By Innocent Mushamba

So you just started doing social media as side hustle or you want to do it full time as a consultant? You have managed some social accounts on your job and you’ve had reasonable success.

How do you charge for your services?

If you haven’t done social media management before and have no traceable success, I recommend starting with your own social media handles and/or learning under someone in order to gain the skill, especially for business accounts.

If you know you can go for it, accept what comes if it covers your base costs. I’ve met people who will watch YouTube videos that discourage charging less than USD$1k for social media, but when you are starting out, take what comes if it’s not eating too much of your time. Value is built over time. Yes, good deals do come, but every dollar counts.

All you need is a good system and workflow.

For your pricing, here’s what works:

  1. Determine your deliverables

When a client asks you for social media management, you have to determine what they actually want. You should bill for deliverables. Here’s a couple:

Have standard rates for each, and create a cost sheet or rate card. When you do work below your rates, include the fact that there’s a discount, or include that piece of information on a contract. It’s good for record keeping when you’ve shown your value and are ready to charge more.

Phone bill, internet, software, transport (events, photoshoots, client appointments). How much do you need to actually do the work and meet your deliverables comfortably? If you are doing everything yourself (which is often the case), you need to account for the work as if you are managing a small team, if the client budget allows for it.

While every dollar does count and sometimes you just need something to get by, always have the mindset to scale. Charge as if you have a small team. It’s not deception, it’s the money you will use to start hiring.

Think about it.  If you were to outsource, how much would the people you can work with be charging for their services? What is the minimum amount for good quality workers? You have to know enough about social media marketing to know what to expect, then include that in your budget.

Make sure you know your base costs. This will help you see if a client is worth pursuing.

This is where industry standard applies (when you are starting out and your value proposition is building up). There is always a price that clients expect. Every time a client asks you what you charge, they have a value in their mind. A set amount that they are expecting.

Your job is to show value and let them see that their money is an investment, something that brings value to their business. You need to get their buy-in, by negotiating from a place of value, not pity and or emotion.

As a general rule. Don’t overthink. Go hard and go fast. The quicker you go at it, the better you will become at negotiation and create relationships that land you the clients which pay you highly lucrative amounts for your services.

That is how you can determine your pricing for social media marketing.

Innocent Mushamba

Innocent Mushamba is a marketing consultant and Director at NO WALLS MEDIA advertising agency. He is currently serving as a committee member at the MAZ Institute of Digital Practitioners (MIDP) and training facilitator at the Marketers Association of Zimbabwe.