How Much Should a Contract Community Manager Earn?

Amongst some of the online community manager groups I participate in I often see the same question crop up: How much contract CM’s should earn, or how much they should ask for when negotiating financial terms? Many don’t want to price themselves out of the market, whilst others don’t want to undervalue their skills. That coupled with the wide variety of Community Manager job descriptions (and duties) makes it a difficult number to pin down. Especially if you are an independent/freelance CM contractor. So I decided to run a very quick, and brief, survey on this subject, and a few weeks ago asked some of you to help by participating in the survey. Quite a few of you responded to my call, and I am very appreciative of that, so thank you all so much!

For obvious reasons the figures are going to differ widely; location, experience, education, duties, budgets, hours worked, and the individual concerned, etc etc, are all going to play a huge part in determining what a contracting CM earns. But hopefully the results of this small survey may give you an idea of where to start with the financial negotiations for your own community manager services.

To add, I didn’t ask for too many details in order to protect everyones’ privacy, and I also wanted to break down the figures and create some fancy pie charts but time won’t allow. So instead I have included the results in a spreadsheet below for you to peruse and dissect yourselves. (I had a couple of people whose info didn’t really fit the criteria of the spreadsheet, so I’ve included their comments below.)

Toronto, Canada

How are you paid?
Monthly and hourly. Flat rate to manage Twitter/Facebook of 900 a month. Can$65 an hour for additional strategy/ad hoc work

Hours worked a week?
Flat rate includes 4 hours ad hoc services based on companies needs.

Years of Experience?
Two. Just starting as freelance instead of in-house.

Albany, NY.

How are you paid?

Hours a week?
Depends on the project/client wishes and their budget. I’ve had projects where I worked 2 – 3 hours a day/6 days a week, and others where I felt like I was working 18 hours a day/8 days a week.

I hope you find this information helpful, and once again many thanks to those who participated.

Questions or want to discuss? Pop your thoughts in the comment section below. Thanks.


  1. Judi Huck says:

    Thanks for gathering this info, Sue.

    I’d be interested in hearing from contractors getting set up with new clients. How many hours of prep/on-boarding do you do – before sending out your first tweet, etc? What kinds of materials do you create with the client in these preliminary stages, if any.

    Looking forward!

  2. Wow, that is literally all over the map. I think that reflects the overall confusion over what responsibilities are part of a “community manager’s” job description! Thanks for pulling this together.

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