As a marketing consultant, you’re responsible for guiding your clients in the right direction. You must help your client develop a marketing plan that will put him in touch with viable paying customers. If you’re new to consulting, one of your primary concerns will be deciding how much to charge each client.

Marketing Consultant Duties

The marketing consultant has many duties to take care of, but one of the primary duties is to act as an adviser to the company owner or marketing department. The marketing consultant must help the company write and execute a well-researched marketing plan. She researches the client’s company and determines the ideal target market for the business. The consultant’s ultimate goal is to increase the client’s customer base and sales but also to help build the company’s brand identity.

How to Charge

Working as a marketing consultant involves a number of steps, and it is usually a long-term engagement. For this reason, these consultants commonly bill on an hourly basis rather than charging a flat fee per assignment. You must determine an hourly rate and estimate the total hours you’ll spend consulting the client. It is standard to bill on a weekly or monthly basis.

What to Charge

Marketing consultants commonly act in the capacity of marketing managers, who plan and coordinate marketing activities for a business. The mean hourly rate for a marketing manager according to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics is $59 per hour as of 2010. In other cases, marketing consultants are considered market research analysts, working mostly on research projects. These professionals earn an average of $32.14 per hour. Use these rates as a guideline to find a comfortable rate for your own practice based on your level of experience and reputation in the business.

Other Concerns

Besides your hourly rate, you may also have to charge for outside expenses. That includes the cost of research studies, travel, payment to focus groups and the launching of marketing campaigns. It is also sometimes necessary to charge clients according to different fee schedules depending on the difficulty of each assignment. Some clients require more personal service and attention than others.