How to Set Freelance Social Media Manager Rates - Social Media Pro® - Training for Social Media Professionals (2023)

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Do You Want Freedom to Work with Clients You Love?

If you are done working for a boss, done working in a stuffy office, tired of commuting, sick of being unproductive in team meetings and just plain have had it with your office mates, it might be time to freelance!

In this article, we will discuss

  • What the definition of a freelancer is
  • How freelance social media managers support business owners

You will learn

  • How to set freelance social media manager rates for working with clients
  • What to charge as a freelancer

If you’ve ever considered going freelance but you weren’t sure what it entailed, how much to charge for social media management, and if it’s the right thing for you and your family, this article is for you!

What is the Definition of a Freelancer?

A freelancer is… free!


We got you there, right?

No, in all seriousness; a freelancer picks up work when s/he wants, decides whom to work with and how much it's worth to them.

(Video) How To Become a Freelance Social Media Manager (WITH NO EXPERIENCE!!)

In other words, freelancers are free to decide on their projects, clients, and rates.

A freelance social media manager's definition can be found here.

How does a freelance social media manager support business owners?

Freelance social media managers are extremely valuable to a small business owner, growing business, and startups.

Freelancers support current marketing efforts by the in-house team, owner or marketing agency by taking on project-based assignments.

Freelancers work from their own office, are their own boss and set their own hours and rates.

Freelance social media managers have many skills. Each freelancer is most likely a bit unique with their own set of skills, so it pays to know what task needs to get accomplished before looking for someone to help.

Freelance social media managers are in charge of a multitude of projects and tasks, including but not limited to:

  • Social media account set up
  • Content creation
  • Facebook ads
  • Graphic design for social
  • Facebook group management
  • Blog writing
  • Social media strategy
  • Social media consulting

Social Media Freelancer vs Employee vs Working for an Agency

There are vast differences between being a freelancer, an employee and working for an agency.

A freelancer is a business owner. They set their own hours and work on projects. They often charge a monthly retainer, or for smaller projects, work hourly. Freelancers mostly work from their own office space. Freelancers also take care of their own pensions, insurance and pay for their own computer and software.

Employees are expected to work certain hours. They are responsible for being available certain hours of the day, regardless of the workload. Employees receive a set salary and might receive benefits. Employees can work in an office or remotely. In our industry, social media manager employees can work remotely if the company they work for agrees. Employees are provided the tools they need to perform the job, which might include a computer, phone, and software.

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When working with an agency, social media managers can either be a freelancer (independent contractor) or employee. This is something to be worked out with the agency owner, and we’ve seen the status change over time with some of our colleagues. (going from contractor/freelancer to employee)

The thing to keep in mind is that as a freelancer, you can not be ‘told’ when to work and how to do your ‘job’. You don’t work for the business, you work with the business.

Check out this handy chart for side-by-side comparison or this IRS site to find how you should be classified.

Freelance Social Media Management Do’s and Don’ts

Let’s start with the positives.

As a freelance social media manager, do

  • Market yourself year around – you never know when a client might release you.
  • Offer a variety of social media management services.
  • Find a niche, a specialty, something to set you apart from your competition.
  • Act like the business owner you are!
  • Pay quarterly taxes on your income.
  • Work only with clients you love. Life is too short.
  • Support clients' ideas and needs.
  • Treat clients with respect and loyalty.
  • Learn new skills at every opportunity that presents itself.
  • Attend industry conferences to network and learn.
  • Stay up to date on the latest industry trends.
  • Charge a monthly retainer.
  • Get paid upfront.
  • Execute a contract with each client.
  • Communicate with clients, as often as they need.
  • Set clear boundaries with clients regarding your availability.
  • Raise your rates as soon as your plate is full.


  • Charge hourly, unless it's small project or a one-time thing.
  • Let a client tell you when to work (specific hours)
  • Forget to build business expenses into your rates
  • Start work on any account without a contract
  • Be intimidated by a client. Get out of the contract if you feel this way.
  • Doubt yourself, your capability or your rates.
  • Do shady things for a client. (don’t buy likes, don’t use Google images)
  • Stop marketing yourself; instead, always keep the leads coming in.

How To Set Freelance Social Media Manager Rates

So now that we’ve told you what to do and what not to do, let’s talk rates.

The way to set your rates is to work backward by creating a budget for your business first.

You will need two main numbers to get started.

The first number you have to come up with is the total expected business expenses for your freelance business for one year.

(Video) How to Onboard New Clients as a Social Media Manager | Client Welcome Packet Template [CC English]

Here is how you go about this. List all expected business expenses (including hardware, software, travel, continuing education, conference fees, subscription, licensing, insurance, car, office rent, etc), taxes and marketing for one year. Add a little bit of a buffer for unexpected expenses, in case you might have to replace your phone or computer.

SIDE NOTE: You might want to speak to your attorney or tax expert for a complete list of expenses you can deduct when tax season rolls around. Keeping track of mileage, car maintenance, and detailed travel expenses could help you when it’s time to file your taxes.

The next number should be your preferred take-home number aka your net salary. Ask yourself, “what do I need to live on”? This number varies greatly depending on your living situation, your family life, your location and your years of experience. It’s so hard for anyone to pull a freelance social media manager rate out of their hat because THIS number is the variant! But go ahead, make your best estimate for your situation.

Next, add the first number to the second number.

The number you now have is what you need to bring in from clients.

Can you handle 4 clients? Divide your number by 4.

Can you handle 6, divide your number by 6.

Can you handle 10 but need assistance? Adjust your first number to include paying a freelancer to help you manage your clients. Then divide by 10.

See how this will work?

If you are just starting out, this might be a daunting task, but remember that anyone starting a business should create a business plan, a budget and a marketing plan!

(Video) HOW TO PRICE YOUR PACKAGES As a Social Media Manager | Charging 1K+??

Of course, the part we didn’t touch on is the ‘going rate’ for your location. We hear this all the time; “local businesses can’t afford to pay me”.

The best part about being a freelancer?

You can work remotely with anyone, anywhere! Meaning that you don’t have to live in NYC to charge NYC rates.

Read that line again, and now hike up your rates!

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How to Set Freelance Social Media Manager Rates - Social Media Pro® - Training for Social Media Professionals (2)

Dorien Morin-van Dam

(Video) New Client Onboarding Process | Freelance Social Media Manager

I am a Certified Social Media Manager, Strategist, International Keynote Speaker, Organic Specialist and Agile marketer! Blogging is my creative outlet. Running, hiking and skiing are how I recharge. You'll recognize me on stage and online by my always present orange glasses, a nod to my Dutch heritage.


How much do social media marketing freelancers charge? ›

If it is out of state that rate ranges from $125 – $200 – depending on the project, the client, and the ROI they will see by working with me. If we are managing a company's social media we charge between $1000 – $4000/mo – totally dependant on the client, the workload, amount of networks, ancillary work, etc.

What does a social media manager freelancer do? ›

Businesses hiring a freelance social media manager are looking for results, typically generating leads or sales or managing customer service. So your role as a social media manager starts with creating an in-depth strategy which outlines the key business objectives and a plan to work towards those goals strategically.

How do I pitch myself as a social media manager? ›

Pitch your services to relevant prospects
  1. Identify relevant brands through Google, social media, and your extended network.
  2. Find the contact details for each company and list them out in a spreadsheet.
  3. Write a pitch that includes who you are, what services you offer, and how you can add value to the client.
5 Nov 2020

How much is a social media manager? ›

Social Media Marketing Company Costs

The services of a social media marketing firm can come in anywhere between $50-$300 per hour depending on the breadth of services you're looking for.

How much should a beginner social media marketer charge? ›

Your charges totally depend on your level of expertise and the budget and the needs of your clients. If you are a beginner then you can charge around $20-$30/per hour. You can also charge monthly based on the number of hours you work.

How much should I charge to manage the social media of a company? ›

Social media management agency costs

About 24% of the respondents said they charge an average of $500-$999 per month while 15% charge within the $1,000-$1,499 range. Interestingly, 28% of agencies said they didn't offer hourly rates, but of those that do, a quarter charge between $100-$149 per hour.

How much do freelance social media managers charge per hour? ›

Social Media Managers on Upwork cost. $14–$35/hr.

How do I start freelancing on social media manager? ›

What you'll learn
  1. Start a freelance business as a social media manager.
  2. Find social media clients using several online and offline tactics.
  3. Successfully manage clients using the best tools and strategies.
  4. Organize your day so you're always in control.
  5. Get paid on time for your expertise because you're worth it.

How do I start a freelance social media manager? ›

Four steps to get your freelance social media marketing business set up
  1. Get your SMM business set up.
  2. Create your social media marketing portfolio.
  3. Develop your rate card and price up your packages.
  4. Build your network and promote your SMM business.
  5. Invest in the right social media marketing tools.
25 Feb 2022

What should I offer as a social media manager? ›

Photos, videos, quotes, GIFs & memes are all necessary pieces of the social media marketing puzzle. You can either choose to outsource content creation, by working with photographers, videographers & graphic designers, or consider creating these types of content for your clients yourself.

What does a social media management proposal include? ›

A social media proposal is a document that outlines how your skills and subject matter knowledge will benefit prospective clients. It formalizes your ideas to your client. It's not a contract (though it can be if you want it to be).

How do you price a social media strategy? ›

If you're focusing on social media marketing, expect monthly prices ranging from $900 to $1600. For social media advertising, budget for a monthly ad spend of $200 and a management cost of $450 to $850 per month.

How much do social media managers charge a month? ›

Entry Level (social media posting, virtual assistant duties): $15-$50/hr. Intermediate (social media posting, content creation, and community management): $50-$100/hr. Advanced (brand and social media strategy, consulting): $120-$250/hr.

How much do social media freelancers charge per month? ›

Monthly and weekly rates for freelance social media managers

For shorter term projects, it's helpful to know the average monthly and weekly rate for freelance social media managers. According to ZipRecruiter, the average monthly rate is about $4,333, and the average weekly rate is $1,000.

How much should I charge a month for social media marketing? ›

How much is monthly social media marketing? The monthly social media marketing cost can range from $500 to $10,000 – however, if you need a professional social media marketing service, you should budget at least $2,500 per month.

How much should I charge as a social media influencer? ›

Micro influencers (10,000 - 50,000 followers): $100 - $500 per post. Mid-tier influencers (50,000 - 500,000 followers): $500 - $5,000 per post. Macro influencers (500,000 - 1,000,000 followers): $5000 - $10,000 per post. Mega influencers (1,000,000+ followers): $10,000+ per post.

How much should I charge per hour freelancer? ›

This includes both private expenses (e.g. rent, food, clothes) and professional ones (e.g. office space, working materials, taxes). According to our last freelancer survey, the average freelancer rate among IT professionals in 2022 is $98/hour.

How much should I charge as a freelance digital marketer? ›

Most freelance marketers charge anywhere from $50 to $200 per hour, depending on their skills and experience. Other factors that may influence how much a freelance marketer makes include: Their reputation with other businesses they've worked with in the past.

How do I become a freelance social media manager with no experience? ›

Becoming a social media manager with no experience
  1. Consider a college degree. ...
  2. Build your online community. ...
  3. Take a social media marketing course. ...
  4. Research tools you can use for social media management. ...
  5. Network online and in person. ...
  6. Volunteer to manage social media for small business.
19 May 2022

How much does a social media freelancer earn? ›

The estimated take home salary of a Social Media Manager at ranges between ₹ 24,886 per month to ₹ 26,301 per month in India.

How do I start a freelance program with no experience? ›

  1. How to start freelance programming. ...
  2. Find your niche and learn coding. ...
  3. Get experience by building a portfolio. ...
  4. Create your website ### ...
  5. Build your personal brand. ...
  6. Organize the way of working. ...
  7. Set up profiles on freelancing portals. ...
  8. Start searching for the clients and work.
22 Jun 2020

What are the KPIs of a social media manager? ›

Social media KPIs are the metrics used to determine if a business's social media marketing strategy is effective. Basically, they're tracked data related to a company's presence on individual platforms like Facebook, Twitter or Instagram, or across all social platforms collectively.

What are the 3 key skills which all managers must have? ›

The following are 6 essential skills that managers need to have in order to manage employees effectively and efficiently to get the best from them.
  • Good communication. ...
  • Good Organisation. ...
  • Team Building. ...
  • Leadership. ...
  • Ability to Deal with Changes Effectively. ...
  • Domain Knowledge.

What are the 3 skills needed by a manager? ›

Robert Katz identifies three types of skills that are essential for a successful management process: Technical skills. Conceptual skills. Human or interpersonal management skills.

What is the highest salary of social media manager? ›

Social Media Manager salary in India ranges between ₹ 1.2 Lakhs to ₹ 10.5 Lakhs with an average annual salary of ₹ 4.1 Lakhs. Salary estimates are based on 1.6k salaries received from Social Media Managers.

How do I write a social media manager proposal? ›

How do you write a social media proposal?
  1. Step 1: Establish the business and social media goals of your potential customer. ...
  2. Step 2: Research your prospect's audience. ...
  3. Step 3: Familiarize yourself with the competition. ...
  4. Step 4: Audit the potential customer's social media accounts. ...
  5. Step 5: Write your social media strategy.

What are the 5 stages of a social media campaign? ›

However, there are five stages in the social media marketing funnel: Awareness, Interest, Engagement, Action, and Advocacy. This is because social platforms provide more opportunities for customers to interact with brands.

What are the 5 elements of a social media campaign? ›

The 5 Elements of an Effective Social Media Strategy
  • Audience Awareness. ...
  • Ideal Platform Selection. ...
  • Data-Driven Risk-Taking. ...
  • Constant Learning and Adaptation. ...
  • Integrate within Digital Strategy. ...
  • Conclusion.
18 Mar 2019

How much do social media freelancers make? ›

Entry Level (social media posting, virtual assistant duties): $15-$50/hr. Intermediate (social media posting, content creation, and community management): $50-$100/hr. Advanced (brand and social media strategy, consulting): $120-$250/hr.

How much do freelancers charge for Facebook ads? ›


How much should I charge for social media design? ›

Simple social media graphics are one of the lowest cost design projects. According tographic designers on Quora, they can start as low as $5 per graphic and range up to $40 – $65 for more experienced designers and complex designs.

What is the hourly rate for a social media consultant? ›

As of Nov 10, 2022, the average annual pay for a Social Media Consultant in California is $47,687 a year. Just in case you need a simple salary calculator, that works out to be approximately $22.93 an hour.

What services should a freelance social media manager get? ›

Here is a list of services commonly offered by freelancer social media managers:
  • Social media strategy.
  • Creating and managing content calendars.
  • Content creation (photography, design)
  • Copywriting.
  • Scheduling and publishing posts.
  • Community management (engaging with followers, answering DMs and comments)
19 Aug 2021

How many hours does a freelance social media manager work? ›

Most Wing Social Media Assistants work full-time, rendering services to one client for 8 hours a day, 5 days a week. However, the company also accepts professionals who want to work part time hours.

How much a freelance Social Media Manager Earn? ›

How much does a Social Media Manager at Freelancer make? The typical Freelancer Social Media Manager salary is ₹5,09,523 per year. Social Media Manager salaries at Freelancer can range from ₹1,22,903 - ₹10,25,013 per year.

Who is the highest paid freelancer? ›

Programmers get some of the best high-earning freelance jobs. On average, they work 40 hr/ week. You have opportunities to work in analytics and networking and this is one of the Top Highest Paying Freelance Jobs.

How much should I get paid for freelance? ›

As of Nov 9, 2022, the average hourly pay for a Freelance in the United States is $33.03 an hour.

How much should freelancers charge per hour? ›

Don't forget to include how much income tax you'll need to pay, as you'll no longer have an employer taking income tax off of your paycheck. $20 is the median hourly freelance rate.

How much should a freelance marketer charge? ›

Most freelance marketers charge anywhere from $50 to $200 per hour, depending on their skills and experience. Other factors that may influence how much a freelance marketer makes include: Their reputation with other businesses they've worked with in the past.

How much should I charge to write an Instagram post? ›

When deciding how much to charge for a sponsored Instagram post, ALWAYS start with this simple formula: Charge $10 for every THOUSAND followers you have. Now, that's just where to START.

How much should I charge for a Facebook post? ›

So overall Average CPM's on social media range from: Instagram $4-8. Facebook $5-9. Twitter $6-10.


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2. How to Become a Social Media Manager: With NO Experience!
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4. Social Media Virtual Assistant Training
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5. How I Became A Social Media Manager With No Experience | Q&A
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