A Guest Post By Samantha Cangelosi
Who doesn’t like referrals from current clients? Having your social media agency referred to someone else shows that your current clients are obviously happy with your services, and that’s ultimately what any business owner would want, right?
When I received a referral from a client last week, I was excited about the potential business. This, however, wasn’t a typical referral call. Rather than calling about hiring me, this man reached out to me about a potential partnership between him and me. (He is a web designer with several clients looking for help with social media.)
Couldn’t hurt to talk to him about it… so I thought.
Our phone call began on a somewhat normal note — him asking me questions about how I long I’ve been doing what I do and how I came to work with the client we have in common. Simple stuff.
Briefly explaining that he had no interest in learning how to do social media “ever”, he praised me for how well we could potentially “fit together”.
Things were all fine and dandy until he started to describe his clientele. He referred to them as “mom-and-pop shops located in small strip centers.”
Oh, and “they hate to open their checkbooks”.
Bigger red flag.
This man continued on with how marketing agencies over-price everything, and therefore, someone like me would be great to help. I knew I had to lay out my pricing soon because the more this man talked, the more red flags appeared.
Soon after I explained my pricing, silence met me on the other side of the phone followed by, “Wow! You’re telling me that clients would pay you this much for 6 months?”
Ok. This response isn’t too uncommon for those unaware of what social media marketers do, so I proceed to share my thoughts on social media and describe how I help my customers with not just the daily management, but also strategy building. I explain that social media needs to be where business are now since their customers are on there connecting with the competitors. If businesses don’t have a presence on social media nowadays, they will get left behind.
Despite what I said, he continued to greet my answers with long awkward silences. Clearly this guy didn’t know what I was talking about, nor did he care to learn.
He finally responded, “So you’re telling me that you charge [referring client] this much money?” By this point, I was starting to get slightly offended by his attitude and tone and, frankly, it was none of his business what I charge them.
After several minutes of this back-and-forth he gave me the quotes of all quotes. The quote that launched a (865 word) blog post:
“I’m sure you went to college and majored in Marketing or something.” Pause.
Him: “Yeah. Same thing… And I’m sure you’re book smart…but let me give you some advice”
I was in utter shock. This gentleman decided to give me unsolicited business advice on how to price my services because, apparently, mine was somehow flawed. Weird how he knew how to price my services, yet knew nothing about the industry, how it works, what I do or how I do it. Hmm…
I had to take deep breaths, remembering that a client of mine had recommended me and I didn’t want this man to talk bad about me to my current client; or any potential clients, for that matter.
I can go on and on sharing the awkward and offensive things that happened during this conversation, but I think the point has been made: this man clearly had no understanding of social media and absolutely no interest in learning.
It Takes Time
It’s our job as social media managers to help businesses realize the potential social media has, and when done right, how successful it can be. Social media requires time to do that, though. I’m not just talking about time for building relationships — we all know that doesn’t happen overnight. I’m talking about actual time. It takes time to create a social media strategy. We research their competitors, their industry, what they are currently doing with their marketing strategy.
It takes time to build accounts, optimize them, create and edit graphics, etc.
It takes time to find their business’s target audience and follow them and connect with them.
It takes time to find content to share with their target audiences — content that they will actually find interesting.
It takes time. If you want to hire someone who spends 2 minutes a day on your social media management who charges $99 a month, then be my guest, but odds are that they probably won’t have the knowledge or ability to execute a proper strategy, let alone achieve anything resembling real results.
Yes, I went to college and I’m proud of it (Go Mustangs)! Yes I consider myself “book smart,” and shocker: I enjoy learning. If you don’t then you shouldn’t be in this business because social media requires marketers to learn something new every day. I also know that I can’t live without a paycheck, just like you, “man on the other side of the phone”. This is my livelihood. This is my “bread and butter”. This is my business. I get my clients real results and I don’t work for free.
Samantha Cangelosi is a social media marketer based in South Texas. A graduate of Southern Methodist University in journalism, she has always had a passion for telling and sharing stories with audiences. Now, she gets the chance to tell brands’ stories on a daily basis all while connecting with people just like you. She loves food of all kinds, coffee with a little cream, and her Corgi-child.