Bundle Post is very blessed to have patent pending technology for the social media industry and an incredible amount of experience conducting social media marketing previously. Why does that make us blessed you ask? Because we do not have competitors and we are able to provide a lot of expertise to our target market of social media agencies, strategists, consultants and internal brand departments.
Part of helping many of our social media connections and Bundle Post users is providing expertise and insight related to operating a social media marketing agency. We have done it successfully. As a company and for me personally, it is a priority of ours we intend on living up to. Since we are now solely a social media marketing software company, we can and will share some of this information to help you our audience.
1) The client meeting
2) The commitment
3) The key elements to include in the proposal
4) Pricing and terms to address
5) A social media proposal template
The client meeting.
Through our experience of conducting effective social media marketing for clients all over the world, we discovered a specific process that was more effective at signing new social media clients. I’m sure there are several ways you could go about your sales process, but this is what we found that was the most effective.
Rule #1 – We NEVER generated a proposal for a client unless we already had discussed their project, requirements and costs, and received a tentative “Yes” from the client. Creating proposals for clients you have not properly educated, investigated and tentatively closed, only burns your most precious resource… Time. Additionally, you set yourself up for being disappointed, having a very low close ratio and flooding your market with your ideas and pricing for your competition to use. Always follow rule number one!
Following are the important meeting items that comply with our first rule of the social media proposal.
Always conduct a meeting with the prospective client. If you can’t do it in person, do it via phone. You need to understand their knowledge of social media marketing, evaluate what they are currently doing and set expectations.
1) Start by asking questions
In order to understand where social media needs to fit into your clients business, you must first understand their business. You need to know what their current marketing consists of and what the overall business issues are.
Some questions you should be asking…
a) about their business and clientele
b) their current social media footprint
c) what are their reasons for being interested in a social media marketing program
Since you will typically be dealing with clients that are not currently active in social media or at least have a very limited presence and results. With businesses of this type, we have always taken a very different approach than most, in that we never start off selling what we do in a client meeting. I found that giving an extremely detailed analogy of the clients situation from the beginning, sets the stage to make us the obvious choice to handle the clients social media marketing.
The way we did this was by telling a story about the clients situation and the current state of social media. It goes something like this;
Here is the challenge you have “Client”. This is social media and is very different than typical marketing or advertising. Think of it as a marathon and not a sprint. It is about building and maintaining real relationships with your prospects and customers. The problem is that the gun went off several years ago and you guys are not even really in the race. You have no athlete, have not begun stretching or training and don’t even have a professional coach.
What’s worse is that your competitors are not only in the race, they are making good time. Your customers are on the sidelines of the marathon route watching your competitors run by, and you are nowhere to be seen. So it is not about if, it is about when you are going to have to be in this race and have a very professional pace in order to catch up with and beat the lead pack…
From there we get into the details of social media
a) explain social media marketing
Be sure to explain how you build relationships using social media, how it is selfless and about providing relevance and value to your audience. Explain the complexities of a general strategy and content and how response and conversation is imperative. Include the amount of posts required on different platforms and the monitoring and details of making it effective.
There are two main reasons for doing the above in great detail: 1) Show your knowledge as their expert. 2) Help them realize the amount of details, functions and activity social media requires and 3) That they do not have the time or knowledge to do it themselves
b) explain the sites relevant to their business
Using what you learned about their business in the “ask questions” step, you should now have an idea of the social platforms their brand should be using. Give them an overview of the 1,2 or 3 (keep it to three to start their campaign) social networks they need to have a presence on and explain why. Again, details and complexities are what you are wanting to get across here.
c) present your plan
If you did your homework before the meeting, as well as listened during the question step, you should be able to outline in simple terms what their initial program should be like. What you recommend, the activity you will be doing on which networks, etc. Most importantly, you should know what you are doing well enough to start discussing costs.
3) Discuss budget and requirements
a) Their budget
At this point, you should have an idea of the clients financial situation and approximately what the costs for their program would need to be. You will want this to be a monthly fee and for a specified period of time. More on terms and pricing in Part 4.
Next you will want to again recap all of the things that your firm will be doing on a setup, daily and weekly basis. DO NOT rush this. Go through the detail of all the activity that will need to be done, including; creation of pages/accounts, customized landing pages and backgrounds, building their community size, following, follow-backs, unfollowing, posting, responding, etc. The more detail you explain, the better.
c) Q & A
Ask the client if they have any questions, then LISTEN. You need to be quiet and let the prospect think, then speak, then ask questions. Your job here is to hear what they are REALLY saying. Are they making excuses or coming up with reasons why they can’t do it right now? Are they displaying fear due to their lack of understanding? Are they having a budget issue?
Handle their questions with care. Recap the massive requirements on time and resources. Remind them their customers are already in the race. Explain to them again that social media is where the people are and more importantly where they prefer to connect with businesses.
Again, there are many ways to get a prospective client to a social media proposal. My experience has shown this method works well. More importantly, it works quickly.