Nothing like getting down to the meat and potatoes of a social media proposal, right? This post on social media pricing and terms represent one of the two most important parts of this series. Duh right? Maybe not so clearly obvious…
There are reasons and details of these two parts of your social media proposal that make it extremely important, but not the reasons you are most likely thinking. Since we spent years as a social media agency before becoming a social media software company, we learned some things about client projects that I intend on passing along to you today. The items we will be sharing today are some of the most important tips for a small or mid-sized social media marketing agency.
I do not intend on giving advice about pricing in this post. If you are doing social media marketing for clients, you should already have a good idea of the costs and margins you need to work from, as well as what the market can bear. The size of your client, their market focus geographically and demographically, as well as the number of networks and activity levels required to make their program effective are considerations you need to take into account. So we will leave actual pricing models up to you to establish for your business.
Having said that, the other side of your pricing model and terms are how and when you receive payment. Again, our experience in this space enables us to share with you some suggestions that will help you sign and maintain your client accounts over the long term. The three main issue that you need to take a serious look at are:
1) Program Length
Always sign your clients to a 6 month program with you. Always! There are a few specific reasons why this will be very advantageous for you.
a) New social media programs take at least 3-6 months to begin getting traction and results. You need a commitment to enough time to get the program setup, build a community and make needed changes based on what you see on the ground. Six months gives you the time to make the program effective.
b) It allows you to focus on the clients project without worrying about loosing the account. If you are concerned the client might fire you, you tend to not do social media marketing properly and attempt shortcuts that will lead to disaster anyway.
c) It gives the client a sense of not being locked in and makes the decision to get started easier. They understand their committed investment amount for six months and know they have an out if is not effective.
d) If gives you are point in the client relationship to get a price bump. Don’t underestimate this scenario. We all know the amount of time and effort social media requires when done properly. Once you have their program established and getting results, the last thing they want is for it to stop. Or worse that they would have to take it over themselves.
At the six month point of a client social media campaign, you have the ability to resign them with additional components and/or at additional costs. If you have done your job properly, the six month agreement gives you an easy way to get theat accomplished.
2) Payment Frequency Terms
We always made clients pay monthly for their programs with us. The following are the reasons we found this to be extremely beneficial and we highly recommend you follow this model for your agreements.
a) It lightens their financial burden and spreads it across a six month period
b) It also provides a monthly touch point for connecting back with the client
c) Provides an opportunity for feedback, input and additional information about their business
3) Payment Type Terms
I can’t stress this category enough. You MUST take payment from your clients via credit card or recurring PayPal payment. Here are the main reasons we found this to be incredibly beneficial:
a) Your time is valuable. Spending time chasing payments from clients will kill you and your cash flow
b) Never worry about getting paid and paid on time
c) You control running the payment transactions instead of relying on your client to remember or do it
Don’t have a merchant account? Get one! Don’t have a PayPal Pro account? Get one! Neither of those work for you and your situation? Look into Square , a smart phone credit card processing tool that is cost effective and easy for approval. This is a must for your agency, so bite the bullet and get it done.
4) Client Involvement Terms
You need to ensure that your client has some involvement in their daily social media marketing efforts. You are not in their place of business everyday and therefore are not privy to the daily happenings within the company that needs to be shared. Be sure you get a committment level from your client to provide daily/weekly photos, updates, information and videos that you can use to do two things in their program:
a) deliver fresh content about the company that is not necessarily pitching their product/service
b) make the company more human and thus more easily engaging and approachable by your target audience.
Getting the client’s buy in to provide this information is a must within your social media marketing proposal/agreement.
The last post in our series will be an actual Word doc template social media proposal that you can download, edit and use for your company. Part 5 of our series will post next week.