I’ve been doing social media marketing for many years now (yes, since the very beginning in 2007) and social media is truly growing into a huge industry. More and more businesses are getting active on social media, and it is projected that by 2015 over 95% of businesses will have a social media presence.
There is no better time to start your own social media business.
Starting your own business can be difficult — even if you already know social media marketing or are a certified social media marketer. To get started with your own social media business, you’ll need to be sure to address the following areas:
1) Get Your Business Setup
Nobody will take you seriously if you don’t have a website, a logo and business cards (and you’ll also need a business name). Get these aspects of your business setup quickly. Initially, don’t worry about perfection – you need something good that represents you well, but you don’t need to pay thousands of dollars for a website and a designer. Go for fast and good enough. Once you start making money you can upgrade.
2) Decide Which Services You’ll Offer
It can be tricky to decide what you want to offer as your initial services. Stick to things that you know well and can easily execute. Most social media businesses offer consulting, social media management, social media account setup and coaching. When you get started it is usually easiest to focus on a few services instead of trying to do everything. You’ll want to make sure that you have a plan and a process for the services you offer vs. just winging it. For example, if someone hires you for social media management, what is your first step, second step, etc. What do you do when? What do you need from the client?
3) Hone in on Businesses to Target
As you get started, you’ll be more successful if you start with targeted businesses. This will help you to craft service offerings that are appropriate for the businesses you are focused on. Be sure to choose businesses where you have a high probability of success.
4) Determine your Pricing
Pricing is a HOT question in the world of social media marketing. There are pretty big ranges in what people charge for services. Generally on the low-end social media management starts at $500 per month and can go up to tens of thousands of dollars a month. Your pricing should be based on your experience and the businesses you are targeting.
5) Find Businesses to Pitch
Before pitching and selling, start with prospecting. Consider the types of businesses that would make good clients for you based on your experience and knowledge, as well as your product offering. You’ll need to dig in and do some research here.
6) Selling Your Services
Here you’ll need to have a great presentation, a strong proposal and a professional business process and setup. As you look to sell your services you’ll want to be sure that you have all of the assets you need to be professional and prepared.
7) Follow-Up and Proposal
A great proposal can make of break whether or not you get a client. Make sure you have a great proposal and that you follow-up appropriately.
You’ll have to be able to actually deliver on your proposal, so make sure that you understand the client expectations and the steps to implementing your social media marketing services. It is helpful to have a process to kick-off your engagement and keep the client apprised of progress over time.
9) Continued Success
Even if you execute your services well, if you don’t manage your client you probably won’t have a happy client. Make sure you have a plan in place to keep them up to date and in-the-loop. You want them to continue to believe that you are adding value.
10) Referrals and Recommendations
Most businesses live or die by referrals and recommendations. Build a process to generate referrals from happy customers 😉