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Whenever I speak with entrepreneurs and brands, they always seem to complain about the lack of reliable and skilled social media managers. A quick look at your social media feed will show you how lost even 8 and 9 figure companies are when it comes to posting online.
That’s why, if you have a Wi-Fi connection, a phone, and know how to write and schedule some Instagram posts, you can easily replace your current 9-to-5 job with something that lets you work from anywhere, anytime. you want.
Related: 12 tips and tools for managing multiple social media accounts
But where should you start?
The first thing you should do is create a portfolio that shows potential clients your skills when it comes to managing social media accounts.
If you don’t have experience yet, you can reach out to friends or family who have a social media account and ask if you can manage it for free. You only need to do this for three months to have a substantial portfolio that will put you ahead of anyone with a background in communications, social media management or marketing but no hands-on experience.
Another way to build a portfolio is to apply for paid beginner gigs. The best platforms to do this are Upwork or Fiverr. Sure, the pay might not be the best in terms of compensation, but you’ll be building a portfolio quickly and getting testimonials that you can use once you start approaching bigger clients.
Once you’ve gained some experience managing social media accounts, it’s time to attract clients who can pay $500 to $2000 a month to manage their accounts.
Here, most aspiring social media managers often turn to cold emails or cold calls to find potential prospects and start a conversation. And while this approach might work for some, it puts you in a weaker position and makes it harder to negotiate a higher rate.
That’s because when it comes to negotiating, you always want to come from a place of authority. Contacting a client who has never heard of you can work if you are already an established figure. But if you are just a beginner, it will show that you are desperate to work.
So what’s the best approach to finding customers who pay premium rates?
Related: How this 18-year-old high school student built a 6-figure social media consulting business
How to Attract High Paying Clients
One way is to continue using platforms like Upwork and Fiverr. If you started there, it will be easier to continue looking for clients there, as you will have collected good reviews and built a reputation as a reliable professional.
But a better way is to post on social media platforms to build your authority. This has two advantages. First, it will show potential customers that you’re not just claiming that you can manage a social media account. You’re practicing, which is the strongest form of social proof you can have. Second, it will help you attract potential clients who will see you as an expert in your field and will gladly pay your fees without any hassle.
Once you’ve attracted four to five customers this way, it’s time to turn them into repeat customers. The simplest way to do this is to deliver so much that they would go crazy if they didn’t keep working with you. If you do, simply create an offer to manage your social media accounts that can last anywhere from three to nine months and provide you with predictable income.
The goal when working with a client on a retention basis is to keep communications tight and constantly remind them of the wins you are delivering (like growing your following or monetizing your platforms). It will also help you to routinely raise your rates without losing too many clients and may even get those clients to refer you to more jobs.
In addition to maintaining good relationships with your existing customers, you should still actively seek out new customers by posting on your pages (or using other lead generation methods). This will put you in a stronger position when it comes to raising your rates or negotiating different packages.
Still, there’s always a limit to how much money you can earn by working 1-1 with a client. That’s why every smart social media agency will eventually package the solutions, frameworks, templates and any other assets it uses with its clients in a format that can be sold to many people at once.
Related: 6 Tips for Starting Your Million Dollar Business From Scratch
If all of your customers share the same struggles and you have a solution for that, you can easily turn that into an ebook, video course, or anything else that can be sold digitally. This will allow you to break through the freelancer income barrier and reach a million dollars a year.
It may take some time to get there, but these are the steps 99% of successful social media agencies have taken. The sooner you start building your social media agency, the sooner you’ll reap the benefits.