Social Media Examiner - Pricing strategies…

Today's Guide to the Marketing Jungle from Social Media Examiner...

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Social Media Marketing World logo

Tomorrow is National 🪁 Kite Flying Day, Reader... Get out there and find a breeze!

In today’s edition:

  • Today's 👉 Tip of the Day is for marketing content

  • 💲 Pricing for marketing agencies

  • 🏆 Success through failure

  • Facebook ❌ removes API access for Group 🗓️ post-scheduling

  • 📣 Additional industry news from Instagram, Snapchat, YouTube, and more

Need better stories to improve your marketing?

Ask 2 Questions

  • Why does your customer buy from you? More accurately, what’s the benefit they gain?

  • What do they say to you after they've made a purchase?

These questions help you understand your customer from two perspectives: the start and end of their story.

When you know their reason for making a purchase, you know what problem they needed to solve. 

When they give you feedback after a purchase, they're telling you the rest of the story: how you guided them, offered a solution, and helped them avoid negative outcomes. 

With these two endpoints in mind, you can craft an effective story consumers connect with and respond to.

Today's tip is inspired by Dr. J.J. Peterson, a featured speaker at Social Media Marketing World.

Watch My Opening Keynote on Feb 19th 

Delivering the opening keynote for Social Media Marketing World is no small undertaking. Each year, I conduct original research, examine industry trends, and try to provide a clear path forward for marketers. The pressure is even bigger this year because we've never seen this kind of disruption in marketing.

Even though my keynote is delivered once, I invest dozens of hours refining it, because it's my mission to make this one presentation worth the price of admission to the conference.

Get your ticket to watch in person or stream it live.

Setting the Right Pricing for Your Marketing Agency

Pricing your services is one of the biggest marketing agency challenges. Pricing is never done because it continually evolves with the market, your business needs, and your team dynamic.

Aligning your agency's pricing with value and evolving your pricing as your agency grows are key to determining the most suitable pricing structure for any agency. 

There are multiple ways you can price your marketing: an hourly rate for time and materials, a fixed bid that bundles scopes together, a retainer model where you're on call, and value-based pricing.

Align Your Pricing With Your Value Proposition 

One of the keys to pricing your services is understanding the value you provide. Your pricing needs to align with your capabilities and expertise. When you first start your agency, price your services based on research of your competitors' rates and an honest assessment of what you can reliably deliver.

Make certain your pricing matches the value you now provide, not the rates your competitors charge. Over time, as your agency's capabilities expand, you should raise your prices accordingly. 

This approach allows you to set fair baseline pricing while staying within your expertise.

Compare Your Prices Against Your Competitors

An important pricing strategy is positioning against your competitors. As an agency, you are up against three different types of competitors:

  • Direct competitors: Agencies that are similar to yours.

  • Indirect competitors: Agencies that differ slightly from yours but offer similar services. 

  • Replacement competitors: In-house teams. 

Comparing your costs to direct and indirect competitors is easy enough, but competing with in-house teams is a bit more complicated. For example, comparing the cost of your team of four against the cost of one full-time in-house marketing employee will make your value proposition tangible to potential clients. 

Your goal is to make your pricing relatable based on budgets your potential clients already understand.

Develop Good, Better, and Best Service Packages

Your baseline “good” package should provide solid value without embarrassing you. You want to be careful not to cheapen your services so much that you won't be able to execute them for your clients.

The middle “better” package is where most buyers will land, so make it the best value. Start in increments of $1,000 or a 10–20% increase of your baseline price. Add high-value items to this tier, like additional reporting or competitor data and research.

Finally, the premium “best” package should include special services buyers will covet. You can go exponentially—an anchor price—to show your potential customers what they are missing in the other two tiers. Or, you can show them accelerated capabilities, something you can sell and repeat that shows increases in volumes, platforms, or additional people and resources, for example.

This tiered approach makes buying easier for your clients and allows you to showcase the range of your capabilities, giving people the option to see what they are missing in the higher price points and make their choice based on what they think is best. 

Adjust Your Pricing as Your Agency Evolves

An effective pricing strategy must evolve as your agency grows. You shouldn't change your prices too drastically or frequently, as it creates confusion for your clients. 

When discussing changes in your pricing, it's important to involve your team members from different departments like finance, operations, and services. This ensures your pricing aligns with your agency's resources and market conditions. While revenue projections in professional services can be tricky, regular evaluations can help you incrementally adjust pricing to stay current.

Today's advice is provided with insights from Beth Trejo.

Could Failure be Your Superpower?

Let's be honest, no one likes to fail. No one wants to be labeled a failure. 

I've failed a lot. Once, I thought I was going to be the next Walt Disney. I failed. And the list of things I've failed at goes on and on.

Is it possible that failure—or even the willingness to fail—is what makes you a better entrepreneur, marketer, or creator?

We've all heard "Nothing ventured, nothing gained" or "Fail fast and fail often." Does that mean there are hidden advantages to failure? Let's explore two tenets I believe in.

To Fail, You Have to be Willing to Try Something New 

The fear of failure can be so great that it creates an invisible chain that stops you from achieving your dreams and potential.

The thoughts that could bind you include, "I could never do that," or "People like me don't take risks." 

You can replace those thoughts with, "What have I got to lose?" or "What could I learn from the experience?"

The willingness to fail opens you up to a new way of thinking—an experimental mindset. The truth is, this was how we thought about everything when we were kids. Remember those childhood videos of you singing, dancing, acting, speaking, etc? Somewhere along the way, many of us have forgotten to try new things. 

Quitting isn't indicative of weakness. It's actually the more innovative path when something isn't working. The act of trying is what really matters. 

Why not try now? If you don't like it, you can quit. 

Some of the Best Ideas Are Born From Failures

The act of failing is a chance for deep introspection and analysis. It creates stories and impacts the culture of your business. 

Think about your last big failure. Did you analyze it from every angle? Did you embrace new ways of thinking or procedures to help your brain learn the next time around? Did you discover a little nugget of information or idea that became your next big idea?

Back in March, at Social Media Marketing World 2023, we failed to recognize that an influential part of our audience—agencies—felt left out. We had let rising costs reduce our speaker count. That led to a fair number of our returning customers, who happened to be agency owners, questioning if the event was for them anymore.

From analyzing this failure, we decided to launch the Marketing Agency Show in June 2023. We hired agency owner Brooke Sellas to host the podcast. We also committed to including more content relevant to agencies and brands at our 2024 event. 

None of this would have happened if we hadn't made a mistake, received the criticism with humility, and then acted on it.

And hey, now we have an awesome new show because we failed at something. 

The truth is, things like this happen a lot at my company. We learn from failure.

What's your view on failure? Do you permit yourself to fail? I'd love to hear from you.

Today's advice is provided with insights from Michael Stelzner.

Level Up Your Skills and Business

With your All-Access ticket to Social Media Marketing World, you get an extra day of workshops covering important marketing topics, including:

  • Using the Power of Storytelling in Business - Dr. J.J. Peterson

  • How to Make Referrals Your Most Effective Marketing Channel - John Jantsch

  • Leveraging a Proven Framework for Repeatable Success With Video - Ben Amos 

  • How to Build Trust, Create Believability, and Inspire Action With the Written Word - Alex Cattoni 

  • How to Create Content That Delivers Search Traffic - Jeff Oxford 

  • From Ideas to Production: The Complete Content Marketing System - Melanie Deziel 

Check out the incredible content!

🗞 Facebook Group Post-Scheduling: Meta is shutting down the Facebook Groups API in the latest version of the Facebook Graph API, causing significant problems for many businesses and developers who rely on the API for scheduling and automatically posting content to Facebook Groups. The closure underscores Meta's ability to make abrupt changes that significantly disrupt complementary businesses and services in its ecosystem, with unclear reasoning and planning. Source: TechCrunch

🗞 Instagram Grid Preview Feature: Instagram is testing a new Grid Preview feature that allows users to see how their photos and carousel posts will appear in their feed before posting. This feature enables users to preview their posts in the context of their Instagram grids, ensuring the posts align with their desired aesthetic. Source: Lindsey Gamble via Threads

🗞 Snapchat, Moving Forward: Snapchat announced a new campaign designed to underscore the platform's mission and vision. Source: Snapchat

🗞 YouTube’s 2024 Vision Focus: In a 2024 vision statement, YouTube announced four priorities to empower creativity and support creators on the platform: leveraging artificial intelligence to augment human creativity through new features like Dream Screen for Shorts, recognizing top creators as entertainment industry players and providing monetization options like channel memberships, optimizing the YouTube viewing experience on TVs and expanding subscriptions, and upholding responsibility efforts around protecting the community. The announcement also highlighted milestones like YouTube Partner Program members, growth in living room viewing and Shorts uploads, etc. Source: YouTube


Did You Know?

Two noted authors, Charles Dickens and Arthur Conan Doyle, belonged to The Ghost Club, a paranormal investigation society.

Michael Stelzner, Founder and CEO

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