Outside of who you pitch your social media management services to, how you pitch them is one of the most important startup factors at play in driving new business. Your social media proposal is how you’re going to earn new clients.
It can also be one of the more challenging puzzles to solve.
Generally speaking, people don’t like being sold to. They’re not averse to making an investment in the right tools and services for their businesses, as long as the relationship feels right.
In an effort to build rapport and a genuine connection with prospects that result in a sale, consider the following when creating a social media proposal:
Here’s how to develop the perfect pitch.
Know the Potential Client
Before you’re in a position to pitch your services to a potential social media prospect, you’ve presumably done your fair share of research.
You should have an idea in your head (and hopefully on paper) of what the ideal client profile for your social media agency looks like. Because the reality is, you can’t cater to everyone — personalization is key.
As you map out the talking points for your pitch, make sure they tie back to the prospect’s specific needs and activity on social media.
Work to answer questions like:
- What service(s) are they most in need of right now?
- Who is their intended audience?
- What do they sell or do as a company?
- How is their brand conveyed in the messaging used?
- How could my specific expertise elevate their efforts?
- What roadblocks might exist for getting started?
You can take a preliminary stab at answering these questions by doing some research of your own.
Get some context by going through:
- The company’s website — especially their About Page.
- Existing social media posts — what do they do well and what could be improved?
- Company media mentions and articles.
By weaving what you’ve learned into your social media proposal, you’ll demonstrate that you did your research.
The idea is to have a thorough understanding of the business prior to talking to them.
This isn’t to say you shouldn’t ask clarifying questions during your conversations, but “So [X business], what do you do?” shouldn’t be one of them.
Respect the business owner’s time by nixing the need for an extensive “getting to know you” talk upfront. That way, you can better keep their attention with the hard-hitting questions sooner and show them that you’re serious.
Approach Your Social Media Proposal From a Positive Light
Imagine getting a prospect on the phone and immediately launching into critiques regarding how their Twitter copy is boring or Instagram photos are of poor quality. How do you think that conversation would end? My guess would be a quick, “Thanks, but no thanks”.
If relationship-building is key to moving a prospect through the sales funnel, then you have to show some empathy.
This business owner you’re pitching to is likely someone just like you — busy trying to keep the ship afloat and doing the best they can with the resources available to them.
Alternatively, they may be someone who thinks what they’re doing on social media is on the nose. It’s all relative to what they know about marketing and the success they’ve seen so far from their efforts.
You won’t know their mindset until you start talking to them, so be mindful of how you present yourself.
For example, instead of launching immediately into the nitty-gritty of your pitch, open with lines that acknowledge the value of their time.
You might try something like:
Hi, [business owner’s name]. Did I catch you at a bad time?
When dealing with a salesperson, especially on the phone, a person’s immediate response is usually to say “no”. An opening line like this acknowledges this tendency to work in favor of advancing the conversation.
Making a cold call is different than talking to a warm lead. Warm leads involve some type of existing connection — perhaps a previous client referred them your way. A cold call happens without an introduction. Since it’s a different situation, you have to be tactful in your approach.
Additionally, consider referring to a particularly well-done piece of social media content. You can use that to launch into leading questions around the services you sell.
I noticed this Facebook post from January 13th on [X subject matter] and how well it performed. Does your team leverage top content like this in boosting Facebook ads to further visibility and engagement?
Then, don’t be afraid to cut to the chase in terms of the value you can provide. Try adding something like:
I think it can definitely generate some interest in [X service] that you’re offering and help [make some sales or get you some appointments scheduled].
Avoid the Fluff
Learning how to develop the perfect pitch for your social media management services means avoiding speaking in generalizations.
A comment like, “My agency is really good at Twitter” is dead in the water as an actual selling point for why someone should work with you.
Besides, what does “good” really mean? You’ve got to define your capabilities relative to the social media KPIs (key performance indicators) a client is most likely to care about.
In answering that question, you should put together some data points about the success of your current clients. Talking in numbers is much more definitive than fluffy words.
For example, a more impressive selling point would be something like:
I’ve helped companies grow their Twitter followings by [X]% over the last six months.
Through my work on Pinterest, I’ve helped clients drive [X]% more traffic to their websites.
Presenting your services in terms of stats like these naturally engages potential prospects to ask “how”. It’s a great way to gauge interest and segue into the details of your tactical approach.
Besides sharing stats, you can also speak to your effectiveness through the perspective of your happy clients.
Support Your Social Media Proposal with Testimonials
If you’re still early in client work and unable to generate hard-hitting numbers like those described above, marketing testimonials are a great substitute.
Tap into your current client base for feedback. Ask your most satisfied and positive clients for a review — in addition to their permission to share their thoughts across your website and other marketing materials.
Here’s one from my own website:
Pro tip: Don’t forget to ask happy clients if they’d be willing to talk to potential prospects on your behalf. You can incentivize them with discounted services or offer a review of your own in return on their personal LinkedIn page.
Alternatively, consider creating mock campaigns or samples of work to help potential prospects visualize what you’re selling. Humans are visual by nature, so the more you can show the quality of your work over telling, the more persuasive your pitch will become.
Detail Your Social Media Strategy and Deliverables
Promises will only get you so far when pitching your social media management services. You have to provide context around how you’re going to get from point A to Z.
You should have a system mapped out ahead of time for what your clients will get in return for the money they’re spending every month.
Some of the deliverables you might want to highlight in your pitch include:
Your deliverables and strategy will be dependent on the platforms of focus. Consider the individual steps required to help in making a client successful and how they prove valuable in relation to pitched pricing.
Final Thoughts: How to Develop the Perfect Pitch: Social Media Proposal Edition
Learning how to develop the perfect pitch for your social media management services will inevitably require some trial and error. The key is to learn from every instance of “no”, “maybe”, and “yes”.
First and foremost, listen to your potential clients and remember that they’re more than just the businesses they represent. If the shoe was on the other foot, would you buy the services you’re trying to sell?
Once you’ve sent off a pitch, you’ve really only just started the social media proposal process. Truly, it’s the follow up that gets the sale.
Specifically, 80% of sales happen after you’ve gotten in touch with a prospect at least 12 times.
To capitalize on the power of follow ups, make sure that every time you talk to a prospect, you get a commitment for the next step or meeting.
A pitch is only as good as your ability to make good on it. Set yourself up with the tools you’ll need to manage multiple social media accounts and report on their success — check out our 30-day free trial.
Maddy Osman is an SEO Content Strategist who works with clients like AAA, Automatic, Kinsta, and BigCommerce. Her background in WordPress web design contributes to a well-rounded understanding of SEO and how to connect brands to relevant search prospects. Learn more about her process and experience on her website and read her latest articles on Twitter @MaddyOsman.