Creative Agency Pricing Models: Do You Really Need It? This Will Help You Decide!

Why Is It Difficult to Be A Creative Agency?

The fast pace of technical and economic changes poses great challenges for many companies. Some of the businesses are more vulnerable than others, and creative agencies tend to be among those weaker ones. Why? Because people consider creative agency pricing models in the wrong terms.

Creative agencies pricing models are based on wrong assumptions. It should all start from basics. And the first basis is the fact that creative agencies usually aren’t big in itself. They are rather clusters of smaller agencies or sometimes freelancers, people who also work independently on their own. And so, they don’t have a unified system of operating, strong database and management system; which makes it easy for a client to change the vendor.



Now, the lack of databases and other important tools, beside the latest software necessary for their work, causes creative agency not to have an advanced IT infrastructure. There are no testing teams, no specialists, which makes it difficult to take care of small mistakes or flaws, for example, fixing the typo or the layout of the landing page or a website that has just been delivered to the client.

Eventually, it all leads to the processes being slowed down, tons of paperwork, and lack of organization. A good IT infrastructure can improve it all but above all, it gives your creating agency a fast, steady pace. Yet it all involves money and when it comes to money, it’s always a problem.

Creative Agency Pricing Models – Which Is The Best?

For every creative agency pricing models should be the priority. Why? Because establishing a system of charging clients makes it easier to organize all processes in the company. Deanna deBara in her article explains it straight and to the point:

“Your pricing model has an effect on every single aspect of your agency, from profitability to how you sell, who you hire to who you pitch—which is why it’s so important to choose a pricing model that aligns with your long-term goals and is the right fit for you, your team and your agency.”

Which pricing model will be best for you? Take a look at our list of creative agency pricing models to choose the one that suits you most.

PRO TIP – whichever model you use, implement time tracking. It’s a great way to create your base of information including budget and people management. Don’t be afraid to use time tracking for agency, because it’ll help to grow your business.

Charging by the hour

This is the easiest of all creative agency pricing models. You simply charge your clients by hours. It’s best to use it with time tracking software. Because even though it’s the simplest pricing model, you have to be very specific when using it. Here’s how:

  • Billable and non-billable activities – not everything you do during work should be considered as billable hours. You shouldn’t count such activities as organizational work, team management, etc.
  • Extra time – sometimes the project takes longer, that’s why you should always have detailed reports on all the work. It will be proof of your work. Just in case your client has doubts.

In the beginning, it can be tricky to precisely specify an hourly rate.

Luckily, when you use time tracking software, for example, TimeCamp, you can analyze your reports, timesheets, and see how much time you or your employees spend on particular tasks. It allows you to see how much time is needed to finish a project. Once you have collected the data on all types of projects, you can easily predict billable time for a perfect hourly rate.

Project-based pricing model

In this pricing model, you simply charge for projects. It’s especially convenient if you work on multiple projects for multiple clients. Also, it’s best to use it if charging by hours is uneconomic, so for example, it takes 30 minutes to finish the project, not 30 hours.

new app

In TimeCamp, the desktop app is a fantastic solution for this price model. It’s a tool for tracking time to projects and tasks. It can work in two modes – manual and automatic. The desktop application is equipped with a useful widget which allows you to quickly choose a task and start/stop tracking time to it.


Deanna deBara gives a clear definition on this pricing model, “When you work with a client on retainer, they agree to a pre-negotiated and pre-paid fee for either a) a set amount of time, or b) a set number of deliverables.”

If your client decides to pay you based on hours, it’s your decision what happens with the money that’s left if you manage to finish the project in a shorter time. With deliverables, on the other hand, you only have to complete your job, it doesn’t matter how many hours it takes.

How to use it with time tracking? If your client decides for the first option, you may want to use TimeCamp to see how much time you’ve spent on the project. With the second option, you can still use the software if you’re curious how much time it took to finish the project.

Performance pricing model

This creative agency pricing model may be risky. It’s simple – if the work you delivered brings sales or revenue to your client, you get paid. If it doesn’t, you get nothing.

Value-based pricing model

In this pricing model, your clients pay you in the more abstract sense. They pay you for you. More specifically, for the value you can bring into the client’s work. However, this model is best for agencies who are experts in a given field because it’s very easy not to get paid.

What Else Do You Need When Choosing Creative Agency Pricing Models?

No matter which of the above creative agency pricing methods you choose, it’s worth to use TimeCamp. It will not only help you automatize your work and see how much time is spent on each project, but the software will also solve all your financial issues. Here are two elements you should always include in your pricing model:

  • Invoicing – TimeCamp invoicing system allows you to easily issue invoices to your customers either based on time you’ve gathered for projects and tasks or simply by creating a blank document. You can automatically fill up invoices with proper rates by settings hourly costs for either tasks or users. Invoices can be sent to your Clients directly from TimeCamp via email. You can also generate a public link or download them as PDF files and later share them however you prefer with your contractors.
  • Budgeting – if you use this feature, you can easily calculate all the financial data, cash flow, all transactions, and allocate budget to projects.

👉 Check also our article about time tracking for contractors

And when you integrate it with other tools and apps, you will get a powerful inventory for your creative agency.

Remember that when your finances are under control, you can better invest in your company and employees. What follows is a larger number of customers and better projects. And the best part? It will help your agency stay on top and not fall behind in the fast-paced world.


Creative Agency Pricing Models: Do You Really Need It? This Will Help You Decide!

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