.)? Small companies would pay $2k-$5k, big companies up to 100x that amount. Design and produce a four-color ad for a national or regional periodical-$2k-$5k+. Then add a 10% agency fee for media and print buys. And it was worth it.
Today, experienced design/marketing professionals, with tens of thousands of dollars invested in education, software, hardware and years of practical creative / business experience, have become little more than order takers competing against the lowest common denominator -"Cousin Vinny" who just finished a class at city college, owns a computer, and has some hacked-warez software and says he'll do your logo and business cards for $50 and your website for $500. Of course you get what you pay for, and if your businesses marketing collateral and strategy isn't worth much to you - well that says something too.
Fair market rates when hiring professionals expect to pay: $70 - $90 an hour for production design. Creative design / strategy $90 - $130 an hour. Billable hours are usually half of the actual working hours when including meetings and revisions - so the real gross is usually closer to half that value at the end of the day and that doesn't include income taxes over overhead.
So in the big picture of things, your business marketing and brand strategy should be worth at least as much per hour as it is to unclog your toilet. Yes, no?
NOTE: The strike-through text is some sort of error.