Reputation Management Pricing – A Guide

“How much does reputation management cost?”

That’s the question on your lips. And in return, we’d like to ask you two of our own…

How can you put a price on something that secures an interview for your next career move? And how could you possibly crunch the numbers behind consumer trust in your product?

There is, without question, exceptional value in a positive online reputation. But how much should you pay in terms of dead set pence and pounds?

Reputation management pricing is a hot potato. Check out freelance websites, and ‘pros’ tout their reputation management services from just £150 (sometimes less). Ask a big-wig global reputation agency, and you could be looking at £10,000+. And that’s PER MONTH.

So how much should you expect to pay?

Here we dig into the cheap, the overpriced and the warning signs that you’ve got a cowboy on your hands.

Before we begin discussing Reputation Management Costs…

Reputation management pricing is often an elusive service to pin downs in terms of ROI. Yet while finding concrete figures might be challenging, we do know this…

A bad reputation costs a company 10% more per hire

Reviews are the second most powerful ranking factor for Google’s local pack

49% of consumers say a business needs at least a 4-star rating before they would use them

57% of employers are less likely to interview a candidate they can’t find online.

70% of employers use social media to screen candidates.

With so much to offer, there’s an inescapable fact about solid reputation management services – professional online reputation management costs professional money. But this will undoubtedly be influenced on several factors, including:

  • Whether you’re looking to simply address select negative press, or go beyond this with content creation and the building of industry authority.
  • How severe the damage to be repaired is (for example, how many poor reviews are there and where are they placed?).
  • Your end goal (a global brand reputation that builds month on month will be more expensive than a consultant who wants to bag an interview with a certain company).

Let’s start with some averages…

Most online reputation costs are based on between 50 and 200 hours of work, which is spread out over several months. These costs can generally range between £5,000 and £20,000 per month. Doing the math, this works out to 20 hours per month, five hours per week or one hour per day.

You should note, however, that these are very general figures and projects always differ in terms of what is required. Which is exactly why any quote you receive should itemise the work involved and the results that may be expected. Speaking of which, the following indicators of cowboy services should be considered HUGE warning flags…

“How much will reputation management cost, you ask?” (cogs whirring, weighing up how much you can afford)

Get the sinking feeling that the online reputation management pricing you’ve been provided was plucked out of thin air? Unfortunately, your gut feeling may be spot on.

Some unscrupulous agencies will base their pricing on whether you look like you can afford to pay more than they should charge. If you get the feeling that you’re being fleeced, leave and don’t look back.

“I can delete EVERYTHING bad that has ever been said about you. Ever”

Some firms will claim that they can delete negative links, reviews and other content, no matter where on the World Wide Web it lurks. However we have to stress that the practicalities of getting information removed is actually very difficult and incredibly time-consuming. Agencies must be upfront about this.

Sure, there are many ways to seek recourse, including going down the legal route if websites are displaying slanderous information and refuse to take it down. However some websites will, and are entitled, to continue to show information that is true to the best of their knowledge (even if it is unflattering).

Any reputation professional who tells you that data removal is no problem, hear warning bells instead. And if you’re ever sent unsolicited emails that offer you the world for £100 (such as removing all negative results from Google), which also request money by PayPal TODAY, hit that SPAM button with steely determination.

“I can fix/improve/create a glittering online reputation within a few days/a week”

Here’s the thing – professional reputation protection and management services aren’t a fast fix. They take months, not weeks, and certainly not days. Unless you’re asking for something simple (such a removing a deadlink from Google) expect a longer timeframe, rather than shorter.

“I can make you shine online for the grand total of £5“

Ludicrously low prices should be simply chalked up to ‘Too Good To Be True’. These are easy to spot, yet in reality, ‘low prices’ also relate to agencies that quote £500 for a £5,000 project, with predictable results (namely a rather frustrated client).

Reputation management services pricing – some specific examples

Hour by hour – Key tasks in internet reputation costings

  • Analysis and Issue Review – To understand your business and put together an efficient repair approach – About 10 hours
  • Search Engine Optimization and Key Search Terms – To analyse and research search terms, as well as update existing websites and platforms – About 10 hours
  • Content Creation – Authoring unique text and creating visual media (such as videos or images) – About 50 to 80 hours (sometimes more)
  • Social Media – Deciding on the best platforms for the intended audience/clients and update each frequently, sometimes this may even be as often as several times a day – About 50 to 100 hours
  • Administrative Review and Setup – 5 hours
  • Monthly Maintenance Services – 5 hours

 A special note on…

Removing negative comments

Google will treat social media likes, retweets and so on as an indicator of relevance. If you’ve suffered from a flood of negative comments on social media, the process to repair your reputation becomes immediately more complicated.

Reputation repair

The process of repairing a reputation is involved and heavy on time required. It should always begin with a detailed analysis and issue review. Then it should move on to include:

  • SEO and the targeting of key terms
  • Content creation
  • Social media marketing

All of which is the very least that will be needed if your reputation has been even mildly impacted.

What to ask your reputation management agency…

  • How do you make sure the content you create is both targeted for my audience and will be effective in building my reputation?
  • Do you include a thorough social media campaign, which covers the targeting of industry thought leaders – with the aim of winning them over as followers?
  • How many months will it take to complete my desired objectives (most projects will take months, so prepare yourself for an honest answer)
  • Is the work you undertake customized or simply copy-and-pasted into some kind of form, template, or software?
  • Who will be doing the work? Is it in-house with your team, or sent to low-wage workers somewhere else – such as India?
  • Do you pay for significant overheads, such as multiple layers of management, salespeople, project managers, and offices?
  • How do you plan on reacting to the rapid monthly changes that Google implements to their search algorithm?
  • Will you guarantee removals and can this be put in writing? (Please note that information cannot be guaranteed to be removed if it is placed on a third-party website)
  • Can you provide some insight into similar projects you’ve completed for others?

Before you go – DON’T be fooled into thinking there’s software that competes with agencies

You may be tempted to try reputation management software – the DIY solution for brands and businesses. If you’ve looked into this, you’ll have noticed that the pricing is far lower than agency reputation services. And with good reason, too.

This software ranges in price from completely free to a few hundred pounds per month. Typically however, they only have a singular, very narrow focus – such as monitoring review sites, social media or Google results.

Ultimately these tools are incredibly specialised, and you may need to use more than one to get the results you want. And if those results require the removal of reviews or online information, you’ll face a steep learning curve in achieving your goal.

Wrapping up…

When it comes to reputation management pricing, there’s undoubtedly a minefield to make your way through. However, if you bear in mind all of the above pointers, and do your own research as to any firm’s own reputation, this should stand you in good stead for making the right choice.

Our reputation management pricing starts from just £500, our quotes are transparent and our fees are fixed (so they’ll be no nasty surprises come the time to invoice). And if you have any questions, feel free to get in touch (with no obligation, at all).