Wondering how much to charge for social media management?
Figuring out your pricing can be a BEAST! It’s one of the hardest, most time-consuming components of running a social media business.
Not only is there some math involved, but there are also quite a few complicated emotions tied to pricing. We can easily tie our entire self-image and self-worth to what we charge and how much others are willing to pay us.
And while your pricing will constantly evolve as your business grows, there are a few tips and tricks you can put into place from the start to make sure you set yourself up for success.
Whether you’re a total newbie looking to book your first client, or you have a few clients under your belt and would love to grow into an agency, these pricing strategies can help!
I’m going to show you how I priced my services as a formal social media agency so you can finally figure out how much to charge for social media management services. Let’s get into it!
Now, this tip has *nothing* to do with math and you might even think it’s a bit fluffy. But stay with me!
Before you even start pricing your social media management services, you must define your ideal client.
Think about it. Your client avatar is going to have a HUGE impact on the way you price and deliver your service. You wouldn’t offer the same type of service to a large corporation and a small, mom and pop shop.
If you’ve decided small business is your jam, you’re going to have to charge them differently than you would a bigger company.
Now, this doesn’t mean your work is worth less if you decide to work with companies with smaller budgets! Not at all. You’ll just need to charge accordingly for your social media services.
So for instance, when I got my start in social media, one of my first clients was a local clothing boutique. I absolutely loved it, and as I took on more clients realized I’d found my niche in working small, women-owned businesses. Most of these women were either solopreneurs or had a small team.
But while I adored working with these business owners, I realized that I had enough marketing industry experience to be charging higher rates.
I still wanted a boutique feel to my agency and I wasn’t necessarily ready to jump ship and start working with large corporations.
So instead, I just made a slight tweak to my ideal client. Rather than focusing on newer small business owners, I decided to work with small women-owned businesses that were a little bit further along in their business.
👉🏼 They’d already been in business between 3-10 years.
👉🏼 They had a solid foundation within their business.
👉🏼 AND they had a bit of a higher budget to spend on social media services. 💰
For me, this was a happy medium between the new small business owners and large corporate clients.
When you’re wondering how much to charge for social media management, determining your level of service is key.
While I knew that on paper, I could charge a corporate client a LOT more for my services (say, in the $5-7k range), I also knew that at this rate, the company would be looking for a very full-service package.
With this model, you might take on two or three clients, providing very high-level service. You’re essentially holding their hand the whole way and you’re their go-to for any requests that fall within social media.
With my small to medium-sized women-owned business clients, I was charging less, but I was also able to be a little more hands-off. My packages were usually in the $1.5-3k range.
Consider if you see yourself working with only a couple of large clients for whom you do a LOT of work, or if you’d rather have a larger client roster where you’re a little less involved.
While yes, I was making less money per client, I was working with people I loved, and because I’d nailed my social media systems, I was able to work efficiently so my packages didn’t take too long to deliver.
If you come across a client you’d LOVE to work with, but they don’t have the budget, you can consider offering them a reduced package.
Say you want to work with that cool, new artisanal donut shop that just opened up in your area, but they only have a budget of $1k. Rather than giving them a post every single day, maybe you do three posts per week.
The key is to make sure you're not overworking and undervaluing yourself!
On the other hand, if you're working with an established jewelry company, they may have allocated $5k a month for social media services. Their requirements are going to be more intense - maybe they need daily posts, Reels, and tweets in addition to monthly reporting.
No matter who your ideal client is and what level of service you’re providing, you want to make sure that you're always charging your worth.
But defining your ideal client is going to give you a base for where you can start setting your average package rate, which you can then later tweak depending on who needs your services.
The next step for figuring out how much to charge for your social media management services is to start to reverse-engineer your goals.
By this point, you should have a rough idea of what to charge based on your ideal client and what they can afford. If you’re still not sure of this number (or range) you can take some time to do some market research.
Now, it’s time to decide how much you want to make each month. When I first started, I knew I needed to hit at least $10k each month. This number was based on my business expenses, including my team and what kind of salary I wanted as the owner.
There’s a lot of factors that go into a monthly revenue goal that will influence how much to charge for social media management, and everyone’s goal will look a little different. But knowing your expenses, team costs and owner’s salary are the basics and a good place to start.
Once I had clarity on how much I needed to make each month, I could begin to work backward and see how many clients I’d need to take on. Because most of my clients were paying me around $1.5-2k each month, I realized that I’d need between 5-7 clients each month to make my goal.
In the end, I realized that taking on that many clients each month was a little bit too much for me. At the level of service I was providing, it wasn’t sustainable and I felt like I was working a whole lot more than I wanted to be. I knew that continuing on with that many clients would only lead to entrepreneur burnout.
Eventually, I went down to just four clients per month charging at least $2.5k packages. I made sure that no matter what I was keeping those four retainer clients, and then any additional income I made from others sources was just the cherry on top! 🍒
I knew that if I hit my base monthly revenue goal, I’d have everything I needed to keep running my business and stay profitable.
Your monthly revenue goal will depend on where you’re at in your business.
Maybe you’re still at your 9-5 and you decide you want to make $3k a month to bring in some extra money.
Well, maybe you decide to craft a basic social media package for $1k/month that you’ll be able to manage alongside your full-time job and secure three clients.
Remember, don’t just choose a revenue goal based on what everyone else is doing. Think about what makes sense for you.
Take a look at your expenses. Figure out how much you want to pay yourself. And whatever you do, don't forget about taxes!
If you feel like you’re still a bit confused on how much to charge for social media management, I actually have an exact pricing formula that I’ve used in my business to make it ridiculously easy.
I break down that formula and give you a deeper look into my pricing strategies inside my Pricing Workshop for Social Media Managers!
I walk you through exactly how to figure out your average package price, as well as prime examples of packages I sold through my own agency and how I was able to successfully grow my pricing structure.