Short answer is as much as you want. The right answer is as much as you can prove your worth to your client. We’ll delve into just how much people and firms charge for Social Media Management, but before that…let’s go over a few things.
It’s no surprise that we live in the middle of the most competitive business environment in human history.
Anyone (and we mean anyone) with nothing more than an idea, a laptop, and a connection to the Internet has the ability to create their own global business from their living room, this has forced every industry to become smarter and more strategic with their online marketing.
This has had a three-pronged effect.
- On the one hand, it has helped small business owners better understand the value and importance of intelligent advertising and measurable marketing.
- On the other, it has created a tremendous demand for strategic social media marketers and those that understand how to “make it rain” with the power of the Internet.
- It has also resulted in many people devaluing the skills that go into Social Media Management.
If you are looking to dive headfirst into the world of social media marketing, and if you are serious about transforming this into the career opportunity of a lifetime, there are some things you’re going to want to focus on.
The importance of social media today?
There can be no argument that social media is one of the most important components to any marketing strategy these days.
Business is literally live or die by their ability to interact with their customers online, and as the Internet and portable devices become even more tightly woven into the fabric of purchasing decisions, social media is only going to become even more important and even more valuable.
This is big trouble for “old school” business owners that didn’t grow up with social media and aren’t really sure of how to unlock all of the leverage it provides.
What an opportunity for social media marketers!
How much can I charge for social media marketing?
There are a lot of social media marketers out there that charge flat rates for the work that they provide – maybe between $300 and $2000 a month or so for their social media services – but the really smart and savvy marketing experts understand the value they bring to the table and charge accordingly ($5,000+).
It isn’t at all uncommon for a salary for SMMs (social media marketers) to be in the mid to high six figures, especially if they are running their own operation and have between 15 and 20 clients paying them on a monthly basis.
In fact, it’s absolutely possible to hit $100,000 a year in your first year of being a social media marketer – especially if you’re able to prove (tangibly) all of the big benefits you’re able to bring to the table. Let’s break it down:
- You need to make $8,333 per month.
- Charging $2,000 per client, that means that you need 5 clients to reach this net goal.
- This will yield $20,000 extra that will most likely go towards some of your costs (we’ll discuss costs later in this post).
The key is to offer solid reporting, have clear communications, and clear goals so that you can charge enough to pay for the tools and team members necessary to run a proper social media campaign for your clients, somewhere between $2,000-$5,000 per month per client, depending on geographic location (an SMM in NYC will be able to charge a lot more than one in say Idaho because costs will be higher).
Costs to Build Into Your Pricing
You need to keep in mind what your costs are, because software can take a big cut of your earnings. If you use Socialdraft, you’re in luck – because we’re a scheduling dashboard with reputation management, task management, AND reporting. Here are some prices you’ll need to consider:
- Social media scheduling dashboard
- Social report dashboard
- Task Management Dashboard
- Website (development, SEO, content marketing)
- Ads (cost to acquire customers)
- Content marketing
- Invoicing system
- Support system
- Equipment (smartphones, tablets, cameras)
- Internet costs
- Your own social media efforts
- Lunches/pow wows/client visits
How much do community managers get paid?
Community managers are similar to social media marketers, with one major difference – they are usually “in-house” individuals that focus on one client and one client alone.
A lot of savvy businesses are starting to discover the power and leverage in creating their own digital community, and many of them are looking to build their own networks with the power of social media.
The reports vary. Some report that community managers pull down between $50,000 a year and $100,000 a year (sometimes more). Payscale.com has a lower estimate of $48,000 to $78,000. Mondo Digital puts their social media marketers between $60,000 to $88,000.
Salary really depends upon the kind of industry that the community managers are working in (financial, tech, vs. lifestyle) as well as their geo-location. It’s doesn’t exactly have the same kind of potential salary for SMMs, but it’s certainly far outpacing what people expected those that “fiddle on social media” get paid.
Getting your start in social media marketing or community management
It seems a little counterintuitive on the surface to say that the smartest way to get started in social media marketing or community management is to start your own operation or firm and dive right in – starting at the finish line, in a manner of speaking – but that’s exactly what you’re going to want to do.
Because this market is so competitive, you’re going to need to prove to your potential customers and clients that you not only know exactly what you’re doing but that you also understand how to produce real and tangible results for them.
Start your own operation, start small with local clients, and then grow from there. You’ll be surprised at just how much you’re able to learn on the fly, and you’ll also be able to build your financial future from the ground up.
Here is a Google Sheet with video from our own Antonio Evans on how much to charge for social media Management. This is from a survey of over 100 SMM in the industry:
Here is the spreadsheet: