As a social media marketing professional in the global village of the online world, the world is your audience. With social media becoming this century’s version of the watering hole, there’s no lack of options for companies looking to capitalize on the unprecedented ease of e-commerce.
But there can be too much of a good thing. While it sounds great to say that you can market anything to anyone online, directing where content goes and who sees it becomes the new challenge. You’re confident you can help, but going about convincing clients to pay for your marketing services takes more than just emailing a price list and a friendly message.
It’s Not What You’re Selling, It’s About Who You Are
Getting people to pay for anything is never easy, but you’re halfway there if they happen to like you. No one’s telling you to plan for weekly Zoom dinners with your clients, but making it a company policy and personal habit to take the time and get to know your clients will do wonders for your business moving forward.
Talk is Cheap; Show Clients How Much You Care
Saying all the right things to a client is all and well, but it means nothing if you can’t deliver what you claim to be able to do.
Save the speeches about how you’ll be able to improve their returns and just tell them what your action plan is. Don’t talk in vague, general terms about how social media marketing is invaluable; share case studies of past successes that you’ve been responsible for. A good marketer would make a quick Google search to check what sector and industry their client is a part of, but if you really want to impress, take it a step further.
Prepare a selection of changes that you’d make to their Facebook profile to attract the right clients, or what sort of new content might improve their exposure to new target groups.
Do Not, We repeat, Do Not Oversell
It’s great to be confident, and presentation certainly counts when in a client-facing business. But there’s a fine line between confidence and arrogance, and you’ll only know one from the other when you’ve said too much.
Before speaking to clients, be very honest about what services you’re able to deliver, whether that’s search engine optimization (SEO), email marketing, or analytics. Therefore, you should know what you’re able to deliver and what you’re not. The only thing worse for a client than paying for poor service is being tricked into paying for poor service.
You may carry ambitions for your business to be able to handle bigger and grander projects in the future, but until you build the skills and experience to deliver what you promise, it’s going to appear like you set out to deceive them from the get-go.
Communicate Crystal-Clear Expectations
To avoid miscommunications and future disappointment, be super clear about what you can and intend to deliver.
Using SMART goals that are specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and time-based is something that more giant corporations also use to ensure that all parties are on the same page and share the same expectations.
Learning and Teaching – The Circle of Life for Businesses
If you’ve taken the time and made efforts to connect with your clients and learn about their business, that’s a great start, but it doesn’t stop there.
Be the Student
Learn about their competition and how they’re approaching social media. Is there a hole in the market that your client can take advantage of, or something that they’re not doing that you can learn from a similar company? And while we’re in the classroom, remember that you’re not the only marketing company in the running.
Keep an eye on other companies and services available and what they offer. This is a good habit to keep, no matter what stage of the business you’re currently on. Newer businesses can learn from seeing what established companies are doing, and even after you’ve been in business a number of years, you’ll always want to stay on top of things for your clients and yourself.
When it comes to learning, it can’t be overstated how important it is to keep updating and upgrading your marketing skills as well. You might only be able to offer email marketing in year one of your business, but that only means there are lots of opportunities for you to improve your business offerings the year after that.
Become the Master
Part of the frustration of marketing on social media can be the lack of client’s understanding of why this is an investment worth making. It’s part of your job, particularly during the initial pitch and communication with the client, to clearly illustrate what makes having a professional onboard essential.
Do not assume the client understands who you are or what you do. Your personal connection might get you in the door with the client, but it’ll be your clear explanation of what your business does and exactly how they will benefit from your expertise that that will open checkbooks.
If They Don’t Know You, They Can’t Pay You
The last thing to remember about selling your services as a social media marketing professional is that things are always moving. You can’t afford to create an online presence and expect clients to come to you. While you’re sitting still, there are a dozen other competitors who are working overtime trying to get ahead.
Every moment that you’re not working to put your name out in the market is a moment that someone else’s business is being seen by your next potential client. Make sure that clients pay attention to you and what you bring to the table. Create promotions to reward clients for visiting your page and take advantage of the interactive nature of social media to stay in touch with your client base.
Putting a master plan together, and staying organized with software like Google Calendar or Trello, will ensure that your business doesn’t suffer only because you forgot to post an engaging post or update your service list. If you’re trying to juggle more than two or three social media platforms, consider using a social media management tool to help you keep track of everything.
When in Doubt, Follow Through
Use the very skills that you’re trying to promote to your clients to push your own business.
Put your best foot forward by highlighting the wins your business has had – showcase your past client reviews and successful projects, not to mention any awards or commendations that your business has received.
When it all comes down to it, social media marketing is still just marketing. The format may change, and the services and deliverables are certainly very different from what you might be used to dealing with. Still, it’s all about making a connection and making good on a promise to deliver. The work is yours to be had if you just stay hungry for success, stay humble when it happens, and stay consistent when it comes to getting the job done.
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