So you want to make money with social media marketing this year?
With over 10 million small to medium businesses in the US, and over 1 million of them in Canada. Even if only 5% of them hired an independent Social Media Director, that’s 600,000+ North American companies looking for someone like you.
In 2021 there’s more demand for social media managers than there are people to supply it. Using this formula it should be easy to land a high-paying job or high-paying clients.
Why You Should Start Your Own Social Media Agency
Starting a digital marketing agency comes with a ton of benefits:
Work from anywhere
You won’t have to go into an office or even be in the same country as your clients. Much of what you do can be done wherever you have an internet connection on your tablet or smartphone.
Be your own boss
You get to enjoy the flexibility of being an entrepreneur and also reap the rewards of owning and running your own successful and thriving business. You get to be completely in control of your workload and the decisions of your business and career.
Set your own rates
Make what you want to make. There’s no cap. As an employee, anything you make will be peanuts in comparison to your earning potential as a freelancer.
Ready to make a huge shift in your income and have a more flexible and enjoyable lifestyle?
How to Set Social Media Marketing Rates
I’ve been offering special media services for over 10 years… and here’s what I learned about pricing and packaging your services.
Charge Monthly Fees
By offering ongoing services and getting paid a monthly fee, you only have to sell a client ONCE, and – as long as you do a good job – you’ll continue to get paid for years.
I recommend you put together a package that costs at least $1,000 and doesn’t accept clients who can’t or won’t pay $1,000+ a month. For every client out there wanting to pay you $500, there are two who are willing to pay you $1,000.
If you had just 10 clients each paying just $1000 a month, you’d be making $10K a month, EVERY MONTH, without having to do any more selling.
(And believe me – you can do a phenomenal job for 10 clients while working considerably fewer hours than a full-time job)
Monthly recurring payments are especially great because it makes it easier to forecast your income. It’s also become tougher to monetize project-based fees as a lot of variables can change during the life of a project and you may be working extra hard (and for almost nothing) by doing additional work for one client while missing out on opportunities with another.
A monthly fee offers you more stability and helps you build long-term relationships with your clients.
Charge Setup Fees
When you’re getting started with a new client there may be a lot of up-front work. First, getting familiar with the brand voice, protocols and content can take a lot of extra time (especially if you’re the one creating that – charge for it).
Charge a “Set up fee” if you notice there is a lot of tasks that need to be completed before you can start promoting their products and services.
These tasks could include:
- Creating social media profile cover photos and profile pics
- Creating or updating social media profiles
- Create a landing page or sales funnels
- Updating the format of their blogs
- Minor tweaks to their website
Typically you’ll want to charge between $1000 to $2500 to get started.
Make sure your client has a solid sales funnel you can send traffic to. This can be done with a tool like ClickFunnels.
Charge Hourly Fees
If you’re asked to do a task that is outside the scope of the agreement, charge for it.
I recommend Social Media Directors set their hourly rate at $100/hr however if you do not feel confident charging this rate then charge what you feel is right. Most agencies charge $150 to $400 per hour for work, so asking for $100/hr is not ridiculous (as long as you know what you’re doing).
Create a Social Media Agreement Template
Make sure you always put your agreements in writing.
There is much software that provides templates for social media services (I’ll update this page with a list of templates soon).
Or you can create your own.
I have used a Google doc I call a “Project Outline Template” for several years. It is a bullet point list of “Goals” and the “Tasks” I need to complete to reach the goals. This way when the task is done I can literally check it off and show them it’s done. After writing the Project Outline I simply copy/paste it into an email, send it to the client and ask them to reply that they “agreed” and collect the payment.
Negotiate A Sales Commission
This is a more advanced deal structure however, when done right it can be a huge win-win for both parties.
The key is to first be able to track exactly which sales you are generating for your client. If you can do that, then you can negotiate to earn an additional commission for each sale (on top of your monthly fee).
This creates a huge incentive for you to work hard and drive sales. If the client knows their business numbers, they’ll have no issue paying the commission. I’ve found business owners love this model because they know it means there is an incentive to drive sales.
This percentage typically ranges from 5% up to 25% depending on the deal structure.
You might be wondering, “Which businesses would pay me 5-25% of every sale?” The type of businesses that have high margins products and services.
Pick A Profitable Niche
Businesses that offer high ticket products and services should be able to justify paying a 5-25% commission. They want to have a social media manager who drives sales. If their product or service is $2,000 with an 80% profit margin, they’ll happily pay you an extra $200 per sale.
Look for businesses that meet the following four criteria:
- An established business that has been around for more than 5 years
- A profit margin of at least 30% (typically high ticket products have a margin above 50%)
- The customer lifetime value of over $2,000 (typically high ticket products and services have an LTV well over $10,000)
- A willingness to invest in advertising for their business
The following businesses have high ticket offers:
- Coaches, consultants, workshop leaders, and event producers
- Realtors, mortgage brokers, and financial advisors
- Lawyers, chiropractors, and dentists
The following businesses have a long-term subscription model with high lifetime value:
- Software subscription
- Fitness studios (yoga, pilates, zoomba)
- Gyms, Crossfit, etc
See our list of the Top 20 Most Profitable Niches for Social Media Agencies
You should avoid any type of company that offers low-value transactions, like restaurants and retail (including e-commerce). Large multi-unit operations like major franchises and hotels might prefer to hire a full-time employee rather than an independent practitioner. And for obvious reasons, try to resist working with friends and family.
Specialize In Niche
I always suggest to new Social Media Directors position themselves as SPECIALISTS in a particular niche or industry. It could be in health, wealth, relationships… there are thousands of possibilities.
As a specialist, you’ll be infinitely more appealing to those businesses when it comes time for them to decide who to hire.
Choose a niche that’s not only a good fit for you but one where you can position yourself as THE authority in your market… Which means after delivering for just a few clients, you won’t need to do much “selling” at all, because businesses in that niche will seek YOU out.
Get Results For Your Clients
You must get REAL results for your clients (even if it means working overtime!)
All business owners need to how much money they’re bringing in relative to what they’re spending on it. And the relative return they get for what they spend is called the Return On Investment (ROI).
The problem with a lot of those who claim to be social media experts is that they have no way of showing ROI for their clients. So the business owners see hiring them as an expense rather than an investment…
If you can show – for example – that your social media activities brought in $10,000 profit last month, it’s very easy for you to justify charging $1000+ per month for your services.
One of the things that separate the Web Friendly Social Media Director Certification Program from everything else out there, is our focus on getting a solid ROI and demonstrating that ROI to your clients.
That way hiring you (and keeping you onboard) becomes a total no-brainer for your clients.
Become A Social Media Director
I’ve been running a program called the Social Media Director Certification Program since 2009. I’ve coached 100’s successful people to manage social media campaigns from the comfort of their homes.
This is for you if have little experience in social media marketing but have yet been able to figure out what to offer or how to package your offer to earn over $1000 per month per client.
You can apply to be a part of the Social Media Director Certification Program here or get the free training videos here.
When you’re a Social Media Director, think of yourself as the director of a movie. You’re guiding the direction of the story your client is telling on social media. You’re taking an audience on a journey from learning about your client's company to working with them.
For more information, check out the following guides:
- The Easiest Way To Get Twitter Followers (For Free)
- Double Your Facebook Engagement With 5 Simple Tricks
- How To Start A Reality Show On The Internet
Expand your knowledge with my courses:
A digital marketing enthusiast who is passionate about publishing, startups and the creator economy. Matt is the CEO of Web Friendly and helps write, recruit and improve content across the website.
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