The Secret to Charging What Your Digital Agency Is Worth

By Jason Swenk on August 6, 2023

Did you know if you keep saying you’re too busy it probably means you’re not charging enough? Are you ready to start charging what your digital agency is worth?

Being too busy is the quickest way to not only burn yourself out but also your team. I’ve been there, and let me tell you I was on the verge of shutting down my agency from being overworked and undervalued. We were doing so many things wrong. We were talking to the wrong clients, working long hours, and worst of all, barely making ends meet.

If any of this sounds familiar, it’s time to get out of your own way and start charging what you’re worth.

How can you get your prices to where they should be?

  1. Understand the value and results your agency delivers.
  2. Build trust with clients through an offer ladder.
  3. Position yourself as an authority in your space.


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In this video, you will learn the three pricing structures you can use to get you to a place where your pricing will both be more on par with the results you deliver and will give you an advantage over other cheaper agencies.

Most agency owners believe at some point that low prices will give you an advantage over the rest. However, I’d argue that increasing your prices actually works to your advantage. As an adviser, I go through the financials of thousands of agencies, and in up to 90% of cases, I recommend they increase their prices. The suggestion alone makes them back away in fear.

I get it, most agency owners worry about things like losing the pitch because their prices are too high. However, I counter with “What if you lose the pitch because your pricing is too low?” You don’t think this can happen? It happened to me!

Years ago I got a call from a prospect that needed a website. I nailed the call and was invited to their office to present an offer. Their office was HUGE. Who was this company? I proceeded to make the pitch and said my price: $10,000. They actually laughed and I was so confused. Was the price too high?

Well, it turns out this company I’d never heard of, Berkshire Hathaway, was expecting to spend around $300,000 on the website. They loved the pitch and were excited to work with us until I named my price… because it was too low they thought it wouldn’t deliver the results they expected.

So how should your digital agency pricing be structured? How can you come up with a price that shows your value, increases profit, and allows you to win more deals? A lot of businesses tend to set a price and then not think about it again for years. When there’s one element of your business that affects everything other element so much, it’s definitely not something to be forgotten. Pricing should evolve as much as your business does.

3 Digital Agency Pricing Models

1. Hourly-Based Pricing

Should agencies charge by the hour? Honestly, I’m not a fan. This is my absolutely least favorite model. Charging by the hour sounds like a great idea, but as you get better and more efficient at your job you’ll be working fewer hours and thus making less money. It’s also the option that makes clients more nervous because there’s a variable of the unknown. However, I do believe there’s a time for hourly rates. If you’re doing something new and it’s hard to estimate how long it will take you, then it’s the best option.

2. Value-Based pricing

This pricing model is the intersection between what your services are worth to the client and what you’re willing to take. Unfortunately, it’s very hard to get a pulse on the perceived value. Try to gather as much information as you can from clients so you can fully understand what they need and how you can help them. I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve met with clients and asked them for their budget to find that it’s much higher than I would’ve quoted, so we could have possibly lost revenue or lost the deal altogether.

3. Performance-Based Pricing

What if you only got paid for performance? Would you be profitable? Mastery member David was having trouble charging anything more than $3,500 per month. He was in a race to the bottom that involved over-delivering and under-promising. David focused too much on what others in his niche were charging. After hearing countless success stories from other mastermind members, he got the courage to make a change. He picked a client who he knew he could make tons of money for and asked for a percentage of the revenue he would generate for the company as payment. That percentage turned into a $1 million payday six months later.

The trick when it comes to this model is coming up with a formula to pick the winners. If you generate this company X amount of business, can they scale as quickly as you’re sending them business? What’s the metric you can control? If their sales team won’t return calls then you need to change the performance to an agreed amount of leads.

Getting Your Prices to What They Should Be

I’m a big advocate of agencies increasing their prices but it obviously needs to be done in the right way. You can’t just double prices for existing clients right away.

Mastery member Dean was struggling to afford the team he needed, which led to him doing everything and being close to burning out. We challenged him to raise his prices and he started by doubling his fees for the new clients coming in. To his surprise, they all said yes. Now it was time to turn our attention to existing clients.

By that time, existing clients were paying 50% of what new clients were paying so he was actually losing money on those accounts. We developed a plan for him to reach out to those clients and let them know the price was increasing. He expected to lose around 50% of these clients but the other 50% would make up for this loss. He actually didn’t lose any clients. They all agreed to pay the increase.

This resulted in an extra $67,000 per month for his agency with no additional work for his agency.

Ultimately, your pricing structure will be up to you. Consider your financial goals for the future and ask yourself which structure will get you there the quickest. It’s not about topline revenue but about how you can maximize the profitability of your bottom line.

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