If you're a social media marketer looking for clients, this article provides tips on where to find them, including networking, online platforms, and more.
Social media marketing becomes a more and more complex field as new social networks grow in popularity and others fall out of favor. Every business will leverage these social media platforms differently — using some of them for paid advertising only, others for organic content, and a large number of them with a hybrid approach. If you’re scaling a new, blossoming social media agency, it can be hard to identify the right clients for your business. And, if you’re an established social media marketing agency, you’re always looking for effective ways to acquire new, better clients.
In this post, we’ll go over everything from finding the ideal social media marketing clients to ensuring an easy onboarding process to building a long, prosperous relationship.
If you’re just starting out building your agency, you need to define what your services will be. What makes your agency stand out from the competition? Do you work solely on organic TikTok content or are you focused only on managing paid Facebook ads? At first, specializing in a niche and likely even a specific vertical can help you acquire clients more easily.
Something we often see with Cloud Campaign are individuals who want to build an agency for organic social media management. But, when they start out on their own, they pick one vertical to focus on (e.g. real estate agents, restaurants, massage therapists, etc.). This way, they can spend time creating high-quality content for this one niche, acquire lots of customers quickly, and manage all of them in a similar fashion.
The type of agency you’re building or the kind of service you establish will help determine the ideal client for your business. Once you know the service you’re going to offer, you’ll start doing market research to determine how you reach these people, what their interests are, their behaviors, etc. For instance, if you decide to only manage Instagram accounts for your clients, you can find influencers or businesses who could benefit from an Instagram-first social media marketing strategy.
Client acquisition is the hardest part of nearly any business. Truly understanding your client base and the service you provide for them will help you reach them. Whether you first find clients through inbound marketing efforts only, outbound only, referrals, or a hybrid approach, you will then need to better understand what they expect to see from working with your business. Building a simple client checklist or questionnaire can ensure you and the client are on the same page once they’ve already given you their contact information, generally understand your agency, and want to learn more.
The client questionnaire should be framed as a collaborative document to be used between your agency and your prospective client. The questionnaire shouldn’t be too invasive for your prospective client but it should help you get the large questions out of the way early and make sure you would both benefit from the relationship. If you were only offering organic social media management but the lead you were working with was looking for paid ads management, it would be better to learn that early in the sales cycle.
After learning from a prospective client based on the client checklist or questionnaire and a sales call or two, you can assess the best working relationship. Because of such varying levels of service provided by most social media marketing agencies, it’s normally best to keep a somewhat flexible pricing structure. But, creating a template for proposals and pricing can help you standardize this part of the client negotiation process.
The template can help you quickly spin up a quote for a prospective client and make small changes to the proposal to make it fit their specific needs. For instance, you can create a standard pricing structure and determine a certain level of “standard” service that you provide. But, the level of interaction and time required to manage a client who wants to post 50 times/week vs. a client who wants to post 2 times/week is vastly different. You can also leverage a marketing agency contract template once the client is ready to start working with you.
The agency-client relationship will always be a collaborative one. While going through the entire sales process, make sure your agency is able to meet the top requirements for the client — this will ensure a long-lasting business relationship.
A highly communicative sales process will naturally lead to a more seamless client onboarding process. Put together content to help the client easily understand what they can expect from working with you moving forward and how they can get the most value out of your agency. Set up a regular cadence for agency-client check-ins, whether it be once a week or once a quarter.
Follow this client onboarding process to a T for the first week or so, at least. If you’re a larger agency, you can segment the depth of client onboarding depending on the size of the client you’ll be working with. For instance, you could provide 24/7 access to an account manager for some of your larger clients in order to improve customer loyalty and ensure they stick around. For smaller agencies or individual social media management freelancers, content and automation during the client onboarding process will be crucial for showing value to clients without too much time commitment.
Constant testing and learning will apply to all kinds of digital marketing, including social media marketing. Over time, your agency should be learning what works and what doesn’t for your clients. Collaborating closely with your clients, going over detailed social analytics and reports, and conducting content reviews can help you both continuously improve your social media strategy. Being responsive to client asks and empathetic to why they’re asking you the questions they’re asking goes a long way toward building trust.
Providing information to clients earlier in the sales cycle will help them understand your agency’s value proposition and will help you close deals faster. Then, you can get clients onboarded into your system faster via automation, templates, and checklists — allowing them to quickly feel comfortable with your agency’s services. The less time you spend getting clients acquainted with your agency’s workflows, the more time you can spend in the field attracting new prospective clients
Now, you can focus more of your effort toward acquiring clients via LinkedIn outreach, social channel scouring, paid ads, content marketing, and more. The only tried and true way to acquire clients for your social media marketing agency is to continuously build trust. Depending on the service(s) you offer, the way you build trust and attract these prospective clients will be different. But, by providing value to prospective clients before they ever hear about your brand or sign up for your paid offering, you can build trust and awareness with the right people — helping you build a marketing funnel and win future deals at a higher rate.
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