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How much can I charge for my freelance Facebook ad skills?

Charging for your freelance Facebook ads skills depends on the results you get for clients and how you position yourself in the market. Are you an recognized expert and planning a multi-step campaign?  Are you just doing the mechanics of setting up ads in Ad Manager?  I wish I could remember the exact quote but it went something like this, “Anyone can run a Facebook ad, but the value is in the strategic execution and planning.” 

I wrote about how agencies typically charge here.

Here are a few things to think about:

1. Who is your client and how much value do you bring?  The more money your client is spending, the better the compensation. Someone spending $10 a day, simply can’t afford as much as a client spending $50,000/day.  Even if you 10x your client’s adspend, 10x of $10 a day is much less then 10x of $50,000.  

2. Can you structure a campaign that integrates with the client’s current efforts and/or magnifies what they are already doing across platforms to a level that is measurable?  If so, you are a highly desirable Facebook ads expert. 

3. Do your ad campaigns accelerate or scale the buying process? If a client usually has to wait 90 days to have a customer purchase, if you can accelerate that cycle to 60 days (or faster) that is valuable to the client.  Many customers take time to get to know a business and have to develop “like and trust” before they buy. Speeding up this process favorably impacts sales and it is possible to accomplish with Facebook ads. 

4. How much are you comfortable (and experienced) spending?  There is a substantial difference in risk for your clients if you can comfortably run $10K-a-day campaigns vs having experience running only $10-a-day. Scaling and spending more requires a higher level of sophistication and audience understanding then boosting organic posts. 

5. Will the client make more money by paying you to run their ads? 

What can you actually charge? 

Hourly:  You can work hourly. In all reality you could ask for anywhere from $3/hour to $250 depending on your level of skill. At the lower end of this, you may only have to boost post for a client or do simple tasks.  Try Upwork or Fivrr to find talent paid hourly.

With my agency, I use contractors (personally vetted) whom I typically pay $50-100 and hour. I pay this much because I know they have the ability to set up almost any type of strategy I craft. For example, I’ll contract someone to set up a lead generation campaign with time-based follow on retargeting ads. This includes excluding people who move on in the sales process and deeper retargeting for each step of the process.   For this price, they should be well versed in audiences, retargeting and structuring campaigns, but I’m not asking for them to come up with the strategy, imagery, copy or strategic structure. 

My account managers are also tasked with managing ongoing optimization.  However, I track that closely, especially in the beginning, as a double check for the work and so that I am knowledgable on the status of the account.  I handle the client relationship. 

Flat Fee:  You can charge a base flat fee. This will vary depending on your abilities to provide a return, your clients, and, possibly, your cost of living.  There are some good freelancers who charge $500/ month for ongoing management of simple campaigns. With 3-5 clients, they could be living a good life on the beach in a lower cost of living location. 

On the other hand flat fees can  run upwards of $5000/month for larger, more complicated campaigns for big clients. Again, its more likely that the person charging $5000 will have a much higher minimum adspend requirement and have a clear record of high return for previous clients. 

In the U.S., it’s not uncommon for local clients to pay between$1-$1.5 K for local business lead generation. 

Percentage based fee/performance structures:  Sometimes, potential clients ask for ad experts to “prove” that they can run ads by offering a performance based structure. This can be very lucrative for a freelancer with the right client.  

I structured a performance based fee structure for a recent client I worked with. The client was already successful using other platforms, had a proven sales funnel and sales and had a decent budget for adspend. We set up a low base fee and a 25% of profit compensation plan. This turned out to work well for both of us. As a freelancer you can definitely structure deals this way if you can track the results and know what the client is making per sale/customer. 

Combination:  You can charge a mixed flat fee and percent of adspend. This is a common structure the gives you a secure base income and increases how much you get paid as the work increases.  Base fee might be anywhere from $500 – $2500 and the percentages are usually on a sliding scale from 25% down to as low as 5% (this is for adspend in the high hundreds of thousands/millions per month).

Percentage Based:  At a certain point the base fee becomes irrelevant and the sliding scale is more common.   Once a client is spending $25k and up a month consistently, most providers no longer require the flat fee.