There’s a lot of different things that go into booking social media clients whether you’ve been doing it for 10 years like us or are just starting out! Today we’re breaking down what we think is the most important and what has helped us secure new business throughout our careers.
Showcase that you Know your Stuff!
First things first, you need to be ready to show people that you know what you’re talking about! There are so many ways to do this but since you’re trying to get hired for a job in the online world let’s talk about some of the key ways you can show people your expertise there.
Social Media Accounts
What better way to show that you know about social media than seeing you in action! Plus, hiiii it’s your own brand so it’s a great opportunity to showcase that you understand the importance of branding, brand voice and creating content that catches your ideal client’s attention. Your social media accounts are also an amazingggg place to give tips and tricks about the industry to people who could benefit from them or who are interested in hiring you. The more free advice you give away the better, in my opinion! Because each tip is an opportunity to show that you GET it! Another opportunity for your ideal client to go, “I need to hire them to do my social” or for you to make meaningful connections with others. Don’t worry about giving too much away either because the reality of it is, most clients are hiring you for your expertise and because they don’t want to do it themselves or don’t have the time for it. I’ve also heard conversation from some saying, “I’m too busy working on my clients’ social media to work on mine” and #realtalk I think it’s a poor excuse. I get where the point is coming from but if you aren’t taking advantage of your own advice and skills then it’s a missed opportunity in terms of new business.
Okay, so this starts with the content you’re posting on social media and it links up with your blog, email marketing, opt-in content, and Youtube channel (if that’s your thing). Content marketing is one step further to reallyyyy show that you get your ish and you have a lot more characters to explain than just social media captions. One of the best things you can do to increase visibility and improve your SEO through search is to write a blog on your website and then share it allll over the place! How do we know? Because currently, 60% of our web traffic comes from content marketing from our blog — hey that may have even been how you found this post! Content marketing is the gift that keeps giving when you dedicate time to it and another amazing way to show potential clients allll of the knowledge you have.
Having your portfolio accessible on your website or ready to send out if a potential client inquires is critical! People want to know not only can you walk the walk but you have case studies and examples of your work to back it up! Now, you don’t have to highlight everyyyyy account you’ve ever worked on and they also don’t have to be super long. The key is to have a solid batch of case studies that showcase the versatility of your work, what you did on each project and how your efforts performed. If you need some help on the portfolio side we have a whole blog post dedicated to this topic that will walk you through the process step-by-step.
Get Your Face in front of Potential Clients
Okay, so you’ve nailed down how you’re showcasing that you know your stuff, but how do you actually get in front of people so that they know about you?
Using Social Media for Networking
Get your booty networking on social media! Facebook groups and networking on Instagram are two of our absolute favorites. Since you work in social media, you already know that successful social media strategies are built on building relationships and your new business strategy should be no different. One of the ways we signed many of the first clients we had on our own were from connections we made in Facebook Groups. And we’re not talking the posts of people just asking for recs for social media pros or website designers… although those don’t hurt either. A lot of our clients and people who are in our #GoingBold community are people who we shared our advice on one of their posts and just had genuine conversations. Yes, it takes some time but when you’re willing to just help people out with a thing here or there or share your insight it goes a long way in building your credibility. And 6 months down the road when someone is in need of someone, they’ll likely remember that you gave them some solid advice.
Another thing that is huge for us is engaging with others on Instagram. You’ve heard us preach on the topic of engagement a time or two because we know how important it is! There’s a difference between having 15k followers and having 15k followers who really care about your content, as well as having a solid group of people who you regularly engage with. Posting your content and ghosting just isn’t a strategy that’s going to bring home the bacon. If you want to increase visibility of your brand, get in front of your ideal clients, and for new people to actually see your content, then you need to get out there and have a proactive engagement strategy. The more people who know about you, the better and by networking online you have the opportunity to not only connect locally but globally!
Local Networking Events
Now we’re moving to the real life side of things because local networking events are another great way to get your business seen! You need to look at these events beyond just pitching the people who are coming too. Again, that relationship thing! Local networking groups can be a great way to become more involved and visible in your community. Plus, the key here is the people you meet may not need your services now (or even ever) buttt you don’t know who they know. You know that time, when your friend was working on something and in casual conversation they asked if you had recommendations for something or knew someone who could help with that? Well, those simple conversations spark more new business leads than you’d think. It’s definitely not usually a short-term strategy but you’d be surprised how just attending an event or two can really benefit your business in the long-haul.
Another great way to get your name out there? Press coverage! We also have a blog post on this topic too (we write about a lot of things if you couldn’t tell already 😂) Here’s the deal though, getting quoted in an industry related press feature, doing a podcast interview or having a guest post published is another great way to get your name out there and boost your credibility. Plus, by securing these kinds of opportunities you’re also tapping into brand new audiences.
Nailing Your Pitch
So we’ve talked about getting in front of people online and meeting in-person to build relationships but what about when you want to pitch someone you have nooo prior connection to? Oh yes, cold-pitching. This used to scare the crap out of me (and still does sometimes) but it’s a strategy that can really work. There’s definitely a method to the madness though and if you’re going to do it, do it right! You can read tons on this topic and take a bunch of different courses but here are my thoughts — It’s all about being thoughtful, specific and keeping it short!
Don’t just copy and paste the same pitch, send it to 50 potential clients and expect your inbox to fill up… If you really want to make a connection with someone then you need to write personalized and custom pitches. Sure, you can have a base template so you don’t have to start from scratch every time but in our experience, it’s the pitches that we really cater to their businesses that actually get responses. It’s not hard to understand why too! Building relationships… ding, ding, ding! I see a pattern here. If you’re setting up a first date you don’t ask them to marry you right away… so work on introducing yourself and offering a little more insight on how you could maybe help instead of just going for the hard-sale.
Sure, you may be able to help their business with everything under the sun but is there something specific that you think could benefit them the most? Tell them! Now I get it, sometimes you need to be a little careful on how you word things. No one wants to feel like they’re being told how much their stuff sucks, but if they aren’t posting consistently, maybe you could recommend your content calendar services. Do they have a great following but could benefit from influencers getting their hands on the product? Recommend a micro-influencer campaign! Maybe their photos aren’t as great of quality as they could be. Boom, you could offer photo styling. When you get specific, you open the door by letting them know you really looked into their accounts, thought about it and genuinely think you could help.
Keep it Short
Unlike this blog post, keep your pitches short! Nobody wants to read a novel sales pitch and one of the reasons you may be pitching them in the first place is they don’t have the time to do everything. So don’t drown them in a longggg pitch. Let them know who you are, how you found them, how you think you could help them and close it with a call-to-action.
Make it Easy for Potential Clients to get More Info on What you do
Okay, we’re moving and grooving! This may sound like a no-brainer, but an easy way to get better qualified leads is to make it easy for potential clients to get more info about what you do. Not only that, but also actually make it easy to contact you! Scavenger hunts can be fun, but not when it comes to figuring out if someone you want to hire is a good fit! You don’t have to include everythingggg but it’s a good idea to list out the different types of services you offer right on your website (plus it’s great for your SEO). This is also really important when it comes to allll of the points above we talked about because the goal is to get people to your website to see what you’re about and hopefully set up a call or book you. So make sure they can actually find that info easily when they get there.
We’re also big fans of actually putting your pricing on your website (at least your base pricing). Sure, maybe you do custom quotes and you can say that as well but doing so will free up your time from replying to leads that aren’t a good fit. For example, you know the social media industry is a hot market to work in so pricing is alllll over the place. So if your packages start at $1k/month but your potential lead doesn’t want to spend more than $250/month then you’re probably out of their budget right now anyways. So by listing your prices you’re saving yourself from answering 10 emails from people who you’re not a great fit for right now. Which I know a lot of people stress out about pricing in general, so if that’s you, you’ll def want to check out our blog on why your competitor’s prices shouldn’t freak you out too. Guess what else, by providing more info on your website you’ll have less of the same questions coming through that you have to answer. Andddd less time spent on email frees you up for more time networking or working on other things.
Have your Processes in Check
Yes, this step comes once you’ve actually signed a new client but your customer experience can also play into signing future business too! How so? It’s all in making the process as easy and smooth for your clients as possible right from the beginning. By being organized and having a system set up, you’ll assure your new client they are in capable hands. This is important for a few reasons.:
You want to start the relationship on a positive note and making that process as easy as possible, especially during onboarding, will score you major bonus points.
I’m sure you’ve heard stats about how it’s much harder to seek out new business than keep the clients you have and your time starts now! You’ve sold your new client on the goods and now it’s your turn to make some magic happen! By taking great care of your clients you’ll have a better chance of them renewing your agreement or repeat business down the line.
Client referral business can end up being HUGE in your business! In fact, last year alone over 40% of our business was repeat or based on referral. So if you kick butt for this client, they could potentially refer you 3 more clients in the future. It’s all a snowball effect and when you treat your clients well and do good work, it will be more likely that this will happen.
So what does this entail? We’re talking about having a step-by-step thought out process that you do for clients from first inquiry to signing with you and you taking over their social media. Will these systems change over time? Probably, ours sure has, but it will make your life wayyyy easier than winging it. This can include having starting templates for:
Proposals: Yes, you will be customizing these for each client but for the components that stay the same, like the types of services you offer having a template is going to speed up the initial process tremendously. We provide pretty thorough proposals that are custom designed, but having templates allows us to send them to our leads much faster.
Agreements/Invoices: Build out templates for your invoices so you can easily plug in your client’s info and make that process super fast and easy.
Workflows on Project Management Software: If you repeatedly do the same steps for all of your social media projects then saving your workflows will save a ton of time. We’re big fans of Asana, and have templates built out for all of our services.
Social Media Questionnaires: One of our first steps for clients once they sign with us is completing a social media questionnaire. This gives us further info on what they’re looking for and other key details that will be integrated into their strategy. Having a base template allows us to send them right after clients sign their agreements which allows us to jump into work faster. Which btw, you can download the one we use fo’ free over here or at the bottom of this post.
Social Media Strategies: Last but definitely not least. Having a social media strategy template will also save you a ton of time! Yes, you’ll have to do research for every client and fill each of those sections in accordingly but by having the sections it will be way easier to dive right in. Which, you can also get your hands on the base strategy we use too!
As you’ve read from this post, there are a TON of different ways to book social media clients and seal the deal on leads you have. The key is to get out there and take action! Don’t just sit around hoping people will find you. Instead, stack the deck in your favor and get to work!