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.
Facebook : Social Media Connections
22 thoughts on “You Charge This Much Money For Social Media ??? by @smconnec”
I love your section on time. A good social media campaign takes time. If you own a business, you will do well to understand how powerful social media can be and that it takes time to harvest results.
Ouch! Unfortunately I know this conversation all too well and I can just imagine the quality of his websites! (90s design, hard coded in html with a bunch of keywords in the footer)
As a social media professional and web developer I know this conversation in reverse as well. Recently a colleague wanted a website quote for a client and we had a lengthy conversation about what I see as the minimum requirement for a website and my price. His response: “I can do that in WordPress in a couple of hours”
Indeed Frithjof. All too often you get what you pay for.
It’s amazing that people question what we charge for true social media management but they admit they don’t have the time to do it correctly. That’s why it’s so important to know the value of the services we provide and as it has already been said, you get what you pay for. So I pass up a client that squawks about price because in the end they aren’t going to be happy anyway even if they do choose you because they will nitpick what you do. Great article Samantha!
So true Shannon! Thanx for jumping in.
This is all too common of an issue not to talk about it. When I started my career, more than a decade ago, I was a professional translator. We already had to deal with that kind of crap, but it was nothing compared to what I have to read almost every time a potential client comes along.
Granted, I work with small biz owners and solo-entrepreneurs. I can understand the small budget. But there is no excuse for disrespecting a hard-working person.
I don’t know what it will take for people to understand that work, any type of work, requires payment. We do not just update social media profiles. Samantha, as you mentioned, we do a LOT more than that.
Its pretty easy to socially “vet” a SMM Consultant. If a smm consultant’s site and top socials don’t have the right mix of metrics on their social footprint, why would I expect them to be able to deliver results for my SMB clients? There are many who claim to have SMM expertise, yet once you peel off a few layers of their onion, you get the feeling they are members of the “fake it til you make up” club?
Indeed Neil. Unfortunately. this industry is made up of mostly those types. Many want to be speakers and authors, but have never really done the work. Having a lot of information is far different than having experience actually executing.
Thanx for jumping in on this.
OMG – I love the part about time – and time is money for everyone it seems, except us social media marketing managers – right? WRONG! I can so relate and I learned long ago to walk away from people who want a bargain. It’s just not going to happen.
Way to go Laurie! I teach Social Media agencies the rule of “you don’t work for free” and all the connections to that mentality. Well done.
Great post, Samantha. You are a smart lady with a heart for this profession, and I applaud you holding the line, even though I can relate to the ignorance of that web person and I know you were flabbergasted at first. Unfortunately, it’s all too common, which is why our song of professionalism in this field needs to be sung from the rooftops, if for no other reason than to “weed out” the hacks who are entering the social media world; a dime-a-dozen. I’m grateful for your feature here on the Bundle Post blog, to shed more light on this subject. Thanks, guys!
Reblogged this on People Forward and commented:
My favorite part of this post? ” 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.” Great job, Samantha. Proud to collaborate with you in our Social Agency group of pros.
Thank you for all the kind words about the article! I’m so glad it resonated with you, and hope it shed some light on what we consistently go through to ‘validate’ our industry.
This may be the best post I’ve ever seen on why we do what we do. I’m also a social media strategist, I say strategist because that is at the forefront of what we do, and I deal with that “man on the other side of the phone often.” They don’t understand what goes into doing social media yet they know how you should do it. Bravo to you! May I use this as a guest post on my blog? Providing any necessary backlinks of course.
You may reblog it using the normal WordPress reblog function, of course. Thank you for the support!
What a compliment! This was the first conversation I’ve had with someone where they actually went silent on the other side of the phone and then reacted the way they did. I have no doubt more will come. Thanks for reading and sharing.
Isn’t it funny how many people think spending all day fixing marketing for clients who charge money for their own services, should somehow treat our own services as some kind of charitable hobby.
Don’t want to bother spending any of your own time learning about this stuff? Fine. But why would anyone else (a stranger) be willing to spend THEIR time to help you unless you give something in exchange. Like, I don’t know…maybe MONEY?!?
Try that with a plumber or an accountant and see how far that gets ya. :)
Lol bingo Marcus
I got asked if I would trade my services for clothing recently… I so wanted to answer back, “Ok well a friend of mine is looking for a party dress. Do you mind if she pays you with a sack of potatoes?” Some people…
bwahahaha too funny. Hang in their Samantha!