Finding Success as a Social Media Consultant
Working in social media has been a viable career for a number of years already, and there are more and more people moving into consultancy in this area. That’s largely because a lot of people believe they can make some easy money with just a few years’ experience. However, even though working as a social media consultant you may be able to design your own schedule, you still need to answer to clients and deadlines. It’s important to know the complete ins and outs of what it takes to find complete success working in social media. Read on to learn more!
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Once you do set yourself up as a social media consultant, you will need to treat yourself like a business. You’ll also find that you spend a lot of your time trying to market yourself and onboarding new clients as well. It’s not just about tweeting and posting any ole’ images to Instagram!
With that being said you can make a very good living as a social media consultant or manager if you put your mind to it.
A social media specialist can make between $35,000 – $50,000 annually, depending upon demographics, while a senior social media strategist can make $110,216. The range is enormous and you need to determine your worth.
Think you’ve got what it takes to become a successful social media consultant? The following checklist includes all of the things that you will need.
The Successful Social Media Consultant’s Checklist
Some Initial Clients
You won’t be much of a business without any clients. So, you will need to start looking for your first leads to sign on to your books. You don’t want to be overwhelmed by taking on too much work at the beginning, so it’s worth dipping your toes in with just a couple of clients to see how things go.
Most people who are looking to work in social media consultancy take on these early clients while they are still in full-time employment so that they get a feel for their new job and are 100% sure that it is something they want to leave employment to pursue.
For example; I started taking on one or two clients while I was working for someone else. (Make sure it’s not a conflict of interest).
You can advertise your services by setting up a professional website of 2-3 pages. It doesn’t have to be expansive. And of course social media pages of your own.
Reliable Work Processes
To ensure your work is reliable and consistent, you will need to set up some workflows and processes. These whole processes will cover finding new clients, onboarding, carrying out the project work, and finally invoicing.
It’s important that these processes are all the same for each client.
- Will you offer a free consultation first?
- Will you send out a proposal?
- Are you offering a contract?
- How will you officially start the work?
- Will you have a process to collect password information for social accounts?
- How will you deliver invoices and get paid?
To help you achieve this consistency, you should take advantage of a dependable and user friendly social media management platform and other useful apps and software.
By automating all your workflows and processes in this way, you should find them easier to stick to.
A Unique Niche
It doesn’t pay to generalize when it comes to social media. If you are too generic and try to take on clients from various industries, you won’t have much of a competitive edge.
Instead, you need to figure out what your niche will be and stick with it. For instance, some social media consultants and managers will only carry out work for companies within the restaurant or hospitality industry.
Others might only take on clients from within the health, legal services or education industry.
Ideally, you should work to your strengths so that can stand out in your niche as the very best social media manager for the job.
Here’s a great course by my friend Jenny Weg who teaches you how to be a Social Media Manager in a month or less.
Your Own Successful Social Media Channels
Working on other business’s social media channels can leave you with very little time to take care of your own. But it really is important that you regularly post to your own profiles as these are one of your main marketing assets.
After all, if a potential client is checking out your Twitter or Facebook page but isn’t impressed with what they see, then they might not want to risk signing you up for their own social media work.
I know when I go to a companies social media page and I see that it hasn’t been updated in 2 years? I begin to question what’s going on. Social media is one of the first places people go prior to a company or client contacting you.
A Good Understanding Of Your Value
One of the biggest mistakes that many new social media consultants make is that they greatly undervalue their services and work.
That means that they end up charging their clients a lot less than what they should be, so will end up earning less than what they are truly worth.
If you aren’t too sure exactly how much you should be charging, you should check other consultants’ rates out.
Of course, if they are highly experienced then you might not be able to charge quite so much, but this should give you an idea of your value and what similar professionals are charging their clients.
It also depends on which part of the country you live in. A social media consultant in NYC is likely to charge much higher rates than one living in a small urban demographic.
A Business License
Once you set yourself up as a social media consultant, you will need to check exactly what kind of business license you need before you start operating.
If you aren’t too sure what kind of license you need to operate as a business, it’s worth contacting your local trade offices or the Small Business Administration.
A Solid Business Plan
Before you do get started with signing up new clients, it is really worth writing a business plan for your social media consultancy.
This can outline the various ways you will find new clients and start to grow your social media consultancy.
Business plans should also cover finances as well, and you will need to document how you are going to fund all of the startup costs.
You will find that this business plan comes in very useful as you can keep referring back to it to ensure that you are always on the right track with your new social media business.
Working for yourself means that you will need to start taking more control of your finances and invoicing all of your clients for the work you carry out.
Of course, if you want to outsource this completely you can hire an accountant to do all your invoicing, bookkeeping, and taxes for you.
A Stylish Website
Another great way to market yourself is on your own website. This is a great place for you to describe your social media services and how your clients will benefit from you.
For a strong online presence, it’s worth getting a reliable web designer to create a sophisticated site that attracts plenty of attention.
Or for those who are more adventurous there are plenty of options available to DIY:
Free Marketing Tools for Your Social Media Consultancy Business
There are numerous other free marketing tools and strategies you can use to promote your new social media consultancy business.
Home Business Blogs
Every single home based business owner on the planet needs to have a blog of their own. However, this is about using other people’s blogs to your advantage.
There are about a million and one home based business blogs online.
Go to several home business blogs every day (Pinterest is an excellent source), read the most recent post, and write a comment about it.
Make sure your comment is actually about their blog and not just an ad for your social media business.
Leave your blog or website in the comment as well because that’s how you’ll end up getting more traffic.
This technique will also help improve your SEO and your Domain Authority.
Commenting on other home business blogs is simple, easy and you will not believe the traffic you can generate using this simple concept.
Home Business Forums
Home based business forums are everywhere. Some of them have a lot of traffic and some of them don’t, but a great way to get the word out about your website, articles, videos and blogs is to post on at least one forum regularly.
Again, don’t be a spammer. Contribute something in every post you make and it’s another simple and easy way to get more highly targeted traffic to your website.
Free Classified Ad Sites
While a classified ad in the local paper can get really expensive there are some online classified ad sites that are free to use and extremely popular.
The biggest free classified ad site is Craigslist but it’s not the only game in town and frankly its somewhat outdated.
But depending on your demographic it still may be beneficial. It doesn’t take long to post an ad on a website like Craigslist and when you use these sites consistently they can be really effective.
A better option though, is going on LinkedIn, setting up a profile and growing a network.
With a 630 million member a month reach it’s a very valuable place to get more exposure, build awareness of what you do, get traffic to your website and get your name out there!
Social Bookmarking Sites
Social bookmarking sites like Digg and Reddit and many others are really beneficial for getting more attention to articles, blogs, videos, and websites that you’ve already posted.
It’s just a good way to get more bang for your buck.
You’ve already done the work to write your articles or post to your blog so doesn’t it make sense to get more traffic to the marketing tools you’re already using?
Social Networking Groups
Want to be successful in a home based business? Join lots of Facebook groups within your niche. These groups are a great way to talk to a lot of people in a short period of time.
Marketing your business on social networking groups isn’t a one time thing, to be effective you’ll need to use them almost every day.
If you want to work from home online and have more success in your home based business use all five of these free home business marketing tools.
They’ve worked for me and countless others and I know they’ll work for you.
Join our Facebook group work from home group here!
Once you have all of the above in this useful checklist, you should be well equipped with everything you need to be a successful social medial consultant.
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