The question of how much to charge as a freelance social media consultant requires a detailed answer. According to research, a freelance social media marketer in the United States charges anywhere between $41265 and $70791 annually. In comparison, a freelance social media marketer in the UAE can charge anywhere between AED 80889 and AED 136000 annually. Of course, this is dependent on a lot of things that we will expound on later in this article.
Social media is the pulse of any business these days, especially now that millions of people scroll down different social media platforms each minute. According to Forbes magazine, customers who have had great social media engagements with a particular business are likely to spend about 30% more with that company annually.
Of course, this isn’t possible without the help of a professional freelance social media marketer. Since they understand how different online audiences perceive a certain business, they are able to carefully craft strategies that will help a business have a strong online presence and ultimately boost its sales and profits.
As a freelance social media consultant, it is vital to know how much to charge for your services. This is because it will help you come up with the perfect rate to win prospective clients and help you grow financially in your career.
Let’s jump right into everything you need to know about how much to charge for freelance social media marketing, shall we?
What Do Freelance Social Media Marketers Do?
Before knowing how much to charge for social media marketing, it’s important to understand your roles as a freelance social media marketer. A social media consultant is basically the voice and face of a business that interacts with growing audiences online, aiming to generate sales, and leads and maximize profits.
So, what are the roles of a freelance social media marketer?
Roles Of A Freelance Social Media Marketer
- Determining the appropriate social media platform to use. This is because not all social media networks can be used for the same purpose.
- Identifying a company’s target market or audience and crafting a strategy to obtain followers from that audience.
- Creation of relevant content that will boost sales and increase the company’s online presence.
- Engaging with customers and handling customer complaints and inquiries, therefore enhancing customer loyalty.
- Running social media campaigns and analyzing the data and performance of those campaigns.
- Serving as a company’s brand advocate. This is by coming up with and implementing strategies that will increase the company’s brand awareness online in areas like Dubai, and build and maintain a reputable image online.
How Much Do Freelance Social Media Marketers Make?
As we mentioned earlier, your earnings as a freelance social media marketer depend on many factors. However, we went ahead and compiled different salaries from different survey websites to give you a glimpse of how much you stand to earn.
- According to Payscale, the average salary of a freelance social media marketer in the United States is approximately $50503 annually, which is about $17.31 per hour.
- According to ZipRecruiter, the average yearly salary of a freelance social media marketer in the United States is about $50834, which is approximately $24.44 per hour, $978 a week, and $4236 a month.
- According to Indeed, the average yearly income for a freelance social media marketer is approximately $54,021, and the average hourly rate is about $16.80.
From these incomes, it’s safe to say that a freelance social media marketer in the US stands to earn an average of about $50000 a year.
- According to Payscale, the average yearly salary of a freelance social media marketer in the United Kingdom is approximately £24,298 and £ 9.85 per hour.
- According to Indeed, a freelance social media manager can earn an average yearly income of about £30,923.
Based on these salaries, a freelance social media marketer in the UK stands to earn a yearly income of between £20000 and £30000.
- According to Indeed, a freelance social media marketer in the UAE can earn a yearly salary of approximately AED76806, an hourly income of AED 78.11, and a weekly income of about AED 1,405.
- According to Payscale, the average yearly salary of a freelance social media marketer in the UAE is about AED103886, while the hourly income is about AED66.82.
Based on these incomes, it’s safe to estimate that a freelance social media marketer in the UAE stands to earn an annual income of between AED 70000 and AED 100000.
However, it’s important to keep in mind that you have the power to earn high or lower than these figures. Of course, this depends on many factors that we will expound on later in this article.
How Can Freelance Social Media Marketers Charge For Their Services?
Like most other freelancing careers, there are three ways in which you can charge for your services as a freelance social media consultant. They include:
- Charges per hour
- Charges per project ( flat fee)
- Charges or rates for ongoing work ( retainer fee)
Let’s delve deeper into each of these charging methods, shall we?
Experts see this as the perfect charging method, especially for beginners. This is because it allows you to estimate how long projects will take, therefore knowing where to put in the extra work to achieve your income goals.
For example, if you have one client offering projects for 10 hours per month and charging around $30 per hour, you are guaranteed to earn $300 a month. If your income goal is to earn $900 a month, you will need to have another two clients who offer work for the same amount of hours or even more to achieve that.
What’s more, hourly rates give you a great insight into how much to charge based on other charging methods in the future.
Since this is basically the foundation of other charging methods, it’s important to keep in mind the different services to include in your freelance social media marketing charges. This will help you avoid being undercharged by clients. Among these services include:
i. Social Media Management
One of your responsibilities as a freelance social media marketer in the UAE may be social media management. This is basically analyzing different social media audiences, then coming up with and executing strategies that will reach and attract a specific audience.
Some of the duties of a social media manager include:
- Creation of relevant content
- Monitoring of customer conversations
- Researching, convincing, and working with social media influencers, just to mention a few
ii. Social media marketing strategies
Another important service to keep in mind is the strategies you plan to present to the potential client to benefit the business or company. Among these strategies include:
- Creation of the client’s social media profile
- Auditing other competitors
- Auditing the company or business
iii. Community Management
Experts view this as a very time-consuming task so it’s vital to include it in your hourly rates. Social media community management basically entails handling all audience engagements, interacting, relating to the customers, and responding quickly and appropriately to their inquiries and complaints.
iv. Social media advertising
This is hands-down the key service to consider when determining how much to charge for your freelance social media marketing services. Social media advertising is the process of developing and executing a campaign and finding a way to fit it into the entire strategy to benefit the client, such as ensuring the content gets more shares.
When it comes to this service, certain projects may require you to assume other responsibilities like copywriting, graphic designing, and video designing, to name a few. So, it is also important to consider all that when establishing your hourly rates.
It’s important to also keep in mind that these services vary from one social media platform to another. So, one social media platform might require more work compared to other platforms.
Let’s take a look at some of the pros and cons of charging per hour, shall we?
Advantages Of Charging Per Hour
- Most freelancers view hourly rates as the simplest and the most straightforward charging method
- Using hourly rates helps you ensure that you are paid for all the work you have done
- In case the scope of a particular project isn’t well-defined or the client keeps changing their mind, using hourly rates ensures that you are paid fairly.
- Hourly rates are more attractive than other charging methods, making it easier to get clients. This is because it is simple for them to understand why they are paying for the amount you are asking for based on the amount of work you have done.
- Charging per hour ensures that clients pay extra in case they request any edits or additional work.
Disadvantages Of Charging Per Hour
- Some clients may be skeptical of how long it takes you to complete a particular project and may require you to provide a comprehensive breakdown of each billable hour.
- When it comes to hourly rates, most clients like to compare different rates from different freelance social media marketers and go for one that has the lowest rates. This may force you to reduce your rates which may affect your growth in achieving your income goals.
- If you are an experienced freelance social media marketer in the UAE who is fast and efficient, you may end up losing a lot of potential income if you decide to charge by the hour.
Pro tip: If you are a beginner, the simplest approach to determine the ideal hourly rate is by dividing your desired annual income by the hours you are willing to work in a year. You can also do the calculation for each week or month.
Charges Per Project
Rate per project is considered an ideal charging method for social media marketing projects requiring a considerable amount of time to be completed. It is also a suitable charging method if you have a client who wants you to start a project and then leave it off to continue it by themselves. It could be introducing a new product or service to the online market, setting up new social media accounts, and obtaining followers, just to name a few.
If you decide to charge per project, it’s important to first analyze its weight in terms of the amount of work and time that needs to be put into it and then set the appropriate rate.
Advantages Of Charging Per Project
- Charging per project reduces your anxiety by leaving you with just one payment to worry about.
- Most freelance social media marketers can agree that there’s nothing better than giving a particular project your all without worrying about sacrificing your time because you went the extra mile. Charging per project allows you to focus on working without worrying about tracking your time fully. This will enable you to deliver top-notch quality work that will male clients come back for more.
- Charging per project allows you to win lucrative contracts because you will be basing the project’s value on what the final result or product is worth rather than the hours you have spent working on it.
Disadvantages Of Charging Per Project
- With flat fees, it’s quite hard to prevent ‘out of the scope’ work. This basically means work that was not billed. So, before beginning any project, it’s important to outline what your services are.
- It can be hard to estimate how long it will take to complete a certain project and the amount of work it requires. If you fail to do so, you may put in more effort and time and end up being undercharged.
Charges For Ongoing Work
A retainer fee is a great charging method, especially if you have already gained a lot of experience as a freelance social media marketer.
Most social media freelancers prefer this type of charging method because it enables you to retain one client instead of constantly searching for new ones. This means that you are guaranteed recurring income.
Advantages Of Charging For Ongoing Work
- As we mentioned earlier, this type of charging method guarantees that you will have consistent work, which means you will have consistent income.
- Retainer fees ensure that you spend more time delivering high-quality work rather than looking for new clients.
- This type of charging method helps you maintain a great yet professional relationship with your client because you can count on each other to do as expected.
- Having a consistent work schedule makes it easier to balance work and other activities. This is because you will have agreed with your client on the specific time you will work.
Disadvantages Of Charging For Ongoing Work
- If you have inconsistent clients, those who give you work this month and fail to do so in the next month, it might not be easy to achieve your income goals.
- If you are keen enough, you may end up doing more work than you are paid for.
- Some clients may assume that charging for ongoing work means that they have complete control over your schedule. That is why it is important to make your boundaries clear before beginning to work with any client.
Factors That Affect A Freelance Social Media Marketer’s Charges
Throughout this article, you may have noticed that we have mentioned several factors that determine how much to charge for social media marketing.
Let’s take some of these factors, shall we?
1. Level Of Experience And Academic Qualifications
Let’s face it. The level of experience you have as a freelance social media marketing is vital, especially when presenting your rates and negotiating payments with clients. Any client you come across will want you to prove that you know what you are doing and have had previous successes in this field before starting any negotiations.
Having experience as a social media consultant has a plethora of benefits. It helps you have a better understanding of this career, therefore enabling you to deliver works that are up to or even beyond the client’s expectations. It also enables you to develop desirable skills to give you an edge over other freelance social media marketers.
What’s more, it also helps you show prospective clients that you are committed and motivated, allowing you to increase your rates.
According to Glassdoor, the average annual salary of a social media consultant in the United States is $68885, while the highest is $98000, and the lowest is $49000 depending on experience.
According to Payscale, a freelance social media marketer with between 5 and 9 years of experience stands to earn approximately AED 294791, while a freelance social media marketer with between 10-19 years of experience is likely to earn AED 296,886.
So, the more experience you have, the higher your income will be.
Academic qualifications are also a key factor that affects a freelance social media marketer’s pricing. Most clients will require you to have at least a bachelor’s degree in public relations, communications, or marketing. This assures them that you are good at what you do.
However, suppose you don’t have either of these qualifications. In that case, you can undergo training in business management to understand better what a freelance social media marketer does and how social media marketing works.
2. Creation Of Extra Content
Before beginning any negotiations with a prospective client, ask whether they require you to create the content needed for social media marketing. This is because a lot of companies will require you to create content like blogs, graphic designs, and videos, to mention a few to be used for social media marketing.
If content creation is part of your job, ensure that you consider the amount of work and time you will put into it in terms of research and marketing when presenting your price.
3. Social Media Influencer Research And Convincing
Social media influencers play a huge role in social media marketing these days. This is because they have the power to steer online audiences and engagements, which is what businesses want.
Another important factor to consider when determining your rates is whether you will be researching, reaching out to, and convincing different social media influencers to endorse the client’s products, brand, or service. This is because it does take time and effort to do all this, which must be paid for.
4. Your Personal Brand
Experts view a brand as that invisible driver that leads people or drives people to prefer one service or product over the other. Like most other freelancing careers, your personal brand plays a key role in your success as a freelance social media marketer.
Developing and improving your brand has a ton of benefits, including:
- Making you visible online and stand out among many other freelance social media consultants out there.
- Helping you be precise about your experience, profession, and successes, to mention a few. This makes it easier for prospective clients to know who you are and what you do; therefore working with you.
- Branding helps you build your network. As you improve your brand, you will develop a network of clients, both new and existing. This will play a huge role in your financial success as a freelance social media marketer.
- Your credibility will grow. Credibility is critical when it comes to keeping old clients and securing new ones. So, the more credibility you have, the more likely clients will be willing to do business with you.
5. Social Media Platforms
Another important factor in determining freelance social media marketing rates is the social media platform. Before getting into any negotiations with a client, try and find out the following:
- Does the client have a well-established social media account(s) with followers, or does he or she require you to create a new one from scratch and obtain followers? If they want you to create a new one, you obviously have to charge more because you will have to incorporate your skills to maintain followers.
- How many social media accounts does the client want you to manage? Because the more social media posts you will be managing, the more you will be charging.
6. Customer Care Services
Part of your duties as a social media consultant is tending to the customer’s inquiries and complaints. While some clients already have people who are in charge of doing that, other clients will require you to do that. Since it does take time to do customer follow-up and respond to their inquiries and complaints, you should consider raising your rates.
7. The Type Of Business And Nature Of The Industry
Another key factor that affects your rates as a freelance social media marketer is the type of business. Does the client have a large or small company? This is because the larger the business, the more work you will have, which means you will have to charge more.
When it comes to the industry, try and research and estimate how competitive it is. If it is competitive, you will have to go the extra mile to ensure that the business has a strong online presence and that its products or services are well-known in the online market, which means you will charge more.
8. Competition From Other Freelance Social Media Marketers
There is a large number of freelance social media consultants out there. While there are many job opportunities out there, there is no guarantee that you will secure one easily. That is why it is important to consider other freelance social media marketers when coming up with your rates.
Experts recommend researching how other freelance social media managers are charging for their services. This will give you an idea of the ideal rate, enabling you to settle for a price that is not too high or too low.
Useful Tips On How To Set The Ideal Rate As À Freelance Social Media Marketer
As a freelance social media consultant, it might not be easy to develop the perfect rate, especially if you are a newbie. Well, we put together some tips that will help you set the perfect rate that will not be too high to intimidate clients or too low that clients will question your credibility.
Don’t focus too much on the rates
You might disagree, but this is very helpful, especially if you are a beginner. Experts recommend starting with rates that are a bit low than the average ones. Sure, it might lead to you earning less, but everyone starts from somewhere, right?
After coming up with reasonable rates, handle your projects with passion and deliver work beyond the client’s expectations. By doing so, you will have built a solid client base, allowing you to increase your rates.
Always Be Flexible
According to experts, the idea of having standard rates is not the best one. That is why it is important to have flexible rates that can accommodate any client you have because every client is different.
Develop A Pricing Strategy
As a freelance social media marketer, it’s important to develop a pricing strategy. This allows you to confidently present your rates and know how to negotiate with a client properly.
Always Strive To Deliver Quality Work
While setting the ideal rate is important, delivering work that is up to the client’s expectations is even more important. By delivering top-notch quality work, you will have the opportunity to increase your rates accordingly and build your brand.
Consider Setting Rates That You Will Be Comfortable With For A Long Time
While it is advisable to have flexible rates, it is also recommended that you have a specific range of rates to show clients that you are professional. That is why it is important to set rates that you will be comfortable with for a long time because it will take a considerable amount of time before you begin increasing your rates.
It is undeniable that more and more businesses are seeking the services of freelance social media marketers. Knowing how much to charge for your freelance social media marketing services goes a long way in determining your growth and success as a freelance social media marketer. This is because pricing your services is not just about how much money you want to earn but the kind of life you want from this career.
If you are a client looking for a competent freelance social media consultant in the UAE, look no further. Bawabba has freelance social media marketers that are guaranteed to deliver beyond your expectations.