‘How Should I Price Social Media Management Packages?'
The topic of pricing is often among one of the first discussions a new social media manager or agency owner has with their peers. They might ask a fellow social media manager, a fellow business owner or ask this question about how to price social media management in a Facebook Group. What new social media managers appear to be looking for is assurance that what they are currently charging is enough to sustain their business model, but not too much to get outbid by others for the same project/job.
As you can guess, it is not an easy question to give a straight answer to, no matter who you are and what experience you might have in this industry.
However, we will give it a go – let us talk about how to perfectly price social media packages for your continued success! In order to do so, we went to some of the industry's leading experts! Hold on to your virtual hats.
In this article, you will learn
- what factors might or might not influence what you charge
- how to determine your fixed costs for budgeting reasons
- ways to get paid your worth
- how industry experts set their fees
Social Media Manager; Know Your Worth
As you try to determine what you might charge – before you calculate your fixed costs and set your budget – let's talk shop.
What do you bring to the table to sweeten the pot for someone to hire you?
Consider all these factors first:
- Education and Certification
- Industry Experience
- Remote or on Location
- Special Skills
In order to understand what you should charge as a freelancer, of what your salary could be if you are in-house, do your research!
Search online job boards, LinkedIn and check out your competitors' websites for information on social media manager salaries in your geographical area. Not everyone will have package pricing on their website, but some agencies will and that's a great place to start. Those who are looking to hire in-house social media managers often will give you a sense of salary at the start of the interview process. Get some numbers on paper, to see what your earning potential is as you start out. Do not, under any circumstances use these numbers as a measure of success. It is only a reference point, not written in stone.
Price Social Media Management Right From the Start!
When speaking with a potential employer or client about social media management services, it is important to determine the following before committing to work for a set project fee or salary.
Know what to expect at this job or with this project. Ask questions.
Will you work
- In-house or as a freelancer
- On a project basis or for an hourly rate
- Part-time, full-time or is there a detailed scope of work
It is important to write down exactly what services you will provide for what fees or salary, whether you are in-house or freelance. Include this detailed scope of work in a written proposal. Do not forget to add that detailed scope of work to your contract once you agree upon a package price or hourly rate. In addition, add an hourly fee to the proposal for extra tasks when requested by the client. You can always refer back to ‘scope of work per our contract' if a client starts to load you up with additional tasks.
Tip: Sometimes it is easier to exclude tasks in the scope of work, than list all the things you will do.
Oftentimes, social media managers start out working for an hourly rate. If you can get a high enough hourly rate to be able to live comfortably, great! Once you understand though, that working an hourly rate limits your income to what you can make based on the hours available to work each week, it is important to switch to packages, and project fees, as soon as you can.
Freelance Social Media Manager: Know Your Fixed Costs
To determine how you as a freelancer (or contractor) can have a successful business as a social media manager, you need to determine how much you need to make per year to be comfortable. Put these numbers on paper, preferably in your business plan. Do not forget to make a 3-5 year plan to include growth!
When determining what to charge, you need to create a list of expenses for your business.
These fixed costs might include
- Overhead (office rent, software, tools, computer, phone bill etc)
- Outsourcing (contractor fees)
- Marketing Cost (continuing ed, conference attendance, association fees, ads, website etc)
This is by no means a complete list, however, start listing all these things to get a sense of what you need to make in addition to these expenses to be able to carve out a living.
How To Get Paid What You Are Worth
In getting paid what you are worth, here are some wise words on what not to do and what to do instead!
- Let the client set your fees
- Give away free consulting
- Offer to do social media for free
- Accept a client's lowball counter offer
- Commit verbally to a project during an intake meeting
- Take on a client who is demanding from the start
Instead, do this
- Set your package pricing ahead of time
- Charge a high hourly rate for consulting
- Be confident in what you know
- Write a proposal with three package options
- Walk away if the potential client balks at your rates
- Always execute a contract with the scope of work included
- Get paid before you start working
If you do all these things, you will get paid what you are worth. It might take a while to find your ideal client, but s/he is out there.
How Do Experts Price Social Media Management Packages?
We checked around and came up with three different approaches on how to price social media management packages. Each expert has their own ‘formula' for determining how to price service packages. Please note each expert offers packages, not hourly rates!
What does Gary say? He says to make up your pricing and as soon as someone accepts that package, the price goes up!
What does Ollie say? Ollie tells us pricing is based on the value you provide and what you can accomplish for the client with those services. Ollie tells us our services are worth more to high-end clients who charges and get more for their services (dentist, surgeon) than to low-end clients (coffee shop, fast-food restaurant).
What does Jordan say? Jordan explains how to structure your packages based on the following three things
- What are your service offerings?
- What is the value of these offerings?
- How much time does it take to complete these tasks?
What do you need to get ‘perfect priced social media management packages'?
Before you meet a potential client, understand your worth and the value you bring to this client. Have confidence in your ability to help; this will shine through in your negotiations.
There are no limits on what you can earn, do or offer a client. Let us know how you structure your packages by leaving a comment below. Which expert, Gary, Ollie or Jordan do you identify with most with regards to structuring your packages?
I am a Certified Social Media Manager, Strategist, International Keynote Speaker, Organic Specialist and Agile marketer! Blogging is my creative outlet. Running, hiking and skiing are how I recharge. You'll recognize me on stage and online by my always present orange glasses, a nod to my Dutch heritage.