April 17, 2011

Rachel Strella

If you had an ideal client interested in your service, what would you sell them?

Recently, I was asked to write a guest blog for a new small business site answering the question: If you had an ideal client interested in a social media campaign...what would you sell them?

Let’s first define the criteria for an “ideal client.” I’ve learned quickly how to select the people who are serious about an effective social media campaign, which is really an integrated marketing strategy. The ideal client for Strella Social Media has the following qualifications:

They “get it.” In other words, they understand and embrace social media as part of their marketing plan.  If I have to spend more time convincing them that this is worth their effort, than actually creating a strategy, it’s not worth it.

They can comfortably pay our fees.  Yes, tweeting is “free.” But time isn’t, so we expect that people plan on social media marketing fees being in the same range as traditional avenues. We don’t want to find out they were hoping for a speedy ROI and that’s how they planned to pay us.

They are leaders in their industry. We do not work with local competitors, so we have to be selective. We would prefer to work with clients who are leaders in their industry and have an established business – they tend to “get” what it takes to effectively market, which is not an overnight sensation.

They work with us. We can do a lot, but we can’t do everything. We want clients who can approve content in a timely manner, who do not ask for things outside of our job duties without offering compensation, who take a proactive approach to their marketing efforts, and who make the effort to integrate their face-to-face networking efforts with their social media marketing strategy.

We work hard to deliver value and we go above and beyond for our clients, so we want to make sure we choose the clients who can appreciate the level of service we provide.

What to sell an ideal client? There is no silver bullet and there is no magic marketing strategy template that can be duplicated.  Each client is unique and their marketing plan will reflect their current initiatives, their goals, and their challenges. We look at what marketing initiatives the client already has in place and find ways to integrate social media with these efforts. We also look at the goals of the business. If the goal is to increase awareness of their brand, we would develop a strategy around that.  Finally, we look at what their challenges. Often times, companies do not have the resources in place to meet their goals (time, staff, etc). We find ways to leverage their resources for maximum benefit.

Once we have all of this information, the strategy emerges.  In most cases, we recommend a blog. A blog is a great way for a business to become a resource to a potential client as well as show the dynamic side of a company. We almost always recommend a LinkedIn account because it’s a great way to get in touch with the B2B audience as well as target ideal clients. It’s likely some clients will also benefit from a Facebook “like” page. Facebook is the most popular social media channel, but defining a ROI is a little more difficult.

Whether we recommend other channels such as Twitter, Foursquare, emailing marketing, or like will depend upon the client, the industry, the reach, and the location. I usually find our ideal clients want a combination of all of these things as well as SEO.  The most important element to all of this is determining what will work for the client.

If I had an ideal client interested in a social media campaign, what would I sell them? Value.

Your Turn: If you had an ideal client interested in your service, what you sell them?

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1412 N. 6th Street
Harrisburg, PA 17102