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Guest Post by Mandi Gould, Captain of the Ship at Barker Social
Are you wondering how to go about creating social media marketing packages?
When it comes to social media marketing (SMM) services, package pricing is ideal. In fact, offering packages is actually a much better approach than offering hourly pricing for social media work. Clients like to know exactly what they’re getting—and, of course, what it’s going to cost them!
But package pricing isn’t just better for your clients, it’s also better for you. Package pricing requires you to figure out exactly what you’re offering to your clients in one go, which allows you to set up monthly processes that will become more efficient over time. Plus, once you get “on a roll” with a new client (e.g. after the first two months), you’ll usually find that you complete your work with a little more speed. This means that you save time and therefore make more money on each client!
SMM packages also make ideal monthly retainers, allowing you to create stable income that’s also scalable, which will help you to grow your business.
So… how do you start?
First, it’s important to quantify everything that’s included in the package. (Side Note: Grab the free Social Media Marketing Package Calculator from the library here)
Here are some questions to ask yourself:
All of these specific details should also be included in your contract, service agreement, and statement of work. That way, everyone involved will understand what you’re responsible for as part of the package, and anything that isn’t included in the package that will be counted as an extra cost.
SMM takes longer and is more work than you might have initially thought. It takes a lot of time research, write, and edit written content, and even longer to create graphics (graphics also require accompanying text). Then there’s the time it will take to revise the content if changes are needed, and the back-and-forth between the client and yourself to communicate those revisions.
You’ll also need to factor in the time it takes to organize and schedule all of the content—even more so if you’ve arranged to share different content on each platform each day (e.g. blog posts on Facebook on a Monday, but curated content from external sources on LinkedIn on that same day).
Then there’s active engagement and outreach to consider. These are essential components for building rapport with an audience, especially on Instagram and Twitter. On all of the platforms, it’s important to respond to social interactions in a timely manner. Consider how often you’ll be spending on active engagement each week or each day.
Some clients will be more hands-on and will want more time with you than others, so it’s important to clarify how many meetings or phone calls are included in your package. You can’t spend hours every week talking to specific clients or you’ll never get anything done!
Don’t neglect to include (list) the tools that you use in your costs (e.g. specific graphic design programs, scheduling tools, layout software, etc.)! These are the costs of doing business, but they do need to be worked into your rates. That also goes for processing fees—remember that there are credit card and PayPal fees, so your prices should be marked-up accordingly, either in your blended hourly rate or in your final mark-up.
It’s also a good idea to include a final mark-up between 15% and 30% to account for all of the unknowns… and trust me, there are always many! Things always take longer than you think. Be careful that you’re not under-charging, especially if you’re just starting out. Also, don’t forget to take exchange rates into consideration in your final pricing.
Anyone who is allotting a marketing budget should be concerned about their return on investment (ROI), so reporting should be an important part of the accountability that you offer your client. There are many ways to report on your results, either manually or with the tools currently available on the market. My personal recommendation is to use Cloud Campaign for your scheduling and reporting; they have a sophisticated scheduling application and the best reporting mechanisms I’ve personally seen on the market.
Remember, your client is hiring you to take care of their SMM so they can focus on other things. It’s always a good idea to take away as much work as possible from the client. The less often you have to be in touch with them, the better! Make your packages and processes clear—especially the submission and approval process.
I highly recommend that in addition to your regular SMM package costs, you also include a set-up fee for new clients. Why?
Kicking off a new SMM client is a lot of work. You don’t just confirm the client and then begin creating their first batch of content. First, you must collect all of the client’s information, from passwords, to branding elements and materials, to other relevant content. You may even need to do a little extra research to really understand the business or its industry so that you can adequately create their content. Then there’s confirming the social accounts, which often send confirmation codes the first time that an account is being accessed from a new location. All of this can take a surprising amount of time and effort!
Additionally, keep in mind that you’ll need to create a large amount of content before the campaign is even ready to launch.
You might also want to consider including a detailed marketing strategy in your set-up process. This will help to establish your expertise and it will show the client what you’re planning to do, so that they can provide feedback and course correction as necessary.
I find the entire set-up process takes at least 15 days to do right, and up to 30 depending on the client producing the deliverables we need to do our job. So, price accordingly!
You can use the same model as described above to create flat rates and package pricing for other services you might offer. Take blog posts, for example:
To create a flat rate for a blog post, you should quantify all of your time. You should start by projecting a word range (e.g. 800 to 1000 words per post). You should then decide if your package price will include any rounds of edits (I suggest one round of edits in the price). Estimate how much time you’ll spend on average on research, writing the first draft, editing before submitting to the client, and then completing a set of revisions based on any requests from the client.
You should also consider anything else that would be part of this service, such as an accompanying blog visual sized for the various social media platforms, or accompanying social media hooks to promote the blog post. If you’ll be the one posting the blog to the website, you should also take into account the time it will take for that configuration.
Once you’ve figured out what’s included in your process from start to finish, add it all up to figure out how much time you’ll spend on average per blog post. Then consider your ideal hourly rate and add at least a 15% to 30% mark-up to create a flat rate. Make sure to be specific in your contract about how many rounds of edits you’ll be doing and the word count range.
Got all that? Now it’s time to crunch some numbers! I know there’s a lot to consider, so I’ve created a spreadsheet to help you plug in your packages and your base rates to determine what you should be charging for your social media packages. If you have any questions or feedback, be sure to post in the comments.