Creating effective social media graphics is a difficult process, which leads business owners to outsource their social media graphic designs. Before hiring a professional graphic designer, I’m sure you’ve asked yourself how much a Facebook post or Instagram post will cost. Naturally, it will depend upon their skill level.
Established freelance graphic designers typically charge about $140 for a social media graphic, whereas beginner freelance designers charge as low as $20. Design agencies charge hourly rates between $85 and $100 to design a social media post.
To compare pricing, here’s an idea of the average cost associated with asking expert designers to create an image for social media.
|Graphic Design||Current Cost|
|Pinterest Pin||$150+ (for a bundle)|
|Advertisement or Marketing Materials||$250+|
But before you hire a freelance graphic designer, there are some alternatives you need to know about. Stick around to learn answers to related questions, such as whether you can make your own social graphics, how to make your graphics, and how long it takes to make a social media graphic.
Can I Make My Own Social Media Graphics?
You can make your own social media post design as long as you have the proper software and skills. Freelance graphic designers or social media managers can charge hundreds of dollars per post because graphic design is a skilled trade. More experience will help you in your graphic design.
However, there are ways to create your own graphics without any graphic design experience.
Is It Cheaper To Make My Own Social Media Graphics?
Making your social media graphics will be cheaper in the long term when compared to hiring a freelance graphic designer. However, creating your own social media graphics could be more expensive in the short term because of the cost of software, stock images, and templates.
Assuming you’re a beginner graphic designer, let’s take a beginner graphic designer’s rate: $20 for a simple post.
Now I’ll add up the cost to make social media posts. The first thing you’ll need is software.
How Much Does Graphic Design Software Cost?
Graphic design software can be as cheap as free and as expensive as USD 29.99 per month. The most expensive range of design software is the Adobe Creative Suite, which costs $29.99 per month and includes Photoshop. There are free alternatives, such as The Graphics Creator.
I recommend starting with free software. Free software will save you a boatload of money, and it’s also usually easier to use.
Photoshop is a great program, but it is not beginner-friendly and takes a while to learn. Free software like Laughingbird’s is simpler to understand for newbies plus offers templates to make design easy.
How Much Do Social Media Graphic Templates Cost?
Typically, social media graphics templates cost between $20 and $40 per template. The price may seem expensive, but after your first purchase, you can easily make cohesive, powerful graphics in minutes.
As you can see, templates alone will push you over the cost of hiring a beginner freelance graphic designer. However, you’re only getting one design from a freelancer, whereas you get unlimited designs and revisions by using design software. Thus, if you stick to free software and purchase a high-quality template set, you will save money in the long term.
If you’re looking for some powerful templates, my favorite free graphic design software offers awesome template sets you can use over and over. You can even save your designs to modify again later.
How To Make Your Own Social Media Graphics
Making your social media graphics isn’t always easy, but thanks to new technology, it’s getting easier every year! Anyone can make graphics thanks to professional design software that streamlines the design process (as in the video above)!
Here is how to make your own social media graphics:
- Sketch your design. Before you get started, you may want to roughly sketch your final graphic. You don’t have to follow the sketch perfectly, so don’t stress too much about it! This sketch will serve as a guide to help you when you get stuck on later parts of this tutorial.
- Choose your design software. I’m a huge fan of Laughingbird Software. The Graphics Creator is a free alternative to more expensive programs like Adobe Photoshop, but it still offers all the functionality needed to create impactful social media graphics. Plus you can add on templates and graphic elements if you want to get more creative, still for far less money. You could also go for the very basic programs like PicMonkey or Canva.
- Create a new file. This step isn’t as easy as you think. When saving a file for a graphic, you need to choose the correct pixel dimensions. For example, a standard Instagram graphic should be 1080px by 1080px. Check out The Complete Social Media Image Size Cheat Sheet for more social media graphic sizes.
- Create or grab a template kit. You can make your own design templates or purchase them. Having a template kit will allow you to continue designing social media posts with a similar style on each post. If you’re struggling with your template, refer to your sketch and find or make something similar.
- Add in the important info. If you have your template set up, you’re well on your way! Now we need to add in the important info. Think of what you’re trying to advertise and what the reader would want to know. For example, if you’re promoting an upcoming concert at your bar, include the time, date, and location in your graphic.
- Don’t forget a call to action. A call to action (CTA) is a graphic element that encourages your audience to do something related to your brand. For example, with our concert example, the call to action might be “buy your tickets today!” Make sure your call to action pops and catches your audience’s attention.
- Export for screens. Exporting files is like creating a new file—more complicated than you’d think. When exporting a graphic, make sure your pixels per inch (PPI) are set to 72, and your color mode is RGB. These are the standard quality and color guidelines for web graphics. However, in The Graphics Creator, all you’ll need to decide on is the correct canvas size. This is easy because each social platform tells you exactly what size is best for different uses.
If you followed all the above steps, you’re ready to post your new graphic! All that’s left is to develop a clever caption, and you’re set to post your graphic on your social media channels.
CRAP: 4 Helpful Principles for Designing Social Media Graphics
Making your social media graphics can be tough for a beginner, so I’m here to give you some helpful resources. The most important foundation of graphic design is CRAP.
This stands for “contrast, repetition, alignment, and proximity”. These four principles combine to build the foundation that all graphic design is built around.
Here are the four principles of CRAP explained:
- Contrast. Contrast refers to making parts of your social media graphic pop. You can create contrast by manipulating size, shape, and color. This is important to consider when adding your business logo design to your post. Check out Yes I’m a Designer’s Color Combinations Every Designer Should Know for great color contrast tips.
- Repetition. Repeating designs creates cohesiveness in your graphics and your campaign. If you’re using a design element like a polka dot background, you should make sure polka dots span your entire graphics background. Additionally, you can make a cohesive campaign by repeating polka dot backgrounds across posts.
- Alignment. Alignment refers to where your elements are placed and the amount of white space you use. Check out Study.com’s Alignment: Principles in Graphic Design lesson for more alignment tips.
- Proximity. Proximity is essentially grouping related elements. Imagine if you had a call to action that said, “buy your tickets here!”. However, the information to buy the tickets was in the far corner of the graphic. You should group related items to decrease confusion and create a feeling of unity in your post.
If you can learn and understand CRAP, you will be leagues ahead of the average beginner graphic designer. The importance of learning CRAP is why I’m going to recommend researching the principles further in video form:
Ashley Hoist does a fantastic job of explaining the principles of CRAP in detail, with aid of visual elements. Graphic design is a visual art, so learning important fundamentals in visual form is an important part of the learning process.
How Long Does It Take To Make a Social Media Graphic?
It takes experienced graphic designers about one and a half to two hours to create a basic social media graphic from scratch. Alternatively, you can make a graphic in about ten to twenty minutes (or less) with a template.
How Much Should I Charge for Social Media Graphics??
If you’d like to create and sell your own designs, you should charge between $20 and $140 per graphic. If you have a few years of experience and can deliver high-quality graphics, you can charge close to $140 per post. If you’re a beginner looking to pad your portfolio, you should charge closer to $20 or consider a low hourly rate.
If you’re trying to make your way into the freelance graphic design market, you might be interested in Side Hustle Nation’s How to Get More Freelance Gigs. This post and podcast effectively break down what it takes to be a top-earning freelance designer on websites like Upwork, Freelancer, and Fiverr.
If you’re looking for experienced designers, you can expect to pay about $140 per post; intermediate designers will cost slightly less. Unfortunately, the $140 price tag is too high to justify for many business owners, especially for just one post. And since they can design the graphic in about an hour, you’re looking at an hourly rate of about $140!
You can also consider using beginning freelance graphic designers for your lowest cost design projects.
Thankfully, if you’re scared off by those high prices, companies like Laughingbird Software have made graphic design easy and inexpensive (compare the cost of creating graphics). All you need to know are the basics of graphic design and you can let templates take care of the rest.
If you can find the right template set and nail down the foundations of design, you’ll pump out high-quality graphics with little effort or money!