Pricing is a hot topic amongst social media managers whether they are new or have been doing this for a while.

It can be really tricky to decide how to price your social media management packages and knowing what to include in them.

You want to charge your worth (plus tax) whilst also ensuring you don’t lose a client purely on price.

Remember all the skills you bring to the table. Whether that is social media skills, industry knowledge, creativity etc. These skills and experience are what set you apart from other people, and that’s what you are charging a client for.

 

Should social media managers charge by the hour?

 

We always advise against charging an hourly rate because social media management is not an admin job.

You won’t just be posting on social media, you’ll be creating the strategy, making sure it is implemented and adjusted accordingly. You’ll be engaging, offering customer services and possibly creating content too.

And the longer you work with a client, the quicker this will become. So charging by the hour is risky. Do you want to take a pay cut because you got better at your job?

Hourly rates also allow clients to reduce their investment in you by reducing their hours, which often comes with the risk of them expecting the same amount of work in a shorter period of time.

But when people ask how to price social media services in our Facebook group the answer is never simple because there is a lot to consider when working out what is included in a social media management package.

How to create social media management packages

This might fly in the face of other advice out there but we strongly believe that set packages don’t work for social media management.

We often remind people that social media management is not simply posting a set number of posts each week. It’s about marketing a business and not all of them will need marketing in the same way.

You can’t put all businesses into a specific box or packages, instead you should be offering each client a bespoke package after a discovery call.  

Here’s why:

A business that is new to social media, has no content or ads budget can’t be compared to another with 5 active platforms, thousands of engaged followers, a £10k ads budget and strict content guidelines 

Can you see the problem?

Both have a completely different need. 

So having spent days and hours agonising over what to include in your packages and what to call them because everyone goes for “Bronze, Silver or Gold”, you realise that actually, none of these packages are suitable for your latest client enquiry anyway.

Instead you need to offer a combination, so you end up creating a mishmash of the packages with a bespoke offer and price. 

We have been there, agonising over pricing and packages and we’ve lost valuable time stressing about what should be in each package to make it stand alone from the rest. That’s before we even try to put a price on it. 

We don’t want you to waste time trying to create something that you don’t need.

Clients are all unique and have different needs for their businesses, so as far as social media management is concerned, they will all require a bespoke price.

How to set your prices

Your website (yes a professional freelancer needs a website) should display “prices from” to set the expectation and filter out anyone who can’t afford your minimum fee. 

You can move anyone who isn’t prepared to pay your base rate onto training and nurture packages, so you can work 1:1 with them to help them learn how to manage their own social media marketing.

Create a list for your eyes only which details the costs of the certain tasks that you undertake as a social media manager.  And then price those individually. Think about how much it costs for a social media strategy, how much do you want to charge for hashtag research etc.

These prices should not be based purely on the time it takes. Think about the value you bring to their business. Use this whenever you need to build up a price for a client, remember it’s for your eyes only.

How to get paid your worth

Before you even think about quoting a client a fee for social media management, you should be carrying out an initial discovery call to ensure you get a good understanding of exactly what they need and can price accordingly.

Prior to the call ensure they have seen your minimum rates and know how you work, you can send them to your website to discover all this information.

Your discovery call should include questions around budget so that your price won’t come as a shock to them when you send your proposal. You’ll want to find out if they have a budget for advertising, content creation and whether they are also working with other freelancers.

Never give a price on the phone.

If you are asked for a price explain that you will need to work that out based on their exact needs.

Agree to send a proposal to show them how you can help, and how much it will cost. 

If they can’t afford your minimum rate (the one clearly advertised on your website, which they should have seen before your call) do not reduce your price for the proposal.

Never:

  • Agree to reduce your price – instead prepare what you'll do and say if a client thinks you are too expensive
  • Work on a free trial period, there are other ways of gaining trust with a new client, we like the £100 Audit route.
  • Give a fee before a discovery call.
  • Work for a percentage of the sales.

If you want more advice on pricing, or need a watertight proposal document check out The Social Media Managers Toolkit where you'll find everything you need to win, onboard and work with clients as a social media manager.