Social media has become part and parcel of our lives. Businesses are going all out to bolster their digital footprint through platforms such as Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Instagram. As a consequence, the demand for social media consulting services has burgeoned in the last couple of years. So, if you plan to venture into social media consulting, now is the time.
In this blog, we will elaborate on how you can start your social media consulting business in 2020. So, let’s begin.
Acquire the Requisite Training
The very first step you should take towards starting a consulting firm is to equip yourself with the necessary skills. You can enroll in an online training course offered by Skillshare, Udemy, Simplilearn, or Coursera.
The platforms businesses commonly employ for social media marketing include Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest. Make yourself conversant with all the features on these platforms.
In addition to this, learn to create engaging, compelling content that your target audience would like to interact with. Acquire knowledge on the different forms of content (i.e., text, images, videos, infographics, etc.) that you can create to engage your users. Learn to create, track, and analyze social media campaigns.
Learn about the Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) that you can track on different social media platforms. Commonly followed KPIs include impressions, reach, the social share of voice, likes, shares, comments, click-through rate (CTR), bounce rate, cost-per-click (CPC), cost per thousand impressions (CPM), etc. You can read about these KPIs in detail here.
To manage multiple social media platforms quickly, you will need to use a social media management tool. Commonly employed social media management tools include Buffer, Hootsuite, Sprout Social, and CoSchedule. Gain mastery on one or more of these tools.
Target Local Businesses in the Beginning
As a beginner, you can target small local businesses for pitching your social media services. The social media requirements of such companies are relatively simple, so you will not be overwhelmed with the work. Besides, you can handle multiple clients at any point in time.
You can, for instance, offer to work for a local florist or a neighboring restaurant. All you may need to do is create his social media account on one or two platforms, post content once a day and keep track of how many and what kind of users interact with the content.
As a novice, you may be asked to work for free. You can consider working for them if you feel there is a learning opportunity. The experience acquired through these projects will help you grab lucrative projects down the line.
Decide what to Charge Beforehand
Before you begin expanding your clientele, you must decide what you will be charging. Establish your rates for long-term and short-term projects, mode of payment, and payment schedule.
A social media consultant charges anywhere between 20 to 40 dollars per hour, depending on his level of expertise. Short-term projects are typically charged at higher rates than long-term ones. Learn the nuances of negotiating with your clients to avoid being underpaid.
Select your Niche and Start Freelancing
Social media consulting can include an array of services-strategy planning, branding, campaign management, content creation, etc. It’s quite likely that you will not be able to master them all. Then, most of your prospects will prefer domain experts to generalists.
Of course, you cannot pitch yourself as a specialist from the very beginning. In such a scenario, the right approach would be to start as a ‘jack of all trades’ and build your niche gradually as you acquire experience.
To create a formidable portfolio as a social media consultant, you should create accounts and take projects from freelancing websites such as Upwork, Freelancer, PeoplePerHour, and Toptal.
Build a Team as you Grow
As you start getting projects, start hiring people to work under you-this way, you can build a team of social media experts and project yourself as a consultant that offers the entire range of social media services under one umbrella.
For instance, you can hire a graphic designer for creating logos, infographics, and advertisements for your social posts, a business development executive for handling lead generation, and a content writer for creating engaging jobs that drive traffic and boosts conversions for your clients.
You may be tempted to hire full-time employees from the very beginning of your consulting business, but the right approach is to work with freelancers initially. This way, you will need to pay only for the services delivered.
Of course, you can hire some of these freelancers as full-time employees if you are satisfied with their work.
Procure Financing when Needed
As you start expanding your business venture, you may need to commute to far-flung locations to meet prospects, hire people to build your social media team, rent out space for employees, and pay for subscriptions. So, you may require financing at one stage or the other.
Carry out exhaustive research to choose the most suitable financing options for your business. You can reach out to banks and financial institutions that offer loans to entrepreneurs on flexible terms. You can also look out for venture capitalists that lend to start-ups.
The Final Word
There is no denying that starting a social media consulting business involves a horde of challenges. But once you establish yourself as a domain expert, the prospects are promising. So, what are you waiting for? Start today.