How Much Should A Freelance Social Media Manager Earn?

The short answer is, that it depends. On what? A lot of things! But not just that—it also depends on who you ask.

We know it’s frustrating to hear but bear with us. We’ll give you the good news first: your hard work is worth something. And not just something—it’s worth a lot! When you consider all the factors that go into being a freelance social media manager, and you consider other professions that require similar skills and time investment, it’s pretty clear that $55,000 in the USA is right around where a strong social media manager should fall on the pay scale.

Like in any other industry, there are a few factors that will influence how much you should be earning as a freelance social media manager.

To help you navigate the complicated waters of figuring out how much you should charge for your freelance social media services, let’s take a look at some key factors that affect your earning potential.

How Much Do Social Media Managers Make?
Earnings vary: Freelance social media manager earnings depend on factors such as experience, location, and client demand.
Research industry rates: Research industry standards and market rates to determine competitive pricing for your services.
Consider expertise: Your level of expertise, skillset, and the value you bring to clients can influence your earning potential.
Customize rates: Tailor your rates based on the specific services you offer, client needs, and the scope of the project.
Continuously evaluate: Regularly assess and adjust your rates to stay aligned with market trends and your professional growth.

1. Skill Level (Expert Vs Noob)

As your skills in your area of expertise improve, you’ll be able to charge more for your services. If someone comes to me now and asks me to write an article about a topic I have no experience with, it’s going to take me significantly longer than if they ask me to write about something I’m very comfortable with. That means I need to charge more for the first type of project than the second.

Being a successful freelance social media manager involves more than just posting content. Learn everything you need to know in our comprehensive guide on Freelance Social Media Manager: Everything You Need to Know, and take your career to the next level.

2. Number Of Years You’ve Been Doing It

The more experience you have, the more credibility you have with potential clients. They know you’ve been around the block and have a proven track record of success in many different areas. This means they can trust that whatever project you do will be done on time and within budget.

3. Level Of Education/Certifications

The first thing that’s going to impact how much money you make as a freelancer is your education level and any certifications or related degrees that are relevant to your field. The higher your education level and experience, the more money you can likely earn. In some fields like law or medicine, having a master’s degree or Ph.D. is mandatory for working in the field. If this is your situation, then it’s important to get at least the minimum amount of education required before starting your career as a freelance lawyer or medical writer.

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4. Your Finances, Including Things Like Debt, Family Situation, And More

For example, if you have significant debt, if you’re supporting a family, or if you’re planning a big life event like getting married or having a baby soon, these are things that may require more money and therefore influence how much you can afford to take home from your freelancing work you might need to charge more per hour than someone who has fewer financial obligations.

5. Your Client’s Budget

Are you writing for an individual entrepreneur or a major corporation? The size of your client’s budget will likely determine how much they’re able to pay you. You can always shoot higher than the moon if you want to, but it never hurts to do some research on what the going market rate is for similar projects and adjust your rates accordingly.

6. The Cost Of Living In Your Area

The cost of living in New York City is very different from the cost of living in Des Moines, Iowa; so naturally, you might need to charge more if you live in NYC than if you live in Des Moines. Keep in mind that this isn’t set in stone—you can always charge less than what someone else would charge for similar work because it’s more affordable for you. But when it comes time for negotiating rates with clients, you’ll want to include living costs.

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7. The Average Rates For Social Media Managers

The typical rate of pay for freelance social media managers varies from one place to another. In New York City where we’ve based the common rate is $50 per hour. That’s actually pretty low compared to other cities in the U.S., like Los Angeles, where $75 per hour is more common.

In addition, the industry you’re writing in can also affect the going rate for your services. For example, technical writing can be more lucrative than other kinds of writing because it requires a specialized skill set and knowledge of programming languages, which some writers don’t have.

8. How Much Time Do You Spend On Each Project

The time you put into the project will influence how much money you earn. You can increase your earnings by working on a project for longer, as long as it doesn’t detract from the quality of the work you produce.

Try to calculate how much time you have available to work on projects, and then multiply that number by the hourly rate you decided on in your last step. In this example, we’ll say that it takes 5 hours to complete a standard-length blog post. If you want to earn $50 an hour for your work, that would mean that you would charge about $250 for a blog post.

9. The Type Of Work You Do

This is one of the most obvious factors in determining how much you’ll earn as a freelancer. Some types of work are more lucrative than others, and freelance workers should be aware of the trends in their industry. For example, creative professionals tend to be some of the highest-paid freelancers. The average freelance graphic designer makes $28 per hour, while copywriters make a mean hourly wage of $25.

10. The Size And Needs Of The Company

If you’re dealing with a well-known brand, you’ll be able to charge more than if you’re working with a new or small business. This is because the larger company has more resources and is usually expecting to pay more for marketing services. In addition, if the company has a large number of clients or customers, they’ll probably be willing to pay more.

11. Size Of Client Base

Social media managers with larger client bases will typically charge more than those just starting out because they are able to be more selective about their clients. Additionally, having multiple clients helps with the creation and implementation of content, as it allows more freedom to experiment with different approaches and techniques. This also means that the manager will likely have less time available per client.

Determining your worth as a freelance social media manager can be challenging. Our guide on how much you should charge a client as a freelance social media manager provides valuable insights to help you set fair prices and maximize your earnings.

12. How Much Experience Do You Have In Other Areas

Not just industry-specific skills, but how much experience do you have working with clients, managing your own schedule, and running your own business? The more experience you have in those areas, the more likely it is that you’ll be able to command higher rates when starting out.

13. Research What People Are Paying For The Similar Work

It’s important to research what people are paying for work similar to what you offer, before you start sending out proposals and negotiating with clients, spend some time doing research on what people are paying for work similar to what you offer. This will give you a better idea of what’s reasonable for your market. You may find that you need to brush up on specific skills or tools in order to command higher rates or learn about new ways to position yourself as the expert in your niche.

14. Your Attitude

Have you heard the phrase, “Money is energy”? I have! And I have seen that this is true firsthand. I’ve seen people with incredible ideas and products who aren’t able to make money off of them because they don’t feel like they deserve it. On the other hand, I’ve seen people with mediocre ideas who rake in the dough because they believe they’re worth it.

If you want to do well as a freelancer, you gotta believe that you’re worth what you charge. If you don’t believe that, your clients will sense it and either not pay you or not pay you what you’re really worth.

When I started out as a freelancer, I was nervous at first about how much to charge for my work. But then I realized: these clients are coming to me because they think I’m an expert, and that’s worth something!

Now every time someone comes to me looking for help with their content, I know I’m bringing something special to the table and so does the client!

15. How Quickly Do You Deliver Work

When you’re getting started, it can be tempting to take on as many projects as possible, but try to resist this temptation. If you’re working on 3 projects at once and they all have deadlines that are only 1 week away, you probably won’t be able to give any of them the attention they deserve if they’re substantial projects. 

But if you’re only working on 1 project at a time, and it has a deadline of 3 weeks out, then you have time to really focus on giving it your best work and making sure the client is happy.

It’s also important to keep in mind that while one project might be smaller than another and therefore seem like less work, it might actually require more effort. For example, let’s say a client asks for a 500-word social copy about dog grooming supplies—this isn’t very long and seems like something you could write quickly because there’s not much content. 

But what if the client wants all 500 words to rhyme? Now each word has many possible options for replacement, so finding the right word takes longer. As we’ll discuss later in this

16. Whether You Have Built A Network Of Clients

It’s easier to get more work when you already have clients who trust you and like your work. But how do you get clients if you don’t have any?. Start with friends, family, and acquaintances basically, anyone who needs something written (which is just about everyone). Even if they don’t need writing done right now or at all, still ask; they may know someone else who does need something written.

17. How Well Do You Market Yourself

If you’re not a great marketer, start by talking to other freelancers who are earning what you want to be earning, and ask them how they built their businesses. You can also join relevant professional communities online. Look up “freelance writer” or “freelance programmer” and whichever city you live in on Facebook to find groups that have members who are willing to share their experiences.

If you’re a great marketer and your earnings aren’t as high as you’d like them to be, consider starting your own business even if it’s just a side gig at first.

To succeed as a freelance social media manager, you need to understand the intricacies of the role. Check out the 15 things every freelance social media manager should know to stay ahead of the game and deliver exceptional results for your clients.

18. What Are The Going Rates?

The first thing you should do when determining your rate is to get an idea of what other freelancers in your area are charging. You don’t want to ask them directly (because that could be kind of awkward), but there are a few other ways to obtain this information:

Check Job Boards

On job boards like Upwork or Freelancer, you can see actual projects that have been posted. You’ll find out what clients are willing to pay and what freelancers are asking for, which can give you an idea of the range of rates in your industry. If you’re not sure where to start looking, check out this:

Check Social Media Groups 

There are a lot of super helpful Facebook groups for freelancers, and many of them have threads dedicated to discussing rates. The folks who post there will often share their experiences with negotiating rates and how they’ve found success with that approach.

Final Thoughts

There are plenty of freelancers out there who don’t see why they should charge an “industry standard” rate, and it’s understandable that a freelancer would be reluctant to ask for more money when undercutting the competition. But here’s the thing: you should never fault someone for charging more than you’re currently charging. It’s not a lack of self-worth on your part, and it doesn’t mean that you’re greedy or selfish. 

It means that you’re asking for what you deserve, and what you’ve earned. And as a freelancer, upholding your value is one of the most important qualities in order to successfully operate your business in the long term. It doesn’t mean that you can’t sell yourself short once or twice we’ve all been there at one point or another but make sure that it isn’t happening too often.

Further Reading

Here are some additional resources for further reading on topics related to freelance social media management:

ZipRecruiter: Freelance Social Media Marketing Manager SalaryExplore salary insights and trends for freelance social media marketing managers on ZipRecruiter’s salary guide.

Glassdoor: Freelancer Social Media Manager SalariesDiscover salary information and reviews for freelance social media managers from employees on Glassdoor.

Agorapulse Blog: Freelance Social Media Manager RatesLearn about the factors that influence freelance social media manager rates and how to set competitive pricing.

People Also Ask

How Much Should A Freelance Social Media Manager Earn?

According to PayScale, the median annual salary for a social media manager is $49,707 per year, with a reported range of $30,000 to $74,000 depending on bonuses and profit sharing.

How Do I Know How Much To Charge?

Social media management can be a great way to earn extra money, but it’s important to set your rates before you start taking on clients. You want to be able to cover the cost of living while still charging enough so that you don’t feel like they’re getting overcharged by paying too little. 

One good rule of thumb is that if someone were hiring full-time employees who had similar skillsets as yourself (e.g., graphic design or copywriting), they would probably pay anywhere from $30k-80k per year – so this will help set an upper limit on what you might want to charge per hour.

What If I Can’t Afford To Charge That Much?

You’ve got bills to pay, a family to support, and your own needs to attend to. Chances are, you didn’t become a freelancer so you could work for free. So how do you price your services when you’re starting out?

The answer is simple: You have to figure out what you need to earn in order to survive, then price yourself accordingly. This may seem a bit obvious, but it’s the one thing most people don’t take into account. If you’re planning on taking home $50K per year, for example, and your expenses are $30K per year (not including taxes), then you only need to make $20K per year from your freelance business (again, not including taxes).

What Is The Relevant Experience For My Services?

Your past work experience will influence what you can charge for your services. For example, a writer with five years of experience will likely be able to earn more than a writer with no experience in that field. If you are just starting out as a freelancer, it may be wise to start at lower rates and increase as you build up your portfolio of work. You can always adjust your rates later on.

How Does The Industry Affect My Earnings As A Freelancer?

The industry in which you work can have an impact on how much money you earn. Some industries are more competitive or require specialized skills that may make them more valuable in certain situations. This is especially true if there are many people looking for similar jobs within that specific area of work which means there could potentially be a higher demand for those services than others.

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