Previously I have talked about how the social media free lunch is over and it couldn’t be more true. Want someone to come in and help run your social media strategy? Get ready to set aside a budget and pay them because if you wanted it for a low cost or for free then I am sorry to be the one to inform you that you missed the boat.
Like it or not, you are going to more than likely need help. The reality is you are busy enough running your business to also be working on social media. Don’t get me wrong, you could make the time but work-life balance…I get it. You could forget about social media entirely and decide you don’t need it. You wouldn’t be entirely wrong, any marketer who says “your business NEEDS to be on social media…” is talking rubbish.
You can have a perfectly successful business with no social media but you will end up leaving a lot of money of the table if you take that route. On top of that you are going to spend money and time on some kind of marketing and branding be it social media or otherwise at some point.
So what do you do? You could hire someone to come in to your business and work full time on your social media. Or the more popular option is you could work with freelancers (like me) to organise tasks, consult, grow, generate sales and help with customer support without being an employee in your business. You could outsource the whole lot to an agency and let them take care of it for you. All of these routes can yield positive results and can make you money but they will all cost money.
We have established then that you have to pay, but how much should you pay? There are so many different price quotes out there, particularly with freelancers. Should you take the cheapest? How do you know what is the best value? Where do you begin?
Find someone you are happy with
You need to start with finding someone to do the job who you are happy with. Oh and be honest with freelancers and agencies from the get go because we cut through the bullshit pretty quick. I once had someone who wanted to be one of my clients and only when we verbally agree terms did he tell me that he had another team from a college who were working on the exact same thing and he couldn’t wait for us to work together because he considered to have built the dream team.
Uh…no. Needless to say he was dropped pretty quick for already breaching the verbal contract on day one. Don’t try build a mish mash of people together, pick someone you want to work with and go all in with them. Don’t take multiple forms of advice from different sources, people will do things different and still achieve the results.
Explore your options. Lets say you decide to go the freelancer route, sit down and talk to a few freelancers. Interview them but keep in mind you are not interviewing them in the traditional way, they are not going to be an employee in your company. Read reviews and testimonials, don’t feel you need to take the most experienced either. Sometimes those with less experience will be hungrier to get the job done.
If it all looks good then come to a verbal agreement before written contracts and ask them how much they charge for their services. Don’t be afraid to try and negotiate but if they get to a point where they tell you a price is final then don’t keep pushing the matter, take it as final. I have negotiated with clients of course but there is always a final price and if we get there then I make sure they know it won’t go lower.
What do you want?
The price varies depending on what you need. No businesses are the same when it comes to a digital and social media strategy. You need to decide what you want from your social media marketing. Think short term goals, long terms goals and what services you require.
Some of the services you may feel you need could be:
– Auditing and analysis
– Strategy development
– Website development
– Graphic design development
– Content creation
– Community building
– Brand building
– Influencer marketing
– Sales targets
– Analytics reporting
– Customer service interaction
You may only need two to three of these or you may want the whole lot. What you want will affect the price which is a large part of why the prices are so dynamic in the industry and can vary across the board.
Only take what you need, the more you take then the more you are going to pay. If you only go for what you really need then you may be able to get what you want at a pretty good price for your business.
So come on, how much should I be spending?
Again, take into account what you are asking for will affect the price. Some things will be more labour intensive than others and as a result will cost more money.
The salary for social media marketers can range from anywhere between €30k to €70k or even up as far as €100k depending on who they are, what role they hold in a company and what they are doing on a daily basis in that company.
If you go the freelancer route, as I mentioned before you will get different price quotes. You could get someone for €15 per hour, don’t expect anything glamorous but depending on what you are looking for it could suit your needs to plug the gaps.
Some freelancers may charge €30 to €50 per hour which would be the mid-range and typically would be an expert in the field at a sustainable price where you would expect more from in terms of quality of work and final results.
Then you could have freelancers who are at the top end of the spectrum and could give you strategic direction to help you scale fast but could have rates around €100 per hour. That is not something you would find sustainable long term but could help you get off the ground fast and then leave you to take care of the rest.
Per month you could expect to spent anywhere from a few hundred to a few thousand depending on who you go for and what you want them to do for you. Don’t be afraid to commit and take someone on to work on your social media development, if it doesn’t work out then you can always change direction at a later date.