Here are the main routes that exist for you when it comes to finding quality social media help when you are a small to midsize business. Prices will vary. Everyone is marketing to you and it becomes a battle of who the best salesperson will be. I don’t want you sold on exaggerated hopes and dreams. I want you to understand the options you have and manage your expectations. Keep in mind, results for social media can take at minimum 3-6 months of consistent effort.
Cost: $2000+ per month (long term commitment upfront)
- Will be up to date with marketing and industry insights
- They will manage all of the deadlines and production
- Teams are overworked
- If you are not their top dollar client, you might not be top priority or have the best people working on your account.
- Some are better at marketing themselves than handling client work
- They are less likely to be specialized
- More marketing expertise vs company and industry knowledge
Who is this best for: Larger enterprises that need to outsource all of their marketing tasks.
Cost: $30+ hourly or a monthly retainer based on service mix. (long term or short term)
- Can be super-specialized in one aspect or platform
- Knows their skills inside and out
- Smaller freelancers have a more down-to-earth sales process
- Transparent pricing between $30-70 dollars an hour (They will give you more attention if you’re on a monthly retainer)
- Some freelancers will charge less, but you’ll get what you pay for
- You don’t need to commit a lot upfront
- May not understand how businesses operate
- Less experienced freelancers won’t understand the relationship between marketing efforts and business goals
- You won’t get as much out of the service if you don’t crystalize the purpose behind it
- They have other clients to manage and are not as loyal to a brand as an in house person
- Make sure everyone is happy with the scope and expectations before the project starts
- The value shows through work, not always in explaining how they do their work
Who is this best for: Companies who already have specific marketing goals and an understanding of what their customers want. They have a direction.
In House/full time
Cost: Long term $40-$60k per year
- They work on set hours and availability
- Understands your company inside and out
- With you for the long haul
- Focused and specialized on one account
- Might be hyper-focused in a few platforms
- They might be the sole marketing person in their company
- They might not have a hand in strategy
- Leadership might be disconnected from current marketing trends
- More company and industry knowledge vs marketing expertise
Who is this best for: Small to medium-sized company that wants to keep all of their teams aligned.
Admin Support (someone who helps you with a variety of tasks)
Cost: Long term ~$1600 per month part time/$20 per hour
- Organized and can get stuff done
- They can do a variety of tasks for you outside of social media
- If they work on multiple projects, they’ll understand your business well.
- They are more loyal
- Open to learning
- Has the potential to grow with you
- Might not be specialized in social media
- Not self-starters. They need a lot of direction.
- Will not understand how social media plays into your marketing goals
- Cost can vary based on time commitment
- More company and industry engagement with limited marketing expertise
Who is this best for: A smaller team potentially 2-10 people. You need someone to help take off many tasks from your plate. You can batch their work together. They will get posts out but might miss a key aspect of social media because they don’t fully understand building online relationships.
Social Media Coach/Consultant/Trainor
Cost: $150-500+ hourly/$1000-5000+ flat fee for a specific result
- Understands how business works and can answer your questions.
- You’re not required to sign a long contract that comes with hiring a full-time person or an agency
- You’ll have a full understanding of how the consultant is helping you reach your goals
- Will help you prioritize your resources for hiring
- Can help keep you accountable for your marketing goals
- They understand all of the moving parts of aligning business and marketing efforts.
- Save you from guessing
- Can train you and your team on the latest industry trends or a specific skill
- They’re your guide but does not do the actual work.
- Some coaches play to emotions and aspirations and promise crazy unrealistic results. Some of these slimy coaches will pop up in social media ads. RUN!
- Some coaches are hyper-specialized. Make sure what you’re getting relates to what you want. Think 1 trick pony
- You need to verify if you’re purchasing a course or coaching
- Be careful of high-pressure sales tactics with a lack of pricing transparency
Who is this best for: A business owner who feels stuck and is not sure what route to choose to best promote their business. They need to confide in someone that understands their position. This is great if you don’t have a marketing background and you have been burned before. These people can give you a different perspective.
Your 15 year old neice should not be your social media manager! Just because they are addicted to instagram does not mean they know anythign about running a business. 😉