Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter, and Facebook…We spend all day on them anyway. If only there was a way to get PAID to do it. The bliss would be somewhere up there with laying on the couch, eating nachos and watching Netflix and making money while you do it.
And to be honest, now that I've done it, I wasn’t totally off base.
Being a social media manager sounds like you would be lazing around double-tapping all day. Although it can be fun, you definitely learn a lot. It is serious work that involves strategy, and your clients expect results. When you’ve proven yourself in the field, and you’re ready to get your first real paying social media client, here are a few tips you’ll want to follow to get started:
Create An Amazing Website Or Landing Page
It doesn’t take any particular amount of skill to create a social media profile, so you’re going to need something that helps you stand out from the competition. If you don’t already have a website showing off your mad skills, now is the perfect time to get one. It doesn’t have to be particularly elaborate but it should include:
• an "About" page introducing yourself
• your experience and results
• what sort of social media management you specialize in
• how a potential customer can get in contact with you.
Have Your Results Ready
You should be able to prove that you are capable of fostering and cultivating a loyal online following. (Bonus points if you can prove that that following has converted into paying clients and customers.) Your new client will want to know that they will get their return on investment if they decide to work with you, so having the stats detailing the type of growth you are capable of achieving is important to have on hand. Use apps like iconosquare or Twitter analytics to portray the type of growth you are capable of achieving for your clients.
If you’ve already had past clients, or people who you have helped with their social media, reach out to them for testimonials, as your future clients will likely want to see proven results of what you are capable of.
Getting your first 1,000, 2000, and 10,000 followers on any platform is no easy feat, so don’t guarantee your clients that you can do something you’re not capable of, or have not done before.
If you do not deliver, you could end up with bad reviews, no referrals, and even potentially angry comments on your own social media platforms.
I always go into every contract with my clients under-promising and over delivering. By giving your clients more than what they bargained for, you can be sure that they’ll be impressed with the results and tell everyone in their network about you.
Prepare For Your Sales Conversation
Chances are, your first client will not just send you a check willy-nilly and start working with you. You’re going to want to hop on a phone call with them to get to know each other. The client will want to ensure that you have experience working with their type of business. You’ll want to ensure that the client seems reliable, and that you’ll enjoy working with them. This is not a one-way street.
In the conversation, make sure you:
• Ask a lot of questions
• Learn about the client, their business, and their goals
• Ensure that you can meet or exceed their expectations. Many people have astronomical ideas of what can be accomplished in a short period of time
• Discuss rates
Create A Contract + Collect Your Deposit
Imagine working with a client for a whole MONTH (or even just a week), and you’ve done a great job, but when you get to the end of your term, they refuse to pay you. That would feel awful, right?
This is why it’s important to send your client a working agreement before you even get to work. This way, you can ensure you’re on the same page with the expectations of what you should be doing, and where you need support from them.
Although this can be no guarantee of payment, I do think that having something in writing shows your professionalism. It's also a good idea to create clauses in your agreement stating that you or your client can end the arrangement in a certain period of time if it is not working out.
You’ll also want to collect a deposit before you begin working with them. I usually collect 35-50 percent of the complete payment for the month before I even start working. I know some people who collect the full payment before they begin to avoid having to chase their clients for payments.
When I was first started building my blog, I began doing graphic design work for friends and others in my network without having them sign a contract or collecting a deposit. They got their completed work and even told me they LOVED it, yet avoided me when it came time to pay. Even if you think you can trust someone, you never know how they may get when it comes to money matters, so please collect a deposit before you begin to do any kind of work.
When you finally get your first social media client, it’s a TOTALLY exhilarating feeling, so follow these tips, don’t give up, and before you know it, you’ll be pulling in new clients of your own.