How to Charge for Social Media Services

How to Charge for Social Media Services

During this week's #solopr Twitter chat, top independent consultants shared invaluable information on what they're doing with social media, and how to bill for these services. The following questions were addressed:

  1. Are your clients getting more serious about social media this year? Are you in charge of it?
  2. Do you use an hourly rate for social media work, or fee-based?
  3. Are there any other new skills current or potential clients are looking for you to have?
  4. Yesterday's blog post covered how to make a name for yourself – what have you done?
  5. Do you ever base selecting a client on the size the of their annual revenue? Do you have requirements re: sm biz?

One of my favorite quotes of the day came from Gayle Falkenthal (@PRProSanDiego), who noted:

“You MUST build your own brand to be effective for clients. Put on your own oxygen mask 1st… then help others put their mask on.”

Be sure to check out the transcript in PDF for more pearls of wisdom. What do you think about approaching social media services — do you offer them, and how are they billed?

Update: Jonnice Slaughter has posted an overview of this chat on her blog, Flack Me.

The #solopr chat – held each Wednesday from 1-2 p.m. Eastern – is a weekly ritual for some of the most savvy Solo PR Pros on Twitter. Anyone with a Twitter account is welcome to participate – see Join Us for the #solopr Chat on Twitter to find out how!

Written By Kellye Crane
Kellye Crane is the founder of Solo PR Pro, which provides the tools, education, advocacy and community resources needed for indies to succeed and grow. She's a veteran and award-winning communicator with more than 20 years of experience - 19 of them solo.


  1. I bill for social media services the same way I bill for traditional PR services: I adapt to the client's needs. Most want to establish a set amount of services with a hard dollar figure, either as a retainer for ongoing work or as a one-time project fee. But I still calculate that based upon hourly fees.

    I think ramp-up for SoMe services is more time-consuming than ramp-up for PR services because there are more moving parts and integration with other marketing such as design, messaging, choosing apps and platforms, connecting all the technology pieces, monitoring and measurement, etc.

    Honestly, anyone who hasn't helped manage the construction of a few Web properties (sites and/or blogs, landing pages, etc.), doesn't have a working knowledge of SEO, and isn’t familiar with monitoring/measurement tools probably isn’t ready to initiate or manage a social media presence for clients. Without some technical background or aptitude (and an uwavering dedication to staying caught up on daily changes in the space), it would be challenging to steer a client in the right direction.

    Social Profiles:

  2. This is excellent input, Carri – thanks for sharing!

  3. A question for you – I am 32, and I am starting a PR consultancy business after being encouraged to do so by a successful entrepreneurial friend whom I've known since 6th grade. She has always turned to me for PR and marketing ideas for her companies, as she knows I will come up with some out of the box and workable ideas. Although I wasn't sure if it was the right move at first, I am increasingly encouraged that it is, as I have several people who want to work with me. However, other than an internship at a PR firm, I've never explicitly worked in PR. However, I got my degree in Creative Writing (I've been published), I've worked on many, many events over the years (red carpet and other), and I've recently been heavily involved in politics, including working on four campaigns as a volunteer, including one where I was as involved as the paid staff. My experience is cobbled together, but I am certain that this is the right move for me. I am outgoing, strategic, creative, a go-getter, and I have an ability to connect with people.

    I already have three potential clients who I will be meeting with soon to discuss PR representation. The first is a woman soon who has a small book that I've offered to work with her to publicize. The second is an artist whom I've known for several years who gets commissioned for good works, but has not gotten the kind of press he deserves. They are both eager to work with me. The third I might be working with in exchange for some services he can provide for me too.

    The first two are small enough that I don't fear ruining my reputation too heavily out of the gate, but I do realize I will be learning on their backs. I am at a loss as to what and how to charge for my services. I do intend to charge, as I know my work has value, but I also fear if I give them a low price and they recommend me elsewhere, that I've set the pay rate too low. I also know neither of them have much money, so I'm not eager to charge too much, just enough to make the efforts worth my while.

    How best should I charge for my work?

    Thank you!

  4. I noticed your post and twitter account, but I don’t see where you addressed how to charge for social media service. 

  5.  Let us see some of the advantages and disadvantages that go with corporate level branding in consulting. In the consulting business, there are numerous firms which claim that they can increase business profits in no-time without any basis to their claims. Again, there are firms which have proven credentials. Now, it is a difficult choice to make as to which firm will deliver value. If your consulting firm has a recognized corporate brand it will answer questions on trustworthiness and legitimacy.

  6. Hi Kelly- the discussion of how people charge for social media services is in the downloadable transcript above (PDF).

  7. It’s unbelievable customers are paying so much without knowing ROI.
    Do you assure customers before charging $2000 or even $500 per month that they will get at least 10% of their investment? Social media is a big help in building the brand awareness but customers won’t pay attention unless you offer them something attractive. Postings on social media can be easily lost and it takes months before you get customers.And especially if you are local business owner then you can’t count on customers who live 20 miles away from your business unless you have online-commerce set up.

    We offer business profile listing and help get customers to walk into your business. With integrated social media marketing at very reasonable price business owners have lot to gain. See if can be a right choice for your business.

  8. Where can I find this PDF

  9. These questions make me reconsider the work im doing with my social media . Thanks for the post.