A freelancer wrote in asking for some advice on how to put together a social media strategy for a client. And when she pulled it together – oh boy was the potential payoff a big one: $22,000! Read the post, you’ll see.
Well, this past November, she emailed me again just to touch base (I know, I know, I’m so late posting this update). Quite a few freelancers keep in touch with me, which I love, especially when they contact me when they’re first starting out.
To see someone progress from writing for $8 an article, to charging $50 or $100 or more per piece of content without even batting an fills me with joy like you wouldn’t believe. It reminds me why I continue to blog, but I digress.
Anyway, back in November, following is what this now “very confident” freelancer wrote, in part:
Things are going well here. Still have a blogging client, but I’m actually doing more social media than anything else and enjoying it quite a bit.
Forgive me for not catching you up on the last scenario that I wrote you about [the $22,000 SM project] but, yes, you were right. They did come back around and we worked together for a hot second. Things were cool at first, but went downhill after a couple of months (long, unimportant story). That client is history now…a GOOD history lesson…and I’m better for it.
What It’s Like When You Add Social Media Services to Your Freelance SEO Writing Business
Picking up on the fact that she was doing more social media consulting than writing, I responded …
Thanks for the update.
I actually find SM easier than writing, of course. And from a $$ standpoint, you earn more (less work, less time invested). So good for you!
She agreed with me, responding:
Oh my gosh, yes, sooooooooo much less work with social media! My SM clients pay once a month and there are no meetings, back-and-forth emails, edit requests or any of that stuff. One client pays $600/mo and it takes me approx. one hour to set his postings up on Buffer for the entire week. Another pays $1200 a month and I spend roughly an hour and a half per day on scheduling his posts.
My writing client, on the other hand, pays $660/month and I have to have long redundant weekly video chats with a team of people who also like to email all week long. Oh, and those emails? They’re always a request to help with something else, answer a question, do something special, make a change in the schedule, edit a post, add a “quick” post about a trending topic, solve a problem, etc.
I spend about 10-15 hours per week on them and everyday it’s something different, lol. After I’m done with this one, I don’t think I’ll be doing much writing for clients. I’m going SM all the way and will reserve my writing skills strictly for my own personal projects (my website, blogging, self-publishing, etc.)!
I wasn’t even thinking about you sharing a follow-up with your audience in my last email. BUT if you do…be sure to tell them that that gig was my first official SM client and that it gave me the confidence to know that I could do it and that companies are happy to pay me to do so.
Since working with that first start-up company, I’ve had three other social media clients. One was another start-up that couldn’t afford to stick with it past a few months and the other two are still with me.
Have a blessed week, Yuwanda!
Providing Social Media Consulting and SEO Content Writing Services: Some Pros & Cons
Time: As this freelancer pointed out and I second, you spend less time on your work for social media clients than you do for your SEO writing clients. This of course means …
Earnings: You tend to earn more on average per hour with social media clients, but you tend to earn more overall with SEO writing clients because – as the point below underscores – interaction is driven by great content. So content tends to cost more than social media account management.
Easy: The work is relatively easy and straightforward managing social media accounts in that there’s not a lot of back and forth with clients outside of the initial contact.
Need: The need for this type of work is growing, as social media is one of the factors that Google figures into its algorithms. The reason it’s growing is because of this:
Activity and sharing on social channels leads to increased visibility and links, and links lead to higher rankings. Sounds simple, but that’s just the basic concept… For content to be shared, the audience has to be inspired. The goal is to create “contagious content … (emphasis added)
See the link? The link is that content is needed before social media even comes into play, so if a client hires you to write their content, upselling them on distributing it via social media becomes easier.
Impatience: Clients tend to be impatient about results. They want to see new sign-ups and activity on their accounts almost immediately. FYI, while you can increase sign-ups via artificial means quite easily, getting people to really start interacting on social media requires some doing – even with great content.
Price: Most clients will expect a discount if they hire you to create their content and manage their social media account.
Time: You can spend a lot of time doing both, as opposed to one or the other for a client, eg, responding to comments; rushing to put together a post on “breaking” industry news/happenings; following up on queries asked by content managers and/or social media who work with/for your client; etc.
How Much Should You Charge for Social Media Consulting & Content Writing
It’s not cheap, that’s for sure .And it’s because it does require a time commitment. Following is a rundown of some of the industry-norm fees charged for creating a social media strategy:
Creating a comprehensive strategy for social media marketing and outsourcing all work for all channels (with a minimum of two social networks) costs anywhere from $3,000-$20,000 per month, with the industry average settling between $4,000-$7,000 per month. If you want the social media agency to start the accounts from scratch and consult on a 4- to 12-month contract, you’ll pay between $3,000-$15,000 per month.
So when the freelancer above came up with her estimate of $22,000, she wasn’t being ridiculous. Creating a strategy and implementing it takes time, and if a company wants you to provide the content and manage their social media community(ies), be sure to …
Charge Appropriately: As the freelancer who wrote me said in her post, “swing for the fence.” The value you’re providing a company by writing their content, distributing it and interacting with their social media communities is immeasurable. It’s a HUGE burden off of them.
When you charge appropriately for it, you won’t mind sitting down to do the work. In fact, you’ll look forward to it because if they’re paying you a pretty penny, you’ll want them to see a measurable return on their dollar. In other words, both your interests are aligned.
I’ve been saying this for five years now (I can’t believe it’s been that long!) – freelance writers should add social media account management to their list of services, simply because it goes hand in hand with creating (SEO) content. … And it pays very well.
Share Your Thoughts
Do you offer social media account management services to your clients? If not, why not? Do you plan to start? If so, how do you find the work — easy, hard, worth it, not worth it? Anything else you’d like to add to this subject? How did you land your social media clients? Are they existing SEO content clients? Please share in the comments section below.
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