The Strategist For Those Impatient To Do Great Things, and Frustrated With The Usual Methods


Pricing Strategies for exceptional consultancies and creative agencies

If you have arrived at this page (particularly if you have come via linkedin) then this is probably about you, because there’s a very strong chance you’re not being paid what you’re worth.

There are some types of people, some types of business, who are capable of producing results an order of magnitude greater than their average counterparts. It could be:

  • The copywriter who writes an ad which produces 19 ½ times better results than other apparently similar ads all written with care, placed in the same positions in the same publications;
  • The consultant who creates the elegant, minimalist, highly-leveraged solution which achieves more for the client in 100 hours than the brute-force, cookie cutter method would in 1,000;
  • The psychoanalyst who in 5 sessions resolves a problem which has tormented his client for years and with which a previous analyst has spent five years trying to solve but has only made worse;
  • The mediator who in a few hours resolves the deadlock between two founders which has kept a company stuck for years.

If you are one of these people, you may describe yourself as “creative”. Or maybe “ingenious.”  Or you may not have a word for at all  if, like many of your creative and ingenious fellows, you’ve never noticed how remarkable your powers are.

Whatever you call yourself, though, I would bet money on this:

Whatever you are currently being paid, it’s less than you’re worth. 

9 times out of 10, I’d win that bet, because most pricing strategies operated by consultancies and creative agencies are designed to produce a fair price for mediocrity. For brilliance, they fail.

The most popular solution to this problem is value based pricing. You’ve almost certainly heard of it. But if you’ve tried it you’ve probably found, as I have, that it doesn’t always go according to plan. 

You work out your brilliant proposal, you understand the full value of it and then you present it to the client. They see the fee. Now what happens? Usually one of two things. 

  • It’s as if they’ve gone into witness protection, but you still have unlimited access to their voicemail.
  • Or, you get into an undignified haggling and head-butting contest, not the best way to start a relationship as a trusted advisor. 

Value based pricing is not a bad idea, but it’s an incomplete one. Of course you need to understand the full value of what you do. But value based pricing stops there. And because it stops there it fails. It only gives you step 1.

There are two further stages which nobody talks about. It’s not enough for you to understand your value. You have to present it convincingly. And then you need to establish yourself as the only sensible choice. Those are steps 2 and 3 of the Intelligent Pricing Architecture process.

Applying steps 2 and 3 of the Intelligent Pricing Architecture process can produce dramatic results::

  • A digital marketing agency raised the price for a particular type  of strategic analysis from between £3,000 and £5,000 to £46,000; More about that here.
  • An executive coach raised his fee 150 using just 17 words. More about that here;
  • A digital marketing agency started being paid a £10,000 a month (later £20,000 a month) retainer for work that it was already doing for free. More about that here.

What To Do Next

To find out more, download How To Get Paid What You’re Worth: Pricing Strategies For Exceptional Consultancies and Creative Agencies. Just enter your details below.

Want To Talk?

When you are ready,  I would be very happy to take 30 minutes on Zoom to help you work out  how to start getting paid what you’re worth.  No obligation, no sales pitch (that can come later if we both think it makes sense). I don’t promise to give you a complete programme, but I can offer you at least one high-impact, low effort action to get you moving in the right direction.  

Follow this link to fix a time. 

What Other People Say

“In the first month, not only did the adjustments we made pay for Alastair’s fees, we identified enough opportunities to pay for the engagement 30 times over the next three years.

We unearthed highly valuable and unique skills that we had been underselling, and now have an entirely new vision for the future of the company. 

We made more progress in an hour a week with Alastair over 4 months than we had in the previous 4 years.”

Sarah Lafferty, Round Earth Consulting

Working with Alastair has had a massive impact already. Moving away from billing hours and £s towards focussing on value has been liberating. It has removed a lot of the noise and given us a lot more confidence in ourselves and the value of what we do. We’re looking forward to the results from 3-4 proposals we have out which are at much higher prices than before.”

Jo Hind, Bird Soup Consultancy

“At Curated we have an ability to look into our clients’ businesses and see things that they can’t because they are too close. It was amazing how an outsider was able to do the same for us, particularly an outsider who draws on multiple different sources. I have never met anyone like Alastair who can bring ideas from psychology, sociology, philosophy and even management theory to bear productively on business issues. We can’t properly calculate the ROI on our work with him because many benefits are still to come, but we are already beyond 10x”

Simon Douglass, Curated Digital