Price Negotiation for Content Development and Content Marketing Agencies

Price negotiation is part of life. We need to accept this. Once we do, we can chalk a clear path about how to deal with it. Let us understand what kind of negotiators one can come across when providing content development or content marketing services:

  1. Customers who never negotiate. Such customers recognize your firm’s value instantly and pay.
  2. Customers who negotiate to get a lower price. Some of them are cautious buyers who don’t want to pay extra for a service if they can get it at a lower price. If nothing else, negotiation will help them understand how good your firm is.
  3. Customers who want a deal (All negotiations are not equal. There is a difference between negotiating for price reduction and negotiating for a deal. By deal, I mean a part of the cost for rendering the service is on you and your firm makes incremental losses with each passing billing cycle.)

Now, how can an agency deal with the various kinds of negotiations?

  1. When negotiation is meaningless or does not acknowledge your firm’s expertise, you can choose to walk away.
  2. When the negotiation is for some reduction in price, offer the customer such service that lets you still make a profit. I suggest not to offer more service at your price point. That way, you MAY incur a loss rather than a profit based on what that “more” consists of. So, this is highly subjective.

When the negotiation is for a reduction in price, the first question you should ask is why is customer negotiating?

  1. To save money.
  2. Has budget constraints.
  3. Can’t see the value in your offering.

Cases 1 and 2 can be addressed by offering a limited service. In both cases, you probably have an active opportunity to upsell.

Case 3 needs more thought. If the customer adds weight to your firm’s profile, you may choose to give him a deal for a limited period. If this is not the case, chalk your own responses.

Also, establish base prices below which you cannot work. Make them based on resource and infrastructure cost, profitability, value addition, etc. That way, you know you are still earning a profit, negotiation or no negotiation.

A sale is about the customer while pricing is about your product/service quality/value addition. Bridge them to the best of your ability. You will soon be good at sales negotiations.

Repurposing Content: Writing vs Presenting the Same Content

Executive Summary:

Many of us repurpose content, especially those occupying c-suites. Often, we need to write some content as a report and make a presentation based on the same content. Many such content repurposing efforts that switch between content development and presenting the same content miss out on a fundamental difference. Consequently, we fail to engage or, worse still, gain the support of the audience. This Quora answer is about what we tend to miss and how to avoid this pitfall.

Photo by Alex Litvin on Unsplash

Read Surya Vallae’s answer to “What strategies work for a good speaker but not for a writer when presenting the same content?” on Quora.

5 Reasons Why You Should Add Transcription to Your YouTube Video

The 5 reasons why you should add transcription to a video:

  1. Viewers understand the video better with transcription when the video has a lot of background noise.
  2. Transcription lets viewers overcome the accent barrier.
  3. Google crawls the transcription for keywords and increases your SERP ranking accordingly.
  4. Likewise, the video’s YouTube search ranking also improves tremendously with the transcription.
  5. You can edit a video faster when you have the transcription. The longer the footage, the higher the time saved.



Should You Find a Content Writer or Should You Find a Content Partner


Executive summary: Many startups and small businesses look for content support outside their organization. This blog discusses how to find a content writer and the advantages of working with a content partner (a content development firm) instead.

Reading time: < 3 minutes.

Let us begin with the assumption that you feel that your needs can be met by a content writer, with a couple of years of experience. In this case, finding a writer has three parts:

  • Understand the factors that drive the selection process.
  • Decide how to find a writer.
  • And find ways to assess the writer.

Factors that Drive the Selection Criteria

Subject area: It is easy to find writers who write about subjects like fashion, food, movies, and so on. However, it is difficult to find writers who have prior knowledge of emerging areas or content that requires in-depth domain knowledge. The next best thing is to choose someone who can assimilate the subject fast and is good at connecting the umpteen thought processes and knowledge threads.

Quality: You also got to decide the level of quality. Do you need content that is ok or content that is of the highest standards? Should the content be persuasive or just factual? Remember, quality has a positive correlation with your budget.

Your timeline: How soon do you want the content developed?

Find a Content Writer

Professional web design companies work with in-house or freelance writers. But not sure if you get to work with the same writer(s) if you have a long-term project or multiple projects.

There are dedicated content development companies. Choose content development firms when your content needs are ongoing, or you need the content of the highest quality. Content development firms develop expertise in your domain quickly and enable you to focus on your business. Unless you are asking for the content for a sunrise sector, probably they hold expertise in your domain already. The firms also take away the need to hire, train, and supervise writers. If writing is not one of your core business areas, you are always better off hiring a content development firm. (Disclaimer: I am the Founder and CEO of Lotus Tech, a content development company.)

Alternatively, you can go to platforms like Fiverr to find freelancers. You can also search for writers on LinkedIn and Facebook groups. When you choose this path, selection, delivery, quality, availability are some of the areas you will spend your time on.

Finding a writer raises the next question: how do you assess a writer? You can look for two aspects, at the least:

Evaluate the Content Writer

How long has he been writing?

How many different areas has he served?

Does he have a bachelor’s or master’s degree in language/journalism/writing? In India, many writers are trained on the job. If they do not have their first degree or master’s in an attendant field, experience plays a huge role.

How much of his work exists in the public domain? Does he publish blogs? What is the quality and variety of subjects of those blogs? Read the blogs.

Is the writer aware of what is happening around? A note of caution: Don’t expect an in-depth knowledge in an area that the writer has not studied yet. If the writer is aware of the developments around and if he is a good writer, he can always connect the dots and get you a well-rounded copy.

Also, check how well the writer understands the audience and marketing. This understanding is central to writing website content, blogs, and any other marketing collateral.

Great writers are always prolific readers. Check their reading interests.

Selecting the right content partner is of great importance. In the age of the Internet, your business can afford to transact 24/7. Digital (read ‘an online presence and the ability to sell online’) is the means to do so. And the success of digital depends on design and communication. This is why great design and writing matter. Consequently, your content partner matters as well.

How Can We Help

Visit the Marketing section of our website to know more about how we can support your content needs. Also, you can call us for a 1-hour consultation.

—By Surya Prabha Vallae