I can help with this somewhat as I’m pretty qualified in this area.
Long story but I owned a brick and mortar business, taking it from failing and turning it around to a very profitable business that I sold, after just 5 years.
It was a tourism based boat rental business. (I’ve actually written a book about it).
Now, what I will say is that I come from a long history of social media / digital experience, my first online business started in 2000, and I become a social media consultant in 2008 (I hosted some of the first conferences for social media in UK, back in 08,09,10,10,12), so if anyone knows about digital and social I do.
Now, here is the pain that a lot of “social media managers” wont like to hear.
Yes, I deployed digital activities in my brick and mortar business BUT, I’ll be honest I found “social activities” almost a complete waste of time, in terms of return on investment.
Again, don’t get me wrong, I did deploy digital activities but those activities were mainly focused on Google Ads, and also partnerships with other local businesses (links from websites, to better my SEO).
In addition I also used offline advertising to join up with digital, so think coupon codes and special links for tracking in guide books etc.
I also made a lot of business connections with other local businesses.
Pure social activity? – just a few pictures now and again on our FB page.
Activity on Trip Advisor? – Yes I absolutely made that a sales channel for us, and hit number one in our area.
The summary here for anyone reading is that, digital worked for me using Ads, because i could pay, set and forget, and it hooked into people already searching for a service with intent (google). I knew for a spend ox xyz I would generate business of ABC, and this is what all business owners want.
So, the nuts and bolts of this is link up offline activity to the clients websites. What small businesses need is more of a consultant role to help them through this, not just selling social media content campaigns – but understanding what they really need for more sales.
What a lot of Social Media Managers miss is that the only thing small businesses need is more sales.
Small business works on very very tight margins (I’ve had my own and assisted hundreds) and if you sell your social media services as the holy grail for them you are actually being disingenuous to them.
I understand you want to manage social media but a lot of these business owners have no clue and “think” you’ll bring sales.
Instead what they “need” is a consultant mindset where you discover how to make them more sales as efficiently as possible.
Naturally the larger the business the more chances that more cash is available for trying social media content to build awareness..
Be the adult, and don’t use the line “oh that’s their responsibly for sales” that’s a huge cop out and irresponsible.
No, it’s YOUR job to ensure you are really clear you can bring sales or not. It’s “yes” or “no”, not “perhaps” or “it helps”.
The point of this then, or the outcome, is not a qualification…
The point is 10k/month from doing work for clients…
Would you rather have 10k/month or a piece of paper?
A client does not care if you have a qualification, nobody is going to say can I see your piece of paper please…
This may be the case in some traditional occupations (i.e. the ‘job” market) as a way in, like maths and English requirements to begin studying as a nurse..or medical degrees to be a Dr… That makes total sense.
If you don’t want to be an “employee” believe me in the world of business nobody is ever going to be bothered about a piece of paper…
All business owners want (your clients) results, results, results…
You’ve been brainwashed if you think it is qualifications…
Of course if you want a “job” you’ll need to play the game of getting a piece of paper, but even then only in some industries.
If you want to be your own boss and create your own legacy forget the certification and start servicing clients already.
The definition of a social media manager is broad and personal and is what you want it to be.
Don’t ever be pigeon holed to earn by definitions…
For example below is a list of 13 leads that have landed into a builders inbox.
I sent these leads using Google PPC and a beautiful created (highly simple) landing page funnel that converts.
The costs for this to the builder is 1200 bucks per month (this includes my service fee and the couple hundred bucks ad spend).
So to keep the math simple the builder gets a prospect (highly warm, almost red hot) for an appointment for about 100 bucks. (13 prospects in this current list).
If you look at the job list here that has been requested for a quote it amounts to over $1,000,000 worth of jobs (one quote is for development of 5 homes!!!) Even just one of these jobs landed would cover the cost he has spent with me multiple times over.
It works because people are actively seeking something on Google, they have pain they want fixed. It also works because he sells a product for a chunk of change, so do Life Insurance companies and Dentists… Etc..
This is wrapped up under the banner of social media because in the clients mind it is all social media to him.. and that’s a great way to get work…
You know “yes I do social media, what you need?”….
I am only posting this here to help you realise there are multiple ways to generate income as a “social media manager”…. Do not get pigeon holed by definitions.
You may not want to run ads for clients and that’s fine, but believe me it’s low maintenance and highly profitable for you and your client.
It’s not that I hated it, there were some good elements but being so young when I joined, just 17, I didn’t really know myself and just found myself going down that road….
When I came out a few years later I found myself without a job and just kicking around for a while…
Literally I just played guitar and bummed around enjoying the new found freedom…
I had no real plans, and no big expectations of anything outside playing guitar and being in bands…
So when a band mate asked if I wanted to teach at the local college I really had nothing to lose, so if I failed I’d be in the same place I already was, nowhere….
So I went for it, with not experience, no qualifications..
I just went full on and grabbed it by the balls…
Nothing to lose…
And I guess that mentality has stuck with me….
“What’s the worst that can happen”
You fail? So what?….
I’m pretty sure a midlife crisis is never going to happen to me because I’ve never had an expectation of anything….
I didn’t have a map or bucket list….
It is not that I don’t plan, or make goals, because I do, but when you’ve started with little and you’ve experienced hardship and seriously difficult periods you realise that those times are our strength…
When I make things look easy these days, whatever that is, it is of course the 35 years of failing that has made me an overnight expert…
You can’t learn that quickly ..
You can’t even teach it…
You have to experience it …
In fact success is impossible without failure….
When all is said and done if you’re fearful of change you have to ask yourself the question:
“what is the worst that can happen if I try this and fail”…
Do you relate in this, and more importantly, do you allow yourself to fail?
It can be one of the worst feelings ever when you are unceremoniously dumped, or when the client states “sorry, we will not be renewing your contract”.
This is a common problem so many social media “managers” suffer from, because they get caught up with servicing just one high paying client, and effectively become an employee.
In this episode, which is taking from a Socialmediamafia.com Academy’s members Live Workshop I tackle this issue head on and cover a variety of strategies to deploy in order to avoid this situation and future proof your consultancy.