A guide to charging clients as a social media freelancer

Are you wondering how much you should charge as a social media freelancer? This is how to correctly and fairly price your services.
A guide to charging clients as a social media freelancer

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In recent years, managing social media has evolved into a lucrative career. Freelancing is changing the landscape of the working environment.

With demand so high and the learning curve so low, competition is fierce in the world of social media. For many, it's a race to the bottom as they cut into their pricing. This isn't sustainable.

What should you set your social media services rates at?

Here are 6 questions to ask yourself and your clients that will help you set a fair price for your social media expertise.

What’s your level of experience?

The barriers to entry for freelance social media management are low. However, that doesn't mean you're not investing time and resources in learning and mastering it.

Come to terms with your abilities — are you:

  • Entry-level
  • Intermediate
  • Expert

Each tier commands different pricing because of your abilities.

There are also other elements to consider when factoring in pricing.

Consider the potentially years of experience in the industry that allows clients to bypass a ton of initial investment. And, you're providing clients access to your network by way of your work.

From freelance tools to subscriptions, training, and more, you've sunk a lot of money into learning social media. You're giving all this away if you're coming in with a rock bottom offer.

You wouldn't lowball an expert, so why should others do it to you?

What are other people charging?

When you look at other social media freelancers and their pricing, consider these 3 questions:

  • What are their rates?
  • Who do they know?
  • How do they present themselves?

Freelance job boards and job search sites are a good starting place to collect pricing data. There, you can also get to know what clients expect when hiring for services.

  • If you can go above and beyond their expectations then charge more
  • If you're failing to meet the baselines then you need to invest in your skills

In doing so, you close the gap rather than underselling yourself.

Looking at what other freelancers are charging via portfolio sites gives good insights too. You could even reach out to these individuals, asking their opinion about pricing. Remember that not everyone needs to be your competition!

You can also compare several freelance calculator results. Calculators are mainly the same in that they factor expenses, hourly rates, projected salary, taxes, etc. Adjust them to account for elements like your location, goals, and needs, to get a decent idea for pricing.

How long will it take you to finish the project?

After researching the size of the company and getting a feel for the type of campaign they want, you can decide if you would like to charge for the entire project or per hour instead.

In general, charging clients for the entire project at once is recommended since it can be difficult to track exactly how much inactive time is spent planning, researching, and creating the project.

If you feel as though the campaign will take a significant amount of time and require additional research, charging an hourly rate is a more favorable option.

Will you create content?

Interestingly, many new freelance social media managers fail to consider whether or not they will be responsible for creating social media content. However, this is often a fairly large responsibility in itself.

Even something as simple as taking product photos could add a handful of hours to your workload. So, this is something that you should be compensated for.

On the other hand, some companies have their own internal teams that are dedicated to content creation. In this case, you will simply be tasked with properly uploading and managing this content.

Although this may reduce the total amount that you can charge, it will free up extra time for you to take upon additional projects.

Some freelancers choose to outsource their content creation to other individuals. You can take advantage of our collaboration tool to properly track the time that each professional works on a particular project.

You can check it out here.

Will you be in charge of comments, DM’s, and other interactions?

When people reach out to a brand through social media, they often aren’t actually getting in touch with someone from the company itself. Instead, they end up speaking with the social media manager for that particular brand.

Some businesses have internal teams that handle specific tasks. If you’re in charge of handling customer service obligations, this should be integrated into the rate that you charge your clients.

This is particularly true for large organizations. Having a larger audience will lead to a larger volume of customer concerns.

Even answering basic inquiries can quickly become overwhelming if you have an outstanding number of other responsibilities for that client.

Do you plan on working with creators?

Partnering with creators is one of the most efficient ways to grow your presence on social media.

For those who are unfamiliar with creators, it involves leveraging the massive following that a creator has in order to gain notoriety for your brand. In practice, this could involve sending someone a free product for them to use and review, having them give your brand a shout-out in one of their posts, etc.

Building and managing these partnerships can be a full-time job in and of itself.

If you find yourself in a situation where a potential client casually mentions “influencer marketing” as one of your obligations, ensure that you are prepared to charge them accordingly.

So, how much should you charge?

Consider a 'poke and prod' approach to setting a price:

  1. Respond to several social media management jobs listings
  2. Get them on a call or video chat to discuss the project
  3. Test variable pricing tiers (embrace negotiation)

If you're noticing that every business is happy with your first pricing offer then it's likely that you're selling yourself short. If they turn you down based on your pricing then you may have gone a bit too high.

What you're looking for is a middle ground with the pricing of your services.

Need a starting point? Consider these price ranges:

  • Beginner: $10 - $15 an hour
  • Intermediate: $15 - $50 an hour
  • Expert: $50+ an hour

Remember that you're not adjusting rates based on the type of job. You should get paid for your skills and time even if it's a simple task.

Repeat this process every year so your prices stay competitive.

We've covered a few different ways to figure out your rates. Now it's time for you to take action and start making real money.

Ready to own your #bosslesslife?

Check out our guide on starting and growing as a freelancer. Then, check out our amazing freelance tools and connect with our team!

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Our team of career freelancers writes about best invoice practices, what makes a great client, and repeats the mantra, "never work without a contract." We're opinionated about the future of work and will always be on the side of freelancers.
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