Just a few years ago, social networking was considered little more than a hobby and a total “time suck” by professional people. Today there’s a distinct need for social media in the marketing world, and millennials are leading the way in this fledgling field.
One of the easiest, most interesting ways to make money online in today’s market is to become a Social Media Consultant. If you’ve ever wanted to work for yourself and set your own hours, this may be the perfect gig for you!
Here are the steps to success as a social media consultant:
Step One: Polish Your Own Social Media Presence
Not only is it crucial to clean up your personal social media presence, you may want to consider setting up a whole new set of profiles for your business entity. A Facebook fan page, a Twitter account, and of course, a LinkedIn profile are all things a potential client is going to look for right away, so spend time and care creating the kind of presence you want to show off.
Step Two: Figure Out Your Target Market
Just about every industry has an arm in social media nowadays, but that doesn’t mean you’re capable of handling all types of clients. Decide where your interests lie: Fashion? Food? Real estate? And consider what experience or education you have that makes you valuable as a consultant in that industry. Being on Twitter all the time isn’t enough to make you marketable as a social media expert – you’ve got to have something to show you know the ins and outs of a certain industry’s needs.
Step Three: Decide on Your Pricing Structure
Pricing yourself as a consultant is tricky and there’s no one way to go about it.
- First you’ll want to know your competition – are you bidding against large corporations or other freelancers like yourself?
- Then you need to figure out how much your potential clients are spending on marketing currently.
- Finally you’ll have to decide how to charge: do you want to set a monthly rate, a per-post rate, or perhaps something in between?
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Step Four: Handle the Logistics
As a consultant, you want to make sure your bases are covered before you start taking on clients.
Download a simple contract template from the web and tailor it to your business model and make every single client sign it before you begin working.
Step Five: Get Some Clients!
Once you’ve laid the groundwork, you’re ready to dig up some clients. Start by drumming up referral business from past coworkers, teachers, or even businesses you’ve communicated with in the past.
It’s also smart to attend real life networking events in the industry you hope to work in so you can make contacts and show your face – many people will pay more to work with a real person rather than an outsourced company!
Finally, don’t take on too much initially. You want to knock those first few clients out of the park with your skills so they’ll pass the word along, so assume you’ll have to start off slowly and build your business as you grow.
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Starting a Social Media Consulting business isn’t too difficult if you have the underlying knowledge of social to market. You should not only know social but have a good grasp of SEO principles, metrics systems, and maybe even a bit of development up your sleeve, too. And if all else fails, fake it ‘tiil you make it!
Ryan Currie is a product manager at BizShark.com, with 5 years experience in online marketing and product development. In addition to web related businesses, he also enjoys the latest news and information on emerging technologies and open source projects.
**Disclosure of Material Connection:
Some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally or believe will add value to my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials.”