If you’ve landed on this guide, chances are you’re trying to figure out how to negotiate a higher digital marketing salary before accepting your next job offer, which is a smart move.
Many people find salary negotiations intimidating and overwhelming, but it doesn’t have to be that way.
As long as you do your research, prepare ahead of time, and ask for a realistic figure, you should have no trouble proving you deserve a higher rate.
So that’s exactly what the five tips in this guide will help you do.
5 Tips on Negotiating a Higher Digital Marketing Salary
Follow this roadmap to put yourself in the best possible position to negotiate a higher salary with confidence:
1. Tackle Your Foundational Homework First
Before you can ask for or negotiate a better salary, you’ll need to have all your ducks in a row.
Though it’s important to be able to sell a potential employer on your expert skills and prove your value, a strong, compelling negotiation strategy is always based on facts.
That means you’ll need to consider the going rates for digital marketing salaries in your area, how your previous role’s salary factors into this new one, and the responsibilities you’ll have in this new position.
Having this intel on hand will back up your reasons for asking for a higher salary figure. It shows you’re not simply throwing out a random number and hoping the company accepts it.
So, long before you enter the interview phase, make sure you have the answers to these questions thought out and on paper:
- What is your current salary? While this won’t necessarily translate to your new role, it can help you start to narrow down a salary range you’re comfortable accepting.
- What are the current going rates for digital marketers in your area? Again, this isn’t a guarantee that you’ll make this amount, but it’s helpful to know to help strengthen your case.
- What will your responsibilities include for that salary amount? You may not know the exact details of your day-to-day duties until your interview, but you can get a better idea by carefully reading the job ad to see what’s expected of someone in this role.
- What do you need to earn to live comfortably and pay your bills? Once again, this is not a guaranteed salary to ask for. However, it can help you gauge whether the salary you’re being offered is one you can actually live on.
Try not to rush through these questions or answer them using guesstimations. Spend the time to do your research here, and it will go a long way to strengthen your case.
When a hiring manager sees that you’ve done your homework, they’ll be more inclined to listen to what you have to say during the negotiation phase of your interview process versus assuming you just picked a random number.
2. Understand the Responsibilities of the Role
As mentioned above, you must know the ins and outs of your new role before committing to a salary figure.
You can (and should) comb through the job ad for specifics like your responsibilities and whether you’ll be managing others. Then, make it a point to finalize these details in your interview.
Try to ask questions such as:
- Can you describe my potential workload on an average day?
- What will I be responsible for? Managing a team or just my tasks?
- How will I be assessed for performance reviews? How often will those happen?
- How many projects will I be responsible for each week? Each month?
- What do those projects entail, including the tasks at hand?
Learning factors like the amount of work you’ll be responsible for, whether you’ll be in charge of a team, or face tight deadlines can help you narrow down a salary that feels fair.
So write down as many questions as you need to determine this, and don’t be shy about asking them during your interview.
3. Head Into Your Interview Overprepared
If you want to negotiate a higher salary, it pays to go the extra mile and take preparations for your interview to the next level.
So on top of answering basic interview questions, such as why you’d be a good fit and how your previous experience can help you in this new role, think about how you’ll discuss the value you’ll provide this company.
Do you think you can grow their social media following? Generate more leads? Cut down their marketing expenses?
These are just a few hot buttons for most marketing teams, and they’re the ones you’ll want to consider and expand on first.
To prove you can accomplish these tasks, you should create a digital portfolio of your experience.
This should include tangible examples of how you’ve helped companies in the past and how your experiences prepared you to crush KPIs (key performance indicators) in this new role.
Once hiring teams see your value, they’ll have an easier time justifying a higher salary figure. This evidence will eliminate many unknowns and make them even more eager and excited to have you on their team.
Pro tip: You should bring your digital portfolio to your interview and plan on describing aspects of it during your presentation.
To avoid the potential for technical glitches, it’s also wise to send over a copy to the hiring manager ahead of time. And you may even want to have a physical copy as a backup, just in case.
4. Do Not Ask About Salary First
Hiring experts say you should never be the first to ask about salary. But sometimes you can’t avoid the question, especially if they ask it first.
So how do you answer the dreaded, What do you currently make, and what were you expecting for this position?
Unfortunately, this puts you on the spot to answer the question before knowing what the position might pay. And you may reply with a number that’s lower than what they planned to offer.
That’s why you’ll need to think strategically here.
In this case, you can mention what you made before but also add that you’ve considered this position in great detail and feel that a range between $XX and $YY is more appropriate. This could include your current salary, or it could be over that value.
The point is that your previous salary shouldn’t always translate to what you should make in a new role.
You’ll have a better idea of this number because you’ve taken our first tip to heart and did your research ahead of time, which is why we stressed doing your homework before anything else.
And by giving a salary range, you won’t pigeonhole yourself into one set number that could be above or below what they were thinking.
5. Ask the Right Questions to Negotiate a Higher Salary
If they give you an offer with a salary figure that’s lower than you were expecting or need to make, you can then start negotiating.
You’ll want to ask further questions and use the research you uncovered in tip #1 to bridge the gap between both numbers.
Consider asking questions like:
- How did you come up with this salary figure? “Based on my research, it’s a little lower than the going average, so I’d like to understand where you are coming from to get a better gauge.”
- What other benefits will come with this salary? Healthcare costs, 401k plans, childcare or wellness stipends, and paid vacations should also be factored in as part of the salary amount.
- Can you tell me more about the responsibilities of the role? Maybe there are fewer responsibilities than your previous role, which could justify a lower rate.
- Are there performance reviews that could lead to increases in pay or bonuses? Again, this could increase your base salary and should be factored in. So, taking that straight salary figure at face value may not be advisable until you know these important details.
- What do you need from me to show that the salary I’m requesting is warranted? Maybe you need to prove your value a bit more, acquire a specific certification, etc. before they can sign off on the higher pay. It doesn’t hurt to ask this.
From there, let the hiring manager know that you’ve done your homework and you were looking for a figure closer to [state the exact amount]. At this time, you can get specific about what you’re hoping to make, and they can go back to their team to see if they can afford it.
By this point, you’ve given them a comprehensive understanding of the type of experience you bring to the table. And you have the research to back up the salary figure you’re requesting.
With everything done to prove your case, you just have to wait and see if they can find it in their budget to pay you more. And, if they can’t, it’s up to you to decide if the position is worth it.
You may be able to take a lower salary now with the contingency that you’ll “prove your value” on the job and hopefully negotiate an increase during your first performance review.
Final Thoughts on Negotiating a Higher Digital Marketing Salary
While the thought of negotiating for a higher salary can be overwhelming and intimidating, it doesn’t have to be when you follow the five tips we shared today.
This roadmap ensures your request for a higher digital marketing salary is backed by research and your proven experience, which will be hard for hiring teams to ignore.
In the end, it will be your decision whether you accept the offer, but at least you’ll be in a better position to get the most money out of the role. And if you decide it’s not the right fit, you can start the process again with more negotiating experience and confidence under your belt.
There’s always a fresh batch of digital marketing jobs posted on Fresh Gigs if this one’s not for you. Come see!