Becoming a social media manager is a dream job for many, however just like every other small business you will be faced by one of the biggest challenges, how to market your skills to potential clients. As you should already know the ins and outs of marketing through social media, you should have the insight needed to be able to reach out and engage your social media audience, turning some of these from interested observers into engaged prospects and then into customers and raving fans. However you’ll soon realize that social media alone isn’t enough.
To really succeed as a social media manager you need to be able to reach out beyond those already using social media to find those businesses who don’t have the time, the knowledge or the confidence to market themselves through social media even though they will have heard of the importance of social media marketing.
It doesn’t matter if you’re the best social media selling expert around your website should still be the center of your marketing universe, simply because it is the one thing that you own and control. Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and the others can and do change, your website doesn’t unless it’s something you want. Your website needs to reflect your social media knowledge, you want people to arrive at your website and go, wow this person knows all about social media. It isn’t enough to simply tell people how to do something, you actually have to show them and practice what you preach.
Additionally, you will want to include content such as that which is comprised of current stats and data from some of the projects you are working on, this data is unique to you, using it gives you a massive point of difference. You might also want to include comparisons between your work and your competitors, simply illustrate how you’re existing and future service offerings (work), will and will continue to be better than those of your competitors. You often see this from of comparison given as a table, with ticks next to each service, which generally means the company with the most ticks offers the more comprehensive range of services.
You should also include testimonials and feedback from clients, statistical data from any metrics that you track, before and after project milestones, etc., not of course forgetting that you should actually incorporate social media within your website, show your audience your playground and just how good you are.
Every business website needs to incorporate a blog, without one it’s just a static often dead website. Once your blog is up and running, just blog about the techniques that you have found to be the most effective, also include those areas that you are perhaps not quite as good as, because simply by writing about them you’ll actually learn more about them. Explain where and how you use these techniques, showcase the results and what can be learned from them, from a business perspective. These posts will form your most valuable authority content.
You should also address all of those questions and concerns that have ever been raised with you. Simply blog about them, answer each question as best as you can in one blog post because blog posts work best when you answer one question with one blog post. By doing this you will address all of the concerns, wants and desires of your audience and while you are doing it, you will have attracted an audience to your blog via basic search engine optimization and of course you will be promoting your blog via those social media channels you know so well.
Blog about techniques you have found to be highly effective as well as those you feel are lacking. Explain where and how you used them, what the results show and how it can directly impact a business.
We all live in a fast paced world and perhaps the online world is that fastest of all, social media selling is constantly changing. It’s vital that you stay on top of new and emerging technologies that help you keep your clients’ one step ahead of their competitors. Blogging about, talking about and showcasing new methods will show your audience that you are a forward thinking leader, always striving to be the best you can be.
Webinars are a great way to market your social media management services, because unlike traditional selling you are selling to potentially hundreds / thousands at the same time. Webinars allow you to teach potential new customers why hiring a social media manager (you) is important and you’ll showcase the value you bring backed up by real life facts and figures. Not only that but you will be able to answer any questions your webinar audience has, which everyone attending will be able to hear and this will also positively reinforce you as the expert in your field.
Simply invite prospective clients, anyone on your mailing list, and people via your social media channels. Consider partnering with complimentary business owners to co-host webinars, as you’ll not only reach your audience but theirs too.
Once a webinar is over ensure you give your prospective new customers a strong call to action, because this is the time when they want what you have to offer, so tell them what you want them to do.
You should also post a recording of your webinar on to your website (blog) for all of those people that could not attend the live event. You can also use any of the questions asked as topics for future blog content as these questions and your answers are what are important to your audience.
Just like a webinar, consider hosting a live event, with the popularity of meetup.com it has never been easier to attract an audience, over and above those methods already mentioned. A live event is very similar to hosting a webinar except you get to meet people face to face which makes the whole event much more personal. When I started my business here in Australia, I hosted a live event in our backyard, I attracted around twenty local business owners ran through my presentation, answered their questions and closed with a call to action. The clients we secured at this event formed the backbone of my initial business and without them I would not have succeeded.
Word of mouth marketing is perhaps the most powerful way of marketing, it empowers your existing clients and fans so that they introduce you to new potential clients. However, if you don’t have many existing customers, fans, friends and family it can be really hard to get word of mouth often referred to as referral marketing to work for you.
In such circumstances you might want to consider advertising, both online and offline to raise awareness of your business in your chosen market. There are numerous places you can advertise online and as a social media manager you no doubt know of many, however don’t forget that offline marketing can be cheaper (classified ads) and can potentially reach thousands. As an added benefit once you are advertising with a local newspaper, the chances of your next press release sparking interest improve.
Marketing is never easy, especially for a new business. My experience shows it works like this, the newer you are in business the more desperate you are to secure clients, the more out of your way you will go to please them, etc… however your potential clients subconsciously know this and no matter what you do, they are hesitant to trust you with their business. Your task is to keep going, to gain in confidence and to secure clients. As you gain more confidence in yourself and your business you will start to portray this in everything you do, subconsciously your prospects will know and you’ll find it much easier to gain clients. All of those difficult questions won’t be asked anymore and the awesome answers you had prepared will become blog posts and rarely used.
I was rambling a little there, marketing is never an easy task but it is crucial to your business success. Making that first connection with a prospect is where it all starts so make it count. It’s that initial step that sets the scene and gives you the opportunity to turn all those prospective customers into paying ones.