Tag Archives: client

You Charge This Much Money For Social Media ??? by @smconnec

A Guest Post By Samantha Cangelosi

You charge how much for social media marketing?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.”

Red flag.

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.

Me: “Journalism”

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.

About Samantha:

Samantha CangelosiSamantha 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.

Twitter: @smconnec
Facebook : Social Media Connections
Website: sm-connections.com
Linkedin:

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Filed under Agency, Content, customer service, Marketing, Relationship, Results, Social Media, Social Media Management, Social Media Marketing, Strategy

The Most Important Thing A Social Media Agency Can Do For Clients

So you’re a social media marketing agency and you are managing account for your clients, and you are wanting to take the results to the next level. You have set up the accounts, are regularly and frequently sharing valuable content in the various streams and are of course engaging and building relationships. Now you may even be asking yourself a few important questions like;

Social Media ResultsWhat is the most important thing you should be doing to maximize the reach for a client’s social media?

How do I implement it once I know?

Sound familiar? We thought so. We have been there. Previously to becoming a social media software company, we were a social media agency. We dealt with this question frequently and discovered that as it relates to retail client’s, there is one specific thing you can do to make a clients social media marketing more effective, more quickly. What is it?

Teach the client’s staff to understand and leverage their face-to-face contact with customers around social media.

Today’s consumers are incredibly connected online through social media, and an ever-increasing part of that connectivity is through mobile. Ensuring your client’s staff understands this and teaching them to recognize and utilize “in store” opportunities that further the overall social media marketing effort is essential. Using the staff to magnify and multiply the social media exposure is important for a comprehensive strategy that delivers.

Here are some key points to follow for best results:

1) Group Training –  If at all possible do a group training that brings all the staff that has consumer contact together in one place at one time. Be careful to only explain the basics of social media marketing, and not get into the deep details. You just want the group to have a decent understanding of it.

Going too deep into social media marketing will often cause the team to lose interest, get bored and take way too long. Keep it simple and short.

If your client location is not local to you, schedule a Google Hangout or Skype call with the client when they can have their staff together in a room for you to train all at once. Recording the training for use with new staff members can also be very helpful.

2) What You’re Doing – Be sure that the staff understands what the general strategy of the social media program is all about. They should know what you are doing for the client so they can answer basic questions when in a conversation with a visiting customer.

3) Spotting Customers – Teach the staff what to watch for when customers are in the store. Train them to keep an eye out for customers using or carrying smart phones and tablets, etc. If someone has a smart phone or tablet, they are likely a social media user.

Be sure that you cover the things likely to be asked of them about the client’s social media and give them some opening comments or questions they can use to bring it up. Things like:

– Are you guys on Facebook?

– Have you checked in on Foursquare?

– Are you following us on Twitter for our specials?

Prior to doing the staff training, work with the client to establish some kind of discount program for likes and follows, enabling the staff to incent customers to like the company page, follow and mention on Twitter, check in on Foursquare, etc. If the client is agreeable to the incentive program, be sure to have the details for the staff when you do the training.

4) Client SM Accounts – One of the most important things the staff must know off the top of their heads is what the client social media account names are. Make sure to go over all of the networks the client is on and the exact account names customers can use to find them.

Adding signs on the doors and at check out counters with the social media account names will not only aid staff in remembering, but also remind customers that the client is there.

5) Handouts – Prepare handouts with the bullet points that you covered in the meeting so they have something to reference once you leave.

6) Make It Personal for the Staff  **MOST Important**- If there was one thing we learned as an agency going through these steps with a client, was that making it personal and beneficial for the employees to do these things is imperative. In other words, have an answer for “what’s in it for them”.

Example: If the client is a restaurant, help the staff understand how they can make bigger tips by talking about social media with their customers. Give them examples of how they get bigger tips when they connect with customers about sports teams and how social media users are often even more fanatic than sports fans. Making the human connection with a customer about social media can result in bigger tips. If the client is some other kind of business, work with the client to create contests for the staff that enables them to win small bonuses or store credits, etc.

The point is, make it personal and beneficial for the staff to get on the social media marketing program.

Getting staff involved in the right ways with on site customers will make a significant impact on the overall social media marketing effort you are managing for them. If you do it properly, it will make your agency’s job much easier and the community growth, engagement and revenue results considerably larger and faster.

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Filed under Agency, Community, Facebook, Google, Marketing, Mobile, Results, Smart Phone, Social Media, Social Media Marketing, Strategy, Twitter

Social Media Agency Client Intake Form [free download]

Social Media Agency Client Intake FormOne of the biggest challenge in a social media agency working in such a fast paced industry, is staying organized when bringing on new clients. For those of you that don’t know we use to be a social media agency and had the same challenge of bringing on new clients, ensuring that all of their important information needed to make their program a success was gathered and organized effectively. The philosophy that we used was – if you manage the front end (the beginning or the start), the back-end (the finish or results) will always work out.

Using some of our tools created when we were a social media markeing firm, as well as some documents provided by some of our Bundle Post Pro users, we have developed a comprehensive social media agency client intake form template for you to download free. You may edit the Word document for your agency and customize it anyway that fits how you work with your clients and the services you provide.

Some of the important items that are covered in the Client Intake Form Template are:

1) Client information – including payment details, contact info and more.

2) Project details – including description of the project and social media platforms that will be used.

3) Current properties – detailed list of a client’s existing web and social media properties.

4) Brand information – including details about brand, products, services, messaging and what makes them unique.

5) Client deliverables – list of required client deliverables such as logos, graphics and other social pages the client wishes to emulate.

6) Target audience and competitor information

We HIGHLY recommend that you use the social media client intake form internally only. We do not recommend that you put it in the hands of your clients and ask that they fill it out.  At this point your new social media marketing client is pretty overwhelmed and they don’t understand the process or the details like you do. Make it easy on them by surveying them and requesting the info through a discussion, meeting or phone call. This will also help you uncover valuable details you need to know and would not have found out if you handed them the form to complete themselves. Doing it this way will make the intake process less overwhelming for your new social media marketing client and gather much better information that will help you with their program.

When starting a new social media management client, it is really important that the intake process you have is organized and ensures you have all the information you need to be successful for the client. This is not a definitive client intake form, but this will give you a great starting point template that you can edit and make your own.

Download the free client intake form template below 
SMClientIntakeFormTemplate

If you need a social media contract, proposal agreement, see our 5 part series on “Important Elements of a Social Media Agency Proposal

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Filed under Agency, Bundle Post, Marketing, Social Media, Social Media Management, Social Media Marketing, Uncategorized

5 Mistakes Social Media Agencies Make Before Even Getting A Client

I love the fact that social media has grown so much and now there are so many companies taking advantage of the possibilities. I also dig that there are so many new social media agencies being started by talented individuals that have decided to turn their love of the industry into their business. But it is very important to note that understanding how to be effective marketing in social media, does’t automatically equate to being effective at running a social media agency.

As some of you know, prior to Bundle Post and becoming a social media content management software company, we were a social media agency. We made all the mistakes and figured out a lot of the challenges starting and growing a social media agency entails. I consider us very fortunate to have developed many procedures, rules and processes that I am now able to pass on to many of our software users and readers of our blog.

Social Media Agency MistakesBeyond the many business challenges of an agency, there are distinct changes to mindset and focus that many new agency start ups overlook. These subtle miscues often result in a slower path to revenue and profitability for not just the newbie, but many long time practitioners. Getting these social media marketing components in tact for your company, will help you excel your growth and results.

Five Of The Mistakes Social Media Agencies Make:

1) Priorities: When I work with social media agencies or have them go through my course, I explain that there are two priorities they should have. Unfortunately, most don’t have the two proper priorities in place. They should be:

a) Meet with and sign new clients.

b) Handle client programs perfectly.

I often find that many are doing so many other things outside of these priorities, that they end up stuck in the same place. I have also discovered that much of the time fear is the reason. Without having these priorities your agency will not grow at the level it can. Additionally, by having these as your priorities, all other issues and challenges you face will be resolved, because you will have the resources and capital to address them.

2) Wrong voice: The next three mistakes surround your agency’s own social media management. The first, “Voice” is probably the biggest mistake I see made. When I say voice, I am referring to messaging, content creation (blog posts) and content strategy. Many, and I really mean MOST social media agencies focus their voice incorrectly on their peers and competitors, rather than their prospects.

Preaching to and for the choir is not at all in line with the proper priorities set out in number one above and lead to great relationships, but not new clients and revenue. But let me be clear. I am not saying never to engage with your peers. I am saying do not fall into the trap of writing and posting content that will not attract your target audience, or spending the majority of your time engaging and building relationships with non-prospects. You would, or at least shouldn’t do that with your clients social media programs, and you shouldn’t on yours.

3) Wrong Audience: Similarly to wrong voice, building the wrong community that is not made up of primarily prospect relationships is another big mistake. Part of being a social media agency for your clients is a proven ability to not only manage their social media, but to also build a highly targeted community for them. If you can’t do this effectively for your company, there is a problem. Find and connect with your real target market and build relationships with them that result in new clients. Just as you would for YOUR clients. Spend less time growing likes and follows from your peers and competitors.

4) Wrong Focus: The third big mistake social media agencies make in the management of their own accounts is not focusing where their audience is and building communities and spending time on networks that will never return results. Again, you would not recommend building a clients community on a network that you know will not deliver results, so don’t waste valuable time doing that yourself.

Again, I am NOT saying that you should not have a presence and understand the more niche networks so you can be effective for your clients that do need to use those platforms. I am saying be wise with your time and get some focus to what you are doing and where you are spending it and with whom.

5) Website Error: Lastly, check your website with respect to Pricing and Packages. Do not have either listed on your website. Why? Do I really need to get into this? I suppose I do…

Let me give you a few important reasons, then point you to another post that covers this in detail:

a) Social media programs are not cookie cutter.

b) If you give prices to shoppers, they will shop your price, not even understanding the differences between what you do.

c) Someone will always be cheaper.

d) Don’t sell price, sell value.

Again, for more on this read this post too.

Though there are so many more mistakes I see being made by many social media agencies, it is my sincere hope that these social media management mistakes can now be avoided and you can get on with making the revenue and getting the results that are possible.

* For more on social media agencies and the proposal and sales pitch, read this 5 part series.

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Filed under Agency, Community, FAIL, Followers, Marketing, Relationship, Social Media, Social Media Content, Social Media Management, Social Media Marketing, Strategy, Twitter

The Importance Of Thanksgiving In Social Media

Regardless of whether you are in the United States, celebrate Thanksgiving as a holiday or not, its role in social media marketing is eternally connected. Not the way you might think. The Pilgrims didn’t use twitter and there is no social media turkey destined to be on anyone’s table this year.

Effective social media marketing should come from a spirit of thanksgiving, lower case t. A sense of gratitude and showing thanks makes connections and relationships that cannot be accomplished using any other type of marketing. Conversing with your customers and prospects is a given, but always being grateful for their shares, comments and likes is where many big brands fail miserably.

Our experience as a social media marketing agency, and now a social media software company has shown over and over that consistently responding to your fans and follower connections yields incredible results. The overlooked portion of “engagement” is often the thanksgiving part. Always showing gratitude to your audience for their sharing, involvement and promotion of your social accounts and brand. We are hyper focused on this at Bundle Post. Both our company accounts and my personal accounts always thank those that share, retweet or like our content.

The biggest challenge with doing this at higher volumes is not simply the time required, but doing it with a true grateful heart. For us, this is easy, as we have this true authentic belief from the top down within our company. We truly do care. For other brands or agencies handling a clients’ social media, this is apparently a challenge. The biggest offenders are the major brands with the biggest followings, but small business has a lot to learn here as well.

At this point I suspect some of you reading this are thinking “Respond and thank everyone, every time?” The answer is yes. If you ignore people in your office or retail establishment when they buy something or comment about how great something was, do you think they’ll come back? If someone refers you to a friend for a business connection and you ignore them, do you think they will do that again?

Consistency is key here. Make a commitment to do it and be consistent for best results.

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Filed under Agency, FAIL, Fanpage, Followers, Marketing, Relationship, Retweet, Social Media Marketing

Social Media Agencies, Consultants Must Walk The Talk

I consult a lot of social media agencies, marketers and brands on their internal strategy, processes and implementation. I come across many that don’t seem to realize that if they are selling social media marketing to their clients, their feeds should reflect their ability and professionalism.

One of the favorite sayings that often comes out of my mouth is “Show me, don’t tell me”. In my many daily conversations, that phrase is often times followed by something like “I don’t care what you say, I only watch what you do”. This mentality is how I run my life and business. I do this very consciously when I have conversations with people, however most people do it unconsciously.There is a big difference between the two.

The average person unconsciously evaluates what you say and how it compares to what you do. Because it is unconscious, it often takes a bit longer to come to a conscious conclusion about someone or something. Business people however, are a bit more discerning in their relationships with vendors and look for results and clues to match with what the vendor is pitching them.

This fact has two serious implications you need to understand in your social media marketing sales efforts:

1) What you are proposing to do and achieve for your prospective social media management clients must match what you are doing and achieving with your social media marketing. If it does not, you loose credibility. Worse, you don’t have an important sales tool that shows you are able to achieve what you are proposing for your client. Additionally, it can impact the pricing or perceived value a prospect is willing to pay for your service.

2) In a competitive bidding scenario for a new social media client, where there are more than one competitors vying for the account, you need to be able to point to your social media and compare it to your competitors. Especially, when there is a disparity in the pricing you are proposing, the ability to show results over the competitor and say “If they aren’t doing it for their own accounts, what makes you think they can for yours” goes a long way in winning the account.

Be sure that you do what you say, not only in your daily business interactions, but also in your feeds. Get results for your brand, so you can show you can do it for your prospects. Your social media accounts must show that you are leading, creative and innovative and that what you do is effective and get’s results.

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Filed under Agency, Social Media, Social Media Marketing, Strategy

Key Considerations For A Social Media Agency’s Client Pricing

One of the most repeated questions I get from social media agencies, small social media consultants and virtual assistants is the question of price for social media services to clients. I have tried to stay away from writing about the topic because it is such a subjective topic. There are so many variables that go into pricing a social media program for a client and budget is only one of them!

The intent of this post is to better outline some of the key factors in determining pricing for your agency clients. I will start by discussing a highly connected issue that I am also asked on occasion. This is going to be one of my longer blog posts and for that I am sorry. I don’t like long blog posts either, but the subject matter is detailed so hang in there with me.

Connected Issue:  Should we publish our social media pricing on our website?

Absolutely NOT!  Why?  Here’s my perspective on this:

1) you already have competition, don’t make it easy on them, by giving them your prices.

2) Average users online typically shop price even though they do not understand the major differences between services being provided.

3) People do business with people they connect with. Drive your prospects to a phone call consultation. Your social media services website can’t close business for you.

4) Every social media client/business/product is different. Cookie cutter activity, strategy and pricing will not be effective.

5) Most Important: Your main competition for new clients will come from the large online social media mills. (think puppy mills) Those on or offshore providers that churn and burn poor unsuspecting souls into useless social media programs that post crap once per day on twitter and facebook for $100/mo. and will never achieve any returns. For the business owner that does not understand social media marketing best practices and relationship building, they will see your price and the mills price and not even call to get more information. In short – Effective social media management and marketing is not a price compare game…

Next lets get into those key factors you need to consider when developing pricing for a clients social media marketing program.

Key Considerations When Developing Your Social Media Pricing:

Client Size: Are you dealing with a small, medium or large client. What are the differences in community building, targeting, finding for each. What size community will that require to be effective and how much resources are needed to properly engage with that community.

Number of Social Accounts: When speaking with a client and understanding their industry, geographic and demographic market, you will need to determine what social networks they need to be engaged in. In other words, where is your clients target market spending their time in the social graph. Based on the social networks that your clients audience is engaged in, you will determine which and how many social networks they need to have a presence in. Conversely, if they already have a social media presence, take into consideration the number of accounts you will need to be posting to and managing daily for community growth and engagement.

How Niche Is Their Industry/Target Market: This is probably more overlooked in pricing than anything else in our industry. The more niche a client is, the more competitive their space is and the more unique their offering is, the more time and resources their social media marketing will require. Do not make the mistake of NOT considering this in the client pricing structure.

Content Strategy: Based on the clients business, what is the content strategy that needs to be deployed. Content type, frequency of posting, etc. This can be dramatically different from one client to the next. >>> More on Posting Frequency

Time/Resource Requirements:  In general, what are the time, personnel and tool requirements for the client. Consider the other above factors and the more or less time you will need based on this clients uniqueness.

Collaboration Needs: Another over looked component is client collaboration. Will you need to be getting content from the client daily, weekly, etc. Will they have specials that will need to be formatted and posted frequently. Will you have to be chasing the client for this content, etc. Restaurants, as an example will need to have collaboration involvement with you. They are notorious for being busy and requiring more time and attention, especially related to collaboration. >>> More on Restaurants

Are there more considerations that should be considered in your social media price? Sure, probably hundreds. I just feel that these are the key factors you should minimally take into account.

So the big question is, what should pricing be? I would say for the smaller, less complex and local clients, you should be priced between $500-$700 per month. For larger, more complex, national clients, you should be between $800-$1,500 per month. All of this depends on the key considerations we discussed above. A more regional mid-sized business or a B to B social media client might be somewhere in the middle. >>> More on Proposals

From here there is the question of setup fees, but this is an entire post in and of itself. We will address that on another blog post.

The point is, there is no one size fits all pricing structure for a social media management program, or at least I do not subscribe to that idea based on our experience. Every client and program should be different in order to maximize results. Considering the key factors of a program should improve your pricing structure and net profitability for your agency.

*MORE – For an in depth 5 Part series on how to pitch a social media management program to a prospective client, including a proposal template, Read This Series: Important Elements of A Social Media Agency Proposal – Part 1-5

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Filed under Agency, Social Media, Social Media Content, Social Media Management, Social Media Marketing, Social Media ROI, Strategy