This post may contain affiliate links. If you use these links to buy something we may earn a commission at no extra cost to you. Thank you for your support!
Social Media Freelance Rate: How Much Should You Charge?
According to Glassdoor, the average salary for a freelance social media manager in the United States is around $47,664 per year. This figure is of course not set in stone. As a freelancer, the more projects you take on, the more you make monthly.
For example, Sprout Social estimates a social media freelance rate to be $71,000 annually.
As your level of experience and skill grows, you’ll be able to continue increasing your prices, knowing by now what your target audiences (such as small businesses) are looking for in a social media manager.
Are you considering becoming a freelance social media manager? One of the most important things to consider is your rate. Setting a fair and competitive rate is crucial for attracting clients and building a successful freelance business. But how do you determine your rate as a social media freelancer?
Social Media Freelance Rate: Overview
There are several factors to consider when setting your social media freelance rate. Your experience level, the services you offer, the social media strategy you will be using and the industry you’re working in can all impact your rate. Additionally, you’ll need to take into account your overhead costs, such as software subscriptions and marketing expenses.
While it can be tempting to set a low rate to attract clients, it’s important to remember that your time and expertise are valuable. Setting a rate that is too low can actually harm your business in the long run. On the other hand, setting a rate that is too high can make it difficult to attract clients. It’s all about finding the right balance.
The best way for new freelancers will be to use a freelance hourly rate calculator, which takes all the factors above into account.
Understanding Social Media Freelance Rates
As a social media freelancer, it’s important to understand the factors that affect your rates. Here are some key considerations to keep in mind when setting your rates.
Factors that Affect Social Media Freelance Rates
Scope of Work
The scope of work is a major factor in determining your rates. This includes the number of social media platforms you’ll be managing, the frequency of posts, the level of engagement required, and any additional services you’ll be providing, such as content creation or analytics reporting.
Not only that, nowadays a social media manager’s job scope is no longer limited to posting reels, creating social media posts and coming up with daily captions.
They are also required to create social media campaigns as part of their social media management services. This requires a whole lot of work and planning for the client and can hike your pay to a totally different level. In such cases, these freelancers can make up to $12,000 a month!
Years of Experience
Your years of experience in social media management will also play a role in determining your rates. Generally, the more experience you have, the higher your rates can be. Clients are willing to pay more for someone who has a proven track record of success and can deliver results.
When talking about experience, your social media marketing services and portfolio should reflect just that – the number of years you’ve worked as a social media manager, the different platforms you’ve worked on, case studies, the success rates you’ve had and name-dropping big clients you’ve had in the past.
Your skill level is another important factor in setting your rates. If you have specialized skills, such as expertise in a particular social media platform or the ability to create high-quality graphics, you can command higher rates. However, if you’re just starting out, you may need to offer lower rates to attract clients and build your portfolio.
Another great way to make more will be to expand your skill levels. Where do links and promotions on social media posts and bios go to? They go to landing pages. If you are able to add funnel building, website building or landing page designs as part of your services, your pricing model would look so much better.
In fact, the more skills you have, the higher your chances of getting hired. This is because you’re a one-stop shop, and your client will save time having to look around (and pay extra) for a web designer or a sales funnel builder.
Pro tip: Another popular service most of these prospective clients will require is for you to do their community management for them (ie managing their Facebook page) – a service you can easily take on and outsource. Remember to include all these skills inside your portfolio!
Type of Work
The type of work you’ll be doing also affects your rates. For example, managing a corporate social media account may require more time and expertise than managing a small business account. Additionally, if you’re providing additional services such as ad campaign management or influencer outreach, you may need to charge more.
A good idea is to decide who you’re working with before coming up with your social media freelance rate – will you be working for local businesses, small influencers looking to grow their online presence, or prospective clients who are actually huge companies looking to get more leads and sales?
If it’s the former, your social media freelance rate should take into account the number of platforms and social media channels you’ll be working on, such as Facebook, Facebook ads, Instagram, TikTok, and more.
If it’s the latter, you can definitely charge higher prices, for these bigger companies usually have a huge marketing budget they’re ready to use to grow their brand.
Finally, it’s important to consider your direct competitors when setting your rates. Research what other social media freelancers in your area are charging and adjust your rates accordingly. Keep in mind that your rates should be competitive, but also reflect the value you bring to the table.
Being able to anticipate your client’s needs, the various social media platforms they’re most likely to use (by doing your own research in advance), being able to help them repurpose their social media content creation pieces in different ways such as turning them into YouTube videos, reels, blog posts, and more will definitely set you apart by miles.
In this way, you’ll be able to command higher social media management costs and a better social media freelance rate – increasing your chances of landing long-term retainers.
This is what makes for a successful freelance social media manager.
By taking these factors into account, you can set rates that are fair to both you and your clients. Remember to be confident in your abilities and the value you bring to the table, but also be willing to adjust your rates as necessary to stay competitive in the market.
How to Set Your Social Media Freelance Rates
As a social media freelancer, setting your rates can be a daunting task. You want to ensure that you are being paid fairly for your time and expertise, but you also want to remain competitive in the market. Here are some tips on how to set your social media freelance rates.
Different Pricing Models for Social Media Freelancers
There are several pricing models that social media freelancers can use to charge clients. These include:
- Hourly Rate: This is where you charge a set amount per hour of work. This is a good option if you have a project that may take varying amounts of time to complete.
- Monthly Retainer: This is where you charge a set amount per month for a certain number of hours of work. This is a good option if you have a client who will need ongoing social media management.
- Day Rate: This is where you charge a set amount per day of work. This is a good option if you have a project that requires your full attention for a set amount of time.
Determining Your Hourly Rate
To determine your hourly rate, you need to consider several factors. These include:
- Your Experience: The more experience you have, the higher your hourly rate can be.
- Your Niche: If you specialize in a particular niche, such as healthcare or finance, you can charge a higher hourly rate due to your specialized knowledge.
- Your Location: Rates can vary depending on where you live. For example, rates in New York City may be higher than rates in a smaller town.
- Your Value: Consider the value you bring to the table. If you have a proven track record of increasing social media engagement, you can charge a higher rate.
On Upwork, social media managers make between $14 to $35 per hour. On other platforms (such as Facebook), there are experienced ones setting their rates at $70 per hour.
Calculating Your Monthly Retainer
To calculate your monthly retainer, you need to determine how many hours per month you will be working for your client. Once you have that number, you can multiply it by your hourly rate to determine your monthly retainer.
Setting Your Day Rate
To set your day rate, you need to consider the same factors as when determining your hourly rate. You also need to consider how many hours per day you will be working. Once you have that number, you can multiply it by your hourly rate to determine your day rate.
In conclusion, setting your social media freelance rates requires careful consideration of your experience, niche, location, and value. By using different pricing models and considering these factors, you can set rates that are fair to you and competitive in the market.
Best Practices for Charging Social Media Freelance Rates
As a freelance social media manager, it’s important to charge fair rates while building a strong client base. Here are some best practices to follow when charging social media freelance rates.
How to Negotiate Your Rates with Clients
When negotiating rates with potential clients, it’s important to be clear and confident about your worth. Research the market rates for social media management and set your rates accordingly. Consider your experience, skills, and the time it takes to complete each project. Be open to negotiation but don’t undervalue your work.
Provide potential clients with a breakdown of your services and rates. This can include a table or bullet points outlining the services you offer and the cost for each service. Be transparent about any additional fees, such as ad spend or software subscriptions.
How to Handle Customer Complaints
As a freelance social media manager, providing excellent customer service is key to building a strong client base. However, complaints may arise from time to time. When handling customer complaints, it’s important to remain calm and professional. Listen to their concerns and offer solutions that are fair and reasonable.
If a client is unhappy with your work, offer to revise the content or strategy. If the issue is related to communication or expectations, clarify your processes and set clear expectations for future projects.
How to Build a Strong Client Base
Building a strong client base takes time and effort. Start by creating a portfolio of your work and sharing it on social media and freelance platforms. Reach out to business owners and offer your services. Attend networking events and conferences to meet potential clients and build relationships.
Once you have a client base, focus on providing excellent customer service and delivering high-quality work. Ask for feedback and referrals from satisfied clients. Consider offering loyalty discounts or referral bonuses to encourage repeat business.
By following these best practices, you can charge fair rates while building a strong client base as a freelance social media manager.
Maximizing Your Earnings as a Social Media Freelancer
As a social media freelancer, there are several ways to maximize your earnings. Offering additional social media services, creating original content, social media advertising and marketing strategies, and using social media management tools are some of the ways you can increase your earning potential.
Offering Additional Social Media Services
To maximize your earnings as a social media freelancer, it’s important to offer a variety of social media services. In addition to managing social media accounts, you can offer services such as social media audits, social strategy development, and social media training. By offering a range of services, you can attract a wider range of clients and increase your earning potential.
As mentioned above, other services you can tack on are:
- Knowing the next step they need – building landing pages and funnels
- Design well – taking over the need for a graphic designer
- Offering constant updates and value – so they treat you as a valuable team member
- Be digital marketing savvy – take steps to improve your knowledge with online courses, because everything in the online world is connected to each other.
With these more specific skills, most social media experts are able to charge a monthly fee while providing service on a retainer basis.
Many experienced ones offer monthly packages from the get go – their social media management packages can range anywhere from 90 days to one year.
This is because social media especially on many different platforms needs time to grow, and secondly, after growing, they need to be maintained regularly to ensure the growth rate is always healthy.
This also secures you a long-term retainer, something that you should always take into account when planning your social media freelance rate.
Creating Original Content
Creating original content is important for social media presence and can help attract new clients. As a social media freelancer, you can offer content creation services such as blog writing, graphic design, and video production. By creating original content, you can help your clients stand out on social media and increase their brand awareness.
Social Media Advertising and Marketing Strategies
Social media advertising and marketing strategies can be an effective way to increase brand awareness and drive traffic to a client’s website. As a social media freelancer, you can offer services such as social media advertising campaigns, influencer marketing, and email marketing. By offering these services, you can help your clients reach a wider audience and increase their revenue.
Using Social Media Management Tools
Using social media management tools can help you save time and increase your productivity as a social media freelancer. Tools such as Hootsuite, Buffer, and Sprout Social can help you manage multiple social media accounts, schedule posts in advance, and track your analytics. By using these tools, you can provide better service to your clients and increase your earning potential.
In conclusion, as a social media freelancer, there are several ways to maximize your earnings. By offering additional social media services, creating original content, using social media advertising and marketing strategies, and using social media management tools, you can increase your earning potential and attract more clients.
Comparing Social Media Freelance Rates to In-House Teams and Agencies
If you’re considering hiring a social media manager, you have three options: hiring a freelance social media manager, building an in-house social media team, or partnering with a social media agency. Each option has its own pros and cons, and the choice you make will depend on your business’s needs and budget.
Pros and Cons of Hiring a Social Media Freelancer
Hiring a social media freelancer can be a cost-effective option, as their rates tend to be lower than those of agencies or in-house teams. Freelancers are also flexible and can adapt to your business’s changing needs. However, there are some downsides to working with a freelancer. They may not be available when you need them, and they may not have the same level of expertise as a successful social media manager working at an agency or in-house team.
Pros and Cons of Hiring an In-House Social Media Team
Building an in-house social media team can be beneficial if you have a large business with a high volume of social media activity. In-house teams work closely with your business and have a deep understanding of your brand and audience. However, building an in-house team can be costly, as you will need to hire multiple employees and provide benefits and training.
Pros and Cons of Hiring a Social Media Agency
Partnering with a social media agency can be a great option if you’re looking for a team with a high level of expertise. Social media marketing agencies specialize in creating and executing social media strategies, and they have experience working with a variety of businesses and industries. However, working with an agency can be expensive, and you may not have as much control over the day-to-day management of your social media accounts.
When choosing between these options, it’s important to consider your business’s needs and budget. If you have a small business or limited budget, hiring a social media freelancer may be the best option. If you have a large business with a high volume of social media activity, building an in-house team may be the way to go. And if you’re looking for a team with a high level of expertise, partnering with a social media agency may be the best choice.
Overall, there is no one-size-fits-all solution when it comes to social media management. It’s important to weigh the pros and cons of each option and choose the one that best fits your business’s needs.
In conclusion, setting the right freelance rate for social media management is crucial to your success. Remember that your rate should reflect your experience, skills, and the value you bring to the table. Don’t be afraid to charge what you’re worth, but also be realistic about what the market can bear.
Consider the following factors when setting your rate:
- Your level of experience and expertise
- The scope of the project and the amount of time required
- The complexity of the work involved
- The client’s budget and expectations
- The current market rates in your area
Keep in mind that the freelance market is constantly evolving, and what worked for you in the past may not work now. Stay up-to-date with industry trends and adjust your rates accordingly.
Finally, be confident in your abilities and the value you bring to your clients. By setting the right rate and delivering high-quality work, you can build a successful career as a freelance social media manager.