No prizes really for guessing what one of the most commonly asked questions from our prospective students is. Yes we are all striving after that elusive work/life balance and finding #WorkThatWorks around family life but equally we want to be paid a decent wage for doing it. You guessed it folks it’s all about ‘da money’. What do our Digital Mums actually earn after they graduate from our social media management courses?
Broadly speaking our research shows average rates come in at about £35+ an hour for strategy work; £25+ an hour for content creation to £15+ an hour for community management.
But this doesn’t really tell the whole story. Many Digital Mums will charge different rates dependent on the size or type of client. Other mums may combine their new found skills with other skills from their previous work life and charge higher prices. And of course, fees tend to be lower for newer, less experienced graduates. Some of our graduates may start at £15 per hour but then double their rates within two years of graduating! Additionally if you’re changing careers completely it will inevitably mean a pay cut initially while you gain experience. And while you won’t always be able to replicate the full time salary you may have had in the banking sector for example, you can still earn a tidy sum working from home and being in charge of your own hours.
We realise that there will be some Digital Mums earning less than the figures quoted in this blog and equally others earning more. This is our attempt to put some clarity around a very broad topic. Add in the oh-so-British attitude of not loving talking about the pounds and pence; so an extra big thanks to these Digital Mums for being so open and honest!
First up check out this video from two of our graduates, Anna Jones and Liz Peacock, detailing exactly what they are earning right now for different sorts of work.
Different rates for different jobs
Like any freelancer Digital Mums’ tend to charge different rates for different tasks. Anna Jones for example, charges a day rate for PR work and then a separate hourly rate for social media work.
“I charge £30 an hour for social media work,” explains Anna. “I also include content creation within this so it is quite a full on role.”
Others like Kay Olbison, aka Mums Without Limits, who has graduated recently and is doing a community management role for a client says; “I’m just starting out so I currently charge £15 per hour and I’m really happy with that.”
A separate rate for a strategy document
Many of our Digital Mums’ charge a separate one-off fee for client strategy documents. This kind of work may involve coming up with recommendations, creating user personas and ideas for specific social media campaigns.
“I generally try to charge between £500-800 for the upfront strategy depending on how much work is needed and the client’s budget,” explains Digital Mum Jo Dimeloe. “I then charge separately for managing 1, 2 or 3 channels per month. And I always do a 3 month rate review to ensure that both the client and I are happy with how things are going.”
Charging a package price
While some Digital Mums charge an hourly rate, others split their fees in different ways.
Aline Reading is one such mum; “If I’m managing Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, I usually charge £1000 a month, which is roughly 10 hours a week, although it can end up a bit more,” she explains. “I always tell prospective clients how they get so much more with a qualified Digital Mum. With the right mum you may also get a content producer, copywriter, designer, video content creator AND a social media manager for that price. Individuals with these skills usually charge £300 - £600 a day for their services, so it’s a good deal.”
An individual approach to charging
Other Digital Mums base their package prices on what they would like their hourly rate to be. Morgan Bagshaw has created an overall charging system that is based on a certain fee per hour.
“My rate is based on £30 per hour as the starting point,” explains Morgan. “So if I’m charging for one platform I would charge £720 per month. If a client wants two platforms then I would offer a 30% discount and charge the additional platforms at £504 per month. With three platforms I offer a 40% discount so an additional platform would be £432. Finally with four platforms the fourth platform would be offered with a 50% discount meaning it would cost £360.”
Thinking beyond social media management
Some Digital Mums have created a niche for themselves in other areas of social media. One Digital Mum has become a specialist in Facebook advertising for example. Others focus on offline training and workshops which are hugely popular and also a great lead generator (as are doing audits), One such mum is Caroline Drake.
“I used to charge an hourly rate for training but now I have different packages dependent on the clent,” explains Caroline Drake of Blossom Social Media who specialises in training. “I currently charge £295 for a training package which includes strategy, a 90 minute session, homework for 2 weeks, another 90 minute session and a workbook. I changed it to this as it needs two sessions to make sure clients implement the training. If I’m doing a workshop I tend to charge around £450 a day.”
Another Digital Mums who trains has a different approach; “I focus on 121s and charge £149 for a two hour session,” explains Gemma Lloyd
Cut your teeth first
As in any industry rates are also dependent upon experience. Take Digital Mum Jenny Hall; “'When I first started out I charged a lot less as I was cutting my teeth but gradually over time I increased my rates and now with three years experience I can charge a lot more.
“My packages include an audit and report for £199. I also charge that to set up a new channel and include a tips sheet. I then charge £499 per month per channel for channel management. I don’t tend to discount for more channels but if a client has a specific budget I’ll create a bespoke package. I then charge £799 per month for social media strategy and an additional hourly rate for services including Facebook advertising, copywriting and blogger outreach.”
Know your worth
Here at Digital Mums we have also noticed a correlation between those of our graduates who complete our additional Do The Hustle training after graduation and being more successful in finding work.
One thing is for sure, charging is a very varied game and dependent on so many factors. What is unanimously agreed though is you should always charge your worth.
Over to Digital Mum Helen Bridal for the last word; “Social media management is a job, not a hobby that earns a bit of pocket money on the side so always charge your worth,” she stresses.
“Each client is unique, so I don’t offer fixed packages. I tailor quotes to reflect a client's needs; For a recent time-limited campaign, for example, I charged a client £750 for the initial strategy, then £350 a month for Twitter management. I wouldn't recommend charging any less than that, otherwise the price doesn't reflect the amount of knowledge you're sharing or the hours you're putting in.”