Finding social media clients that value your time is an important part of growing your agency yet it’s a taboo topic most people don’t talk about 🤷♂️
In this article we’ll cover how to gain respect for your prospects and take charge of the client relationship.
Get Prospects to “Apply” to Work With You
As a Social Media expert or Certified Social Media Director, no matter where you meet a prospect, whether you are cold calling them or you have known each other since you were kids, you must have them apply to work with you.
Yes, that’s a MUST, especially if you want to get social media clients that value your time. We honestly believe that this is the best sales process for Social Media freelancers and agencies.
Why an application process?
When you get someone to fill out an application to work with you – you reverse the sales process! The application process places you in control and in the position of an expert. It presents your service as scarce and sought-after, reinforces its value and subliminally convinces the prospect of your worth.
Simply put, you’re immediately overcoming some of the biggest obstacles associated with landing new clients. That alone makes this the best sales process in my books.
How to Create An Application Process
You can manage and create all sorts of forms with Wufoo. We love it because it works like a CRM, allowing you to track who has completed the form, assign follow-up tasks, and record notes that are associated with the file.
Also, you can track whose application you’re waiting on and who has been approved or rejected. The notes feature allows you to record objections and keep track of the conversations you’ve had, which will help you prepare your proposal.
The free version of this software gets you 3 forms, 25 applications per month and 10 questions per form. When wording the questions, make sure you are not directly qualifying the prospective client.
Do not ask about their cost per acquisition, lifetime customer value, net annual profit and such. It’s too much information for them to know or share with you at this point. Save those questions for the sales conversation.
Rather, keep the application short (not a problem with the 10-question limit). Ask them what kind of results they would like to achieve a year from now, how much additional revenue they would like to make through social media marketing, and what previous social media experiences they’ve had.
For a small monthly fee, you can get the paid version of Wofoo which allows you to have a customized, professional thank-you page, more forms and applications, as well as other perks.
Qualify Your Prospects Before The First Call
Also ask prospects to complete your application form before getting a call. Be clear about the next steps! When they have completed the application, you will review it and they will be informed by email if their application was approved. If you approve them, send them a link with to schedule a discovery call with you.
This way, the application qualifies your prospects long before they get on a call with you. With a few simple questions, you can find out if they are a good fit for you to work with and understand how serious someone is about working with you.
Now, this is NOT some deceptive sales hack to get clients to work with you left right and center. DO NOT start doing business with anyone and everyone that fills out the application form. You are actually looking for social media clients with whom you are highly likely to have a mutually beneficial, profitable and long-term relationship.
Look for applications that have long, detailed answers. Don’t waste time on those who skimp on details. If you’ve got an application with one-word answers, just forget about it.
What to Say On The First Client Call
So, you’ve got a list of people and companies you’re interested in working with, or you are simply wondering how to get your first social media client? But, if your Facebook feed looks anything like mine, it can seem like everybody and their dog is a Social Media guru…
The Social Media space is filled with people advertising their Social Media services, blindly pitching left and right. So, how do you cut through the noise? What can you do to stand out and communicate your level of expertise?
Going in with an action plan and clear goals (plus a few well-scripted lines) is the best way to start a winning conversation. Read the rest of this article to learn an approach that has an amazing track record in my books, and it can help you get your first social media client.
How to Take Charge Of The Conversion
“Hi, (name) I’m a results-based Social Media Director in training from (city). I want to work with (companies/industry) and I was wondering if you could help me out. What’s your biggest challenge or frustration with Social Media?”
What you’re doing here is asking for their objections to marketing through Social Media and, essentially, to hiring you. Objections will often include: “I don’t have time for it”, “I don’t know how to make it work”, “all my business is word of mouth.”
From here, there is no more script. Let your conversation unfold naturally as you aim to understand their position and establish your credibility and authority. Build credibility by weaving your credentials and resources into the conversation.
For example, “I’ve been trained by one of the best”, “I have 10 years of experience”, “I have a case study where I created a 300% ROI”, etc.). Even if you are just trying to get your first social media client, there are authoritative things that you can mention. No lying, though!
You don’t need to close the sale on this first call! Remember that you are building credibility and gathering information. You don’t even know if you want to work with this person yet! You may feel the urgent need to get your first social media client whoever they may be, but trust me: you’d rather not have a client than end up in a messy situation.
Pro Tip: Don’t be afraid to give away a few gold nuggets of free advice – it’s another way for you to showcase your expertise.
What Questions to Ask Your Prospect
Three key things you want to understand during this conversation include:
- What is their offer?
- Who is their target audience?
- What is their cost per acquisition?
The “offer” is the main product that they advertise, the one they are trying to sell. How they sell it is another issue: they may or may not have a “magnet” in place, such as an introductory offer, a trial, or a freebie.
The target audience is who they are serving this offer to. If they don’t know these, or their understanding of their target audience is ambiguous, do some market research afterward to find out what other people are doing that works.
You can figure out their cost per acquisition by dividing the money spent on advertising by the number of sales they’ve made. For high-ticket items, the average acquisition cost through Facebook ads is $200-$300. For people who are not using digital ads, or who make sales in person, understand what their time is worth. How much time do they spend on sales activities and what is the payoff?
Understanding these key items will allow you to assess if a business has a profitable niche.
How to End A Call With Your Prospect
When you ask someone for advice you immediately create a good impression. By using the words “I was wondering if you could help me out”, you also trigger the psychological queues of reciprocity. As in, your prospects are highly likely to feel involved in what you’re doing and participate.
Way better than “Hi, I’m a Social Media Marketer, would you like to pay me money for services?”, isn’t it?
A word of warning: if you ask for their advice in an area of expertise in which they obviously aren’t experts, this will have the exact opposite effect. So, simply do not ask for their opinion on what kind of marketing strategy they think would be better.
Finally, at the end of the conversation, if you feel that you want this person as a client, you’ll lay down a call to action, which is to apply to work with you. It may sound something like this:
“Well, Mr. Jones, I appreciate you taking the time to answer these questions for me, this conversation has been a big help. You mentioned that you don’t have time to manage social media for your company. I’m confident that based on your offer and target, I could make you money on social media. I’d like you to fill out a quick application so I can better assess the amount of impact I will have for you.”
With a well-crafted introduction and a clear call to action that’s supported by your established credibility and authority, you’ll be fully set to get your first social media client, or continue to grow your client list indefinitely!
Have you tried this before? What do you think?
In short, if you are a Social Media consultant that wants to stand out of the crowd, this application process is not optional.
What say you? Are you going to start using the best sales process to land your future clients?