Earn a Living as a Social Marketing Consultant
Social marketing is the systematic approach of addressing a wide range of social problems with the help of successful techniques in commercial marketing along with other concepts, to achieve specific goals of attaining popularity. Though social marketing applies marketing techniques, it is people oriented rather than being product oriented. Thus, social marketing uses the benefits of doing social good to secure and maintain customer engagement. Social marketing is fast gaining audience because people have realized that gaining audience is an important aspect of business and marketing strategy and not having a social marketing strategy when your competitor has, is not a very good idea.
Who is a Social Marketing Consultant?
A social media consultant is a person or a group of people helping an organization such as non-profit organization and government agencies to successfully design; evaluate and implement social marketing campaigns in order to bring meaningful change in the world. Social marketing consultants specialize in helping you work with your audience to make an impact by creating a change without breaking the bank much.
Roles of a Social Marketing Consultant:
A Social Marketing Consultant works with their customer for marketing research, planning of project, technical issues, evaluation, and research based methods to back their claim i.e. in short, in almost everything related to a social media project. A social marketer starts by using qualitative and quantitative audience research to answer fundamental questions people often have when you ask them to change. To be successful at social marketing you need to give people a reason to change that has little to do with the right and the wrong, and rather concentrates on how it will benefit the user.
The agenda behind inducing a social change is not just restricted to governmental or non-profit charitable organizations; it may be argued that corporate public relations efforts such as funding for the arts is an example of social marketing.
How can I be a Social Marketing Consultant?
The first thing you need as a social media consultant is credibility, as without it no one will hire you. The best way to check your credibility is assuming you were on the other side of the table and honestly deciding whether you could trust a guy with qualities and credentials same as yours, with your business
Along with your credibility, you need to have the experience to deal and survive in the social marketing business. Without any social media experience you can’t expect to get any job. It is advisable to start with some blogs and articles and then you can simply work for free for your first couple of assignments for people in your network, just to improve your portfolio.
3. Online Branding
Social media marketing is all about getting noticed online, so one thing you definitely need to have is proper online branding and network that promotes your own website as well as your social media properties so that it develops a sense of trust in your company. You no doubt have to work hard to also establish credibility and show off your experience here, but it pays off in the longer run.
4. Contribute Your Own Content
Signing Up on twitter and re-tweeting others stuff is no big deal, anybody can do it, but to get noticed you need to share your opinion on social media for business. Your own unique and insightful content is something that is going to force anyone who finds you in social media want to visit your website, wish to know more about you? How would they be confident that you have the expertise to handle any situation?
5. Make Connections, Both Online and Offline
People usually trust those whom they know personally or those who are recommended by trusted friends or family, so your connections are going to determine how much work you get in this business. Though social media is a relatively new phenomenon, the same old rules of business apply to it as well. Build on your personal contacts on social media and always remember that meeting people in person does more good than meeting them online. There are great chances that your first deal comes from a local customer, so you should first concentrate on local networking before being too ambitious and thinking nationally or even globally.
6. Understand Your Customer
To succeed in social marketing, the first thing you need to do when you get a job is to understand your customer and his needs. Try to solve his problems, answer his queries, talk to him as much as you can, that’s the only way of developing trust between the customer and you.
7. Be Active
Last but not the least, to have long term success in this business; you need to be an active and patient consultant. Jobs might not come in thick, but if you have worked hard, they will gradually come your way.
How To Earn A Living As A Social Marketing Consultant?
Once you develop the trust and credibility among the customers and gain some experience, being a social marketing consultant will earn you a lot of cash, provided you are serious, dedicated and honest towards your job. Below is a list of how much you can earn at various platforms depending upon the amount of work you are doing. But always remember, social marketing is all about developing trust among the customers, so it is advisable to be flexible with your demands and the same time ensure that you at least get what you deserve.
Managing someone’s complete blog starting from design, all its content, customer relationships in the form of comments and emails etc can earn you about $1,000-$12,000 a month. However, having your own blog and writing content for yourself, changes the scenario. Originality is the key in the latter.
Designing a twitter page, post creations and tweets, find new and interesting followers and managing messages and interactions can easily earn you something between $1,000 and $4,000 a month, given that you dedicate enough time to it.
Since, facebook currently has a wider audience as compared to other social networking sites, it gives you about $2,000-9,000 a month, to manage someone’s profile and market their business on this platform.
Social Media Strategy:
Developing the complete social media strategy including the outsourcing of content and design and maintenance at various platforms could fetch anything between $3,000 and 20,000 a month.
Social Media Consulting:
Hourly rates – $50-$500/Hr
The complete social media consulting is something you can have once you develop that credibility and trust in the market. It gives you a lot of monetary assurance and is considered the peak of one’s social marketing career.
The underlying idea:
• Companies no longer pay for brand names and reputation; they pay for the results and knowledge you have in your kitty. They don’t need someone to tell them what they want to hear; instead they want people who can do the job efficiently for them.
• Companies tend to push you to the limit, as far as social marketing is concerned. Remember, the more and the better you work, the more you succeed.
• Always be flexible with what you want as payment. Negotiation is fine, provided you get what you deserve.
How To Excel As A Social Marketing Consultant?
Instead of just focusing on the social media tools available to us, consultants need to use them and their mind to achieve a specific result from them. The method that you employ is important and not the tools. Having a complete knowledge of social media tools is one thing, but knowing how to manipulate them to create a constant stream of targeted traffic to your site is what makes you to stand out among others in your competition.
Social media consultants need to be:
- Knowledgeable: Whatever the field is, there is no substitute for knowledge and skills. You need to know all the positives and negatives of every major social media tool, including but definitely not limited to social networking sites like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, bookmarking sites etc.
- Experienced: Knowing your stuff well as a social media consultant and having a client history to prove it will speak volumes about your success story. Remember, nothing promotes better than positive results and feedback. A company with a solid marketing background will already have the basics down on marketing principles and internet marketing strategies.
- Creative: All the marketing strategy and tools are to aid you in your work but your creativity and the skill to improvise will decide where you stand among others. Willingness to explore beyond certain avenues and bringing technology to your helm is what separates the good from the best.
- Analytical. The ability to constantly assess input against the output and change the strategy wherever necessary to improve results is what is referred to as being analytical. An analytical mind will always improve and thrive for greater success.
Tips To Improve As A Social Marketing Consultant:
- Be specific about your qualities but remember, claiming to be an expert in social media is similar to claiming to be an expert in life. Being a marketing consultant that helps businesses to develop a long-lasting relationship with their audience through social media is something that will set you apart from the rest of the social media “gurus” in the market, but calling yourself an expert in social media is flirting with danger because of the simple fact that, not all social marketing campaigns are effective everywhere.
To take an example, anti-smoking and anti-tobacco campaigns such as World No Tobacco Day have been successful as far as spreading awareness is concerned but they have still failed to curb down the demand for tobacco and the number of deaths due to consumption of tobacco in some parts of the world.
- If you want to make money through your social media efforts, you have to give people reasons to believe that they can benefit if they pay you for your products or services. Your tagline, your advertisement, your networks, your contacts will help you to a certain extent in gaining popularity as a social market consultant, but at the end of the day, only your results and achievements will decide how long you are going to last in the business. Give people enough reasons in the form of positive results, to trust on you with their business and never let your customers down.
- Be professional and respectful both online and offline: You can be respected for the work you do not because your tagline or your website says so, but only because your work and your behavior are good enough. Respect your customers and their demands and try to communicate with them in a very professional way. Sharing work information with your clients is sometimes a good idea as it keeps them involved and improves the chances that they know, like and trust you and your work. Go beyond the scope of textbooks and work and you will realize how fast word travels on social media about how good you are at what you do.
- If you want improvement, you must have a plan. You don’t need a 100 page document about do’s and don’ts, or not even your workplace full of chits of paper telling you what to do next, all you need is the outline of your approach in detail in your mind. Plan in advance and always be prepared for the worst, it is never a bad idea to have a Plan B or a Plan C in place. Planning will be useful for your team, and your future as a social marketing expert.
A social marketing consultant is therefore, not simply the person who uses marketing techniques to garner non-marketing benefits; he can also be a game changer or the factor behind the success and popularity of any company across various platforms and audiences.
Bringing in a change even if it’s for the betterment of the individual or the society is still extremely difficult, and it’s even more difficult when things like behavior changes come into picture, which is why the job of a social marketing consultant is not a run in the park. So, always remember failure is just a reminder that you need to work harder to achieve your goals. At the end of the day, there is no substitute to hard work.