I have a marketing expert that is extremely excited to advise This Dog's Life (.co) but wants to be more than an adviser. He wants a hands on role and has committed four hours a week to helping me. His usual consulting rate is $80-$100 an hour but said he could do it for $50 an hour (which for a bootstrapped company is still a lot). Anyway, he did bring up equity and was wondering what the appropriate amount should be?
It is hard to judge someone's interest in your start up. I work a lot with different early stage companies and I provide discount in the objective of building relationship and support them in the early stage. Then I might be able to hope for some future work at a more lucrative rate once they get the funding.
What I would say is if he is giving you 4h a week at a discount, then those hours are probably not sold at is full rate or else why would he cut is profit in half? second, since he already has time to spare and he is making 0$ for the 4h. its better to sell them at 50$h. In conclusion I would just hire him at that rate (rate that he agrees to witch means he's still making money) and tell him that if he is good and this picks up he will be the one you will contact in the future.
I think it was mention above, try to find the whats in it for both of you and it needs to be a win win.