. . . what to expect when you bring on a social media client. [Because] I don’t think freelance writers really realize what it takes to do this effectively.
In the comments section of that same post, one freelancer commented:
. . . .you mention [the] slow season for freelance writers. However, I have been getting several requests for Social Media Management. I just finished writing 2 proposals for Social Media Management positions. So, when the writers are slowing down, I would focus on getting Social Media clients, because that is still in high demand right now!
I so totally agree with her.
Social media management consultants are in high demand right now. And, it is a very lucrative service to offer (read how my firm recently landed a lucrative, ongoing social media account quite by accident).
FYI, did you know that the average salary for social media consultants in the U.S. these days is $66,000 per year. And freelancers tend to earn even more. Following is some insight into what to expect/what to do once you land this type of client.
How to Effectively Offer Social Media Management: 3 Things You Must Do
I. Decide Which Social Media Outlets You’ll Cover: The three biggest players on the social media front these days are Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. Another one that’s all of a sudden hot is Pinterest. You can offer to manage all, or some, of these for clients.
In my experience, the vast majority want to be mostly hands off, leaving you to do everything. So, you must know the ins and outs of each platform so that you can do it yourself and/or train/outsource it to others.
At my SEO writing company, we only offer Twitter account set-up and management. The reason is, it’s the medium I am most comfortable with. Hence, I know how to recruit other freelancers to outsource it to, and I know how to do it myself if/when I have to.
II. Be Very Specific about What Your Services Entail: Social media account management can be very time consuming. So, you need to decide up front – and be very clear with your clients – about just how involved you’re going to be.
For example, one of my firm’s clients is an international publisher of a trade magazine (manufacturing). We handle their Twitter account; and they are very hands off. We tweet for them, respond to queries (where possible) and actively seek relevant followers for them.
While this may seem like a lot, it’s really not. It takes about 15 to 30 minutes per day because I was very specific in our contract with them. We’re obligated to follow 10 to 20 new people per day, send out a minimum of six tweets (we usually do about triple that), and respond to queries.
Much of this is automated, which is why it’s so easy. Speaking of automation . . .
III. Get Very Intimate with Social Media Management Tools
You can literally spend minutes per day on each client account and earn hundreds (sometimes a few thousand) per month managing client accounts. And that’s because there are so many social media management tools that automate a lot of your work for you as a social media specialist.
At New Media Words, we use SocialOomph to schedule tweets ahead of time for clients. The most popular site for putting your social media accounts on autopilot is probably HootSuite. Both of these services have free and paid options and they make managing accounts a breeze.
You can schedule messages ahead of time; auto follow those who follow you; vet new followers; track keywords – and a whole bunch of other stuff.
In the social media marketing ebook for freelancers, my co-author and I discuss automation tools for the three biggest social media sites (again, that’s Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter) – along with a lot of other things you need to know about how to get started as a social media consultant.
Following are a few more random tips about how to effectively manage accounts you may need to know if this is all new to you.
Social Media Account Management Tips
Pay attention to time zones: One of my firm’s clients is in Australia; they’re 15 hours ahead of where my firm is in the U.S. (EST zone). So, you have to be aware of this when you interact for clients. You want to do it during THEIR work day; not yours.
Find go-to sources: One thing that really cuts down on time is to find reliable sources for the client’s industry you can go to to get relevant stuff to link to when you interact.
For my firm’s manufacturing publishing client, they actually paid us to find 20 go-to sources for them. They publish several magazines and wanted this research for social media reasons – as well as to stay on top of content for their magazine.
This was extremely helpful for my firm when we started to manage their Twitter account. Of the 20 sources we found, we use 5-6 of them on a daily basis to find relevant stuff to tweet. This is very helpful because it is such a tight niche market (manufacturing) – one we were unfamiliar with. Now, we never worry about what to tweet because we know the “go to” sources for their industry.
Hence, it takes about 15-20 minutes per day to schedule 10-20 tweets for them using SocialOomph. And, they pay us hundreds of dollars per month for this.
Schedule in bunches: As stated above, we are obligated to send out at least 6 tweets per day for the manufacturing client, but we usually do more because the go-to sources are right at hand. Hence, when we schedule tweets, we do them all for one day in one sitting. Again, it takes just minutes.
We check the account 2-3 times per day to respond and/or RT the stuff of others in real time. And that’s it. It really is as easy as this.
Let clients know about your social media services: Most of my firm’s social media clients hire us to do SEO writing first. Then, once they find out we offer social media – and probably because they’re happy with our content services – they’ll ask us about social media.
It’s an amazingly easy upsell. I’m constantly amazed at just how easy. But the kicker is you have to be proactive to land social media accounts. Even though it may be listed right there on your website, clients (like most of us) tend to think in a segmented way, ie, this freelancer does SEO writing, this one offers web design, this one offers social media, etc.
So it’s up to you to proactively let them know . . . “Hey, we offer social media account management as well!”
How to Earn $2,000 to $3,000 Per Month as a Social Media Consultant
Charging a low rate of just $500/month per package, all you’d need to land is four to six clients to earn $2,000 to $3,000 per month (and this is soooo feasible). You can reach out to potential clients via email, networking events and (of course) social media sites, to name a few.
Good luck if you decide to offer social media consulting as part of your freelance writing business. It’s fun work – and lucrative too!