Founder of Brotsky, LLC. I have worked with brands like American Express, AT&T, Verisign, Symantec, Howie Mandel, DirecTV, Dan Bilzerian, and many others. Check out my personal website at http://www.brandonbrotsky.com.
Our team uses Basecamp and Slack. Both are very easy to use and have a lot of features out of the box.
Basecamp's benefit compared to other project management software is that it is easy to use. We have used other systems with our clients like Jira and iMeet but we found both had a learning curve that was much steeper than Basecamp.
Slack isn't really a project management system but it really helps us with our communication. It allows for "channels" so you could talk about different projects with the same people without confusion. It also has a lot of integrations and will definitely help out a lot. It has an unlimited free trial so there is really no reason not to try it.
Imagine your best friend is arrested for a crime you know they did not commit, if convicted, they would be sent to jail. You need to hire a lawyer. The lawyers have the same level of experience. The only difference is the price. One is $50/hour, and the other is $600/hour. Which one do you choose? Most people would want the $600/hour lawyer because they are perceived to be higher quality and it gives you the piece of mind that you are doing everything for your friend. This mindset is the same when people buy shirts, food, cars, or services. A cheaper cost leads people to assume there is something wrong with the product.
This depends on who your client is, how much their revenue is, if the website will give them a ROI (return on investment), and how talented you are.
My agency (https://www.brotskydesigns.com) does pricing based on what we estimate the time commitment will be. If we estimate the job will take 40 hours and our hourly rate is $x we simply charge $x * 40. We make sure to cap off the hours so clients don't take advantage of us and we don't end up stuck in endless projects.
Check out these WordPress plugins: https://wordpress.org/plugins/shardb/ and https://premium.wpmudev.org/project/multi-db/
I recommend at least tripling your estimated cost on the project. Tripling allows you to have a potential fallback option if your plan A doesn't work out and gives you enough profit to be able to invest in your business and pay yourself.
Looks like a great site! Since you have a nich audience I would go after sponsors in the financial space. Maybe find contacts via LinkedIn at a stock brokage to help you find the people you need to talk to. Although some would question your ethics, you have a lot of valuable data, you might be able to sell that data to a company that would find it useful.
They sure will. Google even has an API for this( https://developers.google.com/custom-search/docs/structured_data#overview ) as does Twitter, YouTube and probably the other sites you are looking into. The major problem you will have is the limits and these services will get pretty expensive fast if you reach them. I would look into something like Apache Solr or Elasticsearch to help you store your results so this is less of an issue. Good luck!
Every business is different, so it's hard to give you an exact answer that works for you but generally, when clients come to my agency (https://www.brotskydesigns.com) we follow these five main points:
1. Collect - We start by research demographics, collect data, etc.
2. Plan and Organize - We come up with a marketing strategy with hit lists, schedules, and budgets.
3. Deployment - We will start our plan and let it take effect.
4. Analyze - We review marketing data and figure out what worked and what didn't work.
5. Repeat - We fix our mistakes and continue doing things that worked.
I hope this helped. :)
For my agency (https://www.brotskydesigns.com), I found that client logos really help sell us. Customers tend to care about who your company serves more than more important things like quality or value.
For example, our first "big name" was Howie Mandel. We did his website. The website was pretty standard and no different, technically speaking, than any other client we had at the time but since it was a celebrity that most people have heard of we started getting a lot more clients and bigger companies or celebrities started taking us more seriously.
I recommend going custom for this stuff. When you start adding plugins for relatively small customized features you end up with a huge mess that will be hard to maintain and could cause bugs in unrelated areas of the site. Creating something like this will be relatively easy with some basic WordPress PHP.