How much should I charge to create a brand voice?

With brand voices gaining popularity, content strategists, copywriters, and marketing consultants are encouraging their clients to create a unique voice. But, this can be hard for a client to do. So, why not earn more and give your clients long-term value?

If you have a good understanding of writing, communications, or marketing, then creating a brand voice can be dead simple. This gives your client practical guidelines that they can use themselves and simplifies their content creation process. The big question though is: how much should you charge to create a brand voice?

That answer isn’t so simple. There’s a lot of variables and since brand voices are fairly new, there aren’t very many resources online either. Fortunately, our designer friends can provide a little bit of guidance.

Taking a page from brand identities

The goal of a brand identity is similar to the goal of a brand voice, they both make a brand unique and consistent. The difference is the medium, brand identities are focused on visuals and brand voices are focused on words, tone, and style.

There are loads of similarities between the two processes. For example, both require intense research into the client, their target market, and their competitors, and both require extensive testing, revisions, and guidelines.

Because of these similarities, it’s safe to use brand identity pricing as a starting point for brand voice creation. Ianvadas.com provides a nice pricing structure based on organizaton size that you can base your brand voice creation pricing on. He lays out the pricing like so:

“Solopreneur (100k - 500k annual revenue) $5,500 - $15,500

Small Business (500k - 1M annual revenue) $15,500 - $35,000

Medium Sized Business (1M - 250M annual revenue) $35,000 - $75,000

Enterprise (250M+ annual revenue) $75,000 - $250,000”

This gives us an idea of what different organizations are willing to pay for branding. Now, let’s make some educated guesses.

Brand Identity vs. Brand Voice

Time to make the adjustments. First, we need to figure out the differences between design work and writing. Design work requires specialized tools, knowledge that few have, talent, and an understanding of best practices. Writing isn’t viewed as a specialized skill, doesn’t require special tools, and many people feel capable of doing it themselves. Because of this, some may perceive a brand voice to be less costly than a brand identity. This is our big hurdle.

At this point, we need to remind the client that this is a specialized service. We need them to understand the impact it can have as well. Visuals are extremely valuable to a business, but they’re limited in what they can communicate. A brand voice allows businesses to communicate any idea in a way that’s unique and appealing.

Both are important to success, and neither one really trespassed on the other’s territory. We need the client to understand this fully for them to understand the logic behind our pricing.

Finally, the client should be aware of the work that goes into creating a brand voice. It’s not as simple as creating a document. Just look at this basic schema for creating a brand voice:

  • Research
    • Determine your client’s core values
    • What are their strategic goals?
    • How does your client differ from the competition?
    • Who is their target market?
    • Who does that target market look up to?
  • Verify
    • Interview SMEs, clients, and content producers
    • Send out surveys to the client’s email list
    • Test various styles to see which one can be consistently applied
  • Drafting
    • Create the first draft of brand voice guidelines
    • Draft a style guide and glossary as needed
    • Request feedback from various content producers
    • Implement feedback and start the whole process again until you have a final draft
  • Implementation
    • Help your client to implement the new guidelines everywhere
    • Train their employees to use the guidelines
    • Ensure that there are review processes in place
  • Track
    • Is the content meeting the strategic goals?
    • What improvements and tweaks can be made to the brand voice?
    • Are the guidelines being implemented?
  • Update
    • Revise all brand voice documents and retrain the employees as needed

Yes, creating a brand voice is no small task and you need to make sure that your client knows it too. This process may shrink or grow depending on the client, but it gives us a general idea of what’s involved.

Pricing brand voice services

When it comes to brand voices, charging by the project is better than charging by the hour. Having a project cost is more transparent since your client knows exactly what they’ll pay. It can also benefit you, since the more quickly you complete the project, the more you’ll earn per hour.

Based on everything we’ve discussed, what should you be charging to create a brand voice for your clients? Here are some rough guidelines that you can start from:

  • Solopreneur: $3,000-$5,000
  • Small business: $5,000-15,000
  • Mid-size business: $20,000-35,000
  • Large business: $40,000-80,000
  • Multi-national corporations: $100,000+

These number could go up if you’re highly specialized, run a large team, or have the guts to charge what you want. Or, they might go down if your clients don’t recognize the value of a brand voice, you’re just starting out, or if you’re a one-man show. It’s best to test and adjust frequently until you nail down the right number.

Bump up your income now

Creating a brand voice is the best thing you can do for yourself and your clients. It allows for long-term strategy, increased customer loyalty, simpler content production, and a better experience for everyone involved.

If you’d like to learn how to create brand voices quickly and easily, then check out our course. It’ll give you all the skills you need to increase your income and stay on the cutting-edge of marketing.

Ready to get paid?

Alex Hughes