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Hiring a Marketing Consultant 101: Costs + What to Expect

Hiring a Marketing Consultant 101: Costs + What to Expect

Marketing Consultant just sounds expensive, doesn’t it?

Consultant is a very broad term used to describe someone with a lot of expertise. It also sounds expensive. When I hear the word I think of Deloitte and a mirrored skyscraper in Toronto. But it certainly doesn’t have to be that way if that’s not what you’re looking for.

What does a Digital Marketing Consultant do?

There’s a few options when trying to sort out your digital marketing. You can hire an agency, (like my awesome agency The Status Bureau) you can hire freelancers, or hire a consultant.

There seems to be a few unique situations why people start reaching out for marketing consultants:

  1. When they’re looking to solve a particular problem in a particular field and need someone with experience to parachute in and take the reigns
  2. When the need is short term
  3. When an organization already has a marketing machine running and needs a senior level marketing hire to oversee and evaluate efforts
  4. When an organization is looking for a defacto in-house Digital Marketing Manager to organize, build and manage internal resources

What Marketing Consultants Cost

Costs are always dependent on the person and the situation. This is so broad it’s almost funny, but here are a few scenarios and ranges to give you an idea.

Marketing Consultant Costs:

  • $150 – $300 / hour for shorter term or as-needed projects
  • $3,000 – $10,000 / month for monthly engagements

Those are some common prices I see out there for projects. The hourly rate can fluctuate a lot depending on how often you need someone. If you’re only hiring a consultant to bounce ideas off of in a few meetings, I’ve seen the hourly rate jump up to as high as $500 / hour. The hourly costs will certainly escalate if the need is very short.

Consultants generally like longer term engagements so they can add more value to their clients. Oftentimes a consultant will want to be on for at least a couple of months to enact change. Some consultants only work on monthly retainers as well to ensure they can work long enough on a project to do some good.

What You Get with a Marketing Consultant


This is why you get a consultant. They have years of experience and can drop into a project, company or culture and instantly start offering value. For example, I can drop in by adding digital marketing consulting or SEO consulting services because I’m an expert in those fields.

Industry Expertise

Consultants will of course specialize. That’s where they start adding a lot of value. Having years of niche experience in the industry or type of project you’re working on is how they really help.

Problem Solving

“The value of a business is the number of problems solved.”

If a consultant has seen the problem a million times, they’ll know how to solve it. This is where the money is well spent. People will often complain about hiring a locksmith to get in their home or car for 2 minutes of work, but it’s the expertise and tools you pay for not the time.

An Outside Opinion.

Working in silos is hard. When you’re in the business, it’s difficult to see things from your end user’s experience. A marketing consultant can offer a unique point of view and work towards their experience.

What Your Digital Marketing Consultant Should Know

If you’re reaching out for specific digital marketing needs, they should be able to have:

  • Provable experience in your vertical (Ecommerce, Tourism, Healthcare)
  • Enough project experience to show they’ve seen the problem and solution a few times
  • Specific technical knowledge (SEO, Analytics, Conversion Rate Optimization)
  • Client references

Why I’m a Decent Pick

I’m a digital marketing consultant that’s been driving results for my clients for 16 years. I’ll let you know if I’m right for the project or if someone in my personal network can offer a better point of view.

Let’s Chat!