If you want to become a Social Media Manager/Consultant you will at some stage have an epiphany. You will have a moment of clarity when attempting to win new business from a client. Your realisation will be something like this - "Clients can be so Awkward!"
I've said it now and its out in the open! As client facing Social Media professionals we're not supposed to admit it but man. . . sometimes some clients can be very selective. Sometimes they want services that are not part of any of our packages, sometimes they are unrealistic about what can be achieved for their budget and sometimes they have a very particular market that takes some real grit to get to.
Quick Story- I once had to submit a Social Media Management proposal for a Maritime Anti Piracy Company. A company that put armed guards onto freighters and container ships to protect the crew and cargo from "Pirates". Honestly, I asked what the USP of their service was and they told me "Well, we have special rifles that can KILL from a further distance than usual" (No Joke- that was the USP I had to work with).
So, you will occasionally hear the words "can you put a proposal together for us?" If you get a potential client who doesn't want to choose a package and wants a more bespoke service hear are my tips for a Killer Social Media Management Proposal.
1. Where We Are - Write a short paragraph about the company you are proposing to in your own words. This shows you know and understand what the company does and where they are in the market place.
2. What makes us Unique - Write a paragraph about your company and the services you can provide and why they should choose your business for the work.
3. Company Aim/ Objectives - Always work backwards from the outcome the client wants. We need to know the destination before we plan the journey so what does the company want to achieve? Put this at the beginning to show you have the company goals in mind.
4. Target Market - What is the market that you will be appealing to on behalf of the company? Make some of your own recommendations here.
5. Do a Competitor Analysis - See what the competitors or actually doing in the Social Graph. What are they doing that's grabbing attention and encouraging engagement? Where are these competitors going wrong?
You don't have to go to in-depth but what you are trying to do here is show this potential client that you understand what they can do in Social Media to get onto a level playing field.
6. Strategy- In a nutshell what you will be the plan to get people interested? (NOTE - your strategy should always revolve around "Relationship Marketing" What will you do to cultivate ongoing relationship with the prospect on the client's behalf?) One of my online gabling clients the strategy was simply this:
"We suggest that Bobs Bingo uses a similar strategy to its main competitors but with a twist. For example we can offer incentives like donations to charity, asking to share with friend etc. What we suggest is offering a scaling up bonus for repeat visits i.e.
1st visit = £1 or 1 free credit
2nd visit = £2 or 2 free credit
3rd visit = £3 or 3 free credits etc
Below are further specifics on how we will promote this offer throughout Facebook and the other social media platforms "
7. Service Recommendations - time to break out the big guns! This is where you can talk about exactly what services you would recommend this client buy from you.
Facebook- They'll need a Custom Facebook Fan Page (always charge production costs up front) because every business needs to have a professional presence in Fb right? What type of Facebook page? Would you suggest a Coupon Page? Contest page? Info Capture/ Landing page?
Which services would you suggest they hire you to perform? Will they need a blog? will they need LinkedIn Activity? Will you need to provide some consultancy or training?
8. Specific Elements- You can impress in this sections without too much effort. For example if I spoke about Keyword monitoring or buzz monitoring I would take a screen shot from a site like Tweeteazy.com after I typed in my Keyword and found some actual prospects.
The example below shows my online gambling client all the people telling me they like to play Bingo and are therefore perfect prospects.
9. Conclusion - Why these efforts will meet the goals of the company
10. Service Costs and Pricing - You have covered all the clients needs and built a hell of a lot of value into your service. . .now its time to get paid! Here you need to breakdown and itemise EXACTLY what you are charging for.
I hope this is of help to new or wanna-be Social Media Managers/Consultants. By producing a full and frank proposal like the one I explained above you will win alot more business.