Social Media Strategists: Choosing Potential Clients and Building a Base
Almost everybody you know has at least one form of social media and if they found out you work in social media they’ll probably mention they want more followers! This is where you can casually mention you could give them some tips, but please be careful with your wording because you don’t want them to think you’ll be their social media manager for free!
For a lot us who work in social media we have no problem giving tips to others but beware of being used as free labor. Being a social media manager, strategist, or SEO specialist are well-paying jobs and you don’t want to be taken advantage of.
There’s nothing wrong with helping out someone who has potential to be a future client or if not they can at least refer you to someone else! Professionals love referrals and if you are skilled and helpful they’ll gladly recommend you to someone who could be a well-paying client (please be careful ‘helping’ friends and family unless it’s going in your portfolio).
There are some factors you should take into consideration when choosing potential clients: why does this person want more followers, what are the hints this person is willing to pay (job, income, do they complain about money, etc.), do they have a business or looking to start one, do they have a lot of contacts, or do they hate social media?
Congratulations! It’s looks like your client will pay you, so now what? Every client is different but you must know your value. Don’t undercut yourself or feel obligated to do more for less because they either don’t have the money or aren’t willing to pay around market rate. Let your client know your worth upfront so there is a mutual level of respect for each other and your field. Don’t be afraid to politely walk away if your numbers and agreed upon hours don’t match up, you are your own boss!
You have to be as realistic with your client about how you can incorporate ideas and a strategy to achieve agreed upon goals. If they want a YouTube series and 10K subscribers in 3 months but isn’t willing or able to put the time into at least a bi-weekly series then you’re doomed to fail and your client won’t be happy. Remember you’re the expert so let them know what’s the best way to achieve an active and loyal social media following! Explain to them that going viral is a science but mostly luck so the more chances they give themselves to be seen with funny or quality content the better!
DO NOT PUT ALL YOUR EGGS IN ONE BASKET! If you are just starting out you can learn this now or the hard way in about 3— 6 months after working with a client or company. Unless you are a salary full-time worker you have the flexibility to gain more clients and skills. If a client expects you to edit videos but that isn’t your area of expertise this is a great way to strengthen that area and then update your resume and portfolio. Keep learning and networking because a lot of clients and businesses will use 6 month to yearly contracts and are always open to switching, even if you’re doing a great job!
That’s it for today! Now go out there and change the world.