Do you sometimes feel there are just not enough hours in the day to stay on top of everything?

We’ve all been there. All of our co-founders are working parents with social media businesses and we’re busy bees juggling it all!

This blog won’t help you create additional time – but it shares actionable tips which we know work, for ring-fencing time to look after your all important own marketing.

After all, if we just work in our business, rather than on it, we will stand still.  

We’ve applied these tactics and they work. We found that mostly it requires a change in mindset. And if we can do this – so can you.  

Could you charge more for your social media services?

When we first start out, we’re keen to get experience and are likely to charge relatively low rates. We get it. But let’s be mindful of this and not miss the turning point for when it’s really time to put up our rates.

Yes, this is a tricky subject, but growing our own businesses is all about operating outside of our comfort zones on a daily basis.

Regular reviews with your social media clients

We encourage our members to build in regular reviews with their clients to ensure they can increase their rates as they grow in experience.

You can also use these reviews to explore if they have additional requirements you could help them with, or whether you’re already delivering activities outside the original scope. In any case, it’s time to put up your prices!

When it comes to raising your rates with existing clients, be armed with the stats. Prepare a mini report which demonstrates the increased value you add and highlight key stats but remember to talk about other wins.

As you’re getting more experience, don’t forget about creating social proof. So do ask your clients to share testimonials with you.

An easy way to so this is to request a recommendation on LinkedIn and to ask them at the same time if you could use this for your marketing materials – such as your website.

What does social media experience mean nowadays?

We all feel the imposter syndrome sometimes. And when you consider how experienced you actually feel, it’s worth factoring in that social media itself is such a young industry, and that everyone out there is relatively inexperienced.  

The entry barrier for offering social media services is so low, but if you’re a professionally trained social media manager, your rates should reflect that.

We found that how to set your rates #LikeAPro, is one of our most popular Go With The Pro courses – everyone struggles with it.

We’ve got your back so here are 3 tips for getting started:

  1. Before anyone else will have enough confidence in you to pay you for your services, you need to be able to communicate them with confidence. Why not try this: make up a ridiculously high amount for your day rate, let’s say £10K, and practise saying it in the mirror and in front of your friends and family for 7 days. By the time you need to state your actual rate in front of a client or potential client, it will feel so much more natural and you’ll sound confident.  
  2. Do some competitor research – this can provide a great benchmark
  3. Calculate your actual costs when you quote for a job. We have a really simple tool for setting day rates in the course but when you quote for a 2 hour training session for example, you should never be charging for just 2 hours of your time.

How much preparation time will the job entail? How long will it take you and what will it cost to travel? Are you planning to provide any follow up documentation? These things should all be taken into consideration.

Could you outsource some of your lower level tasks as a social media manager?

A first helpful step toward being able to outsource is to do everything yourself. Then you know how long it takes and it will be much easier to delegate and explain the tasks to someone else.

We know outsourcing isn’t always possible when we first start out. Sometimes an option is to trade services.

For example, could you provide a social media strategy or training to a local photographer or designer to help you with your artwork for your website.

Could you hire less experienced social media managers to help you with the work on your own clients and channels?

Choosing someone to outsource to is important. This is designed to save you time so taking on someone who doesn’t understand your business or who you will have to micromanage is counter productive. Consider passing on small tasks and get an idea of how you work together before you commit to a long term arrangement.

Treat yourself like a client – schedule in time for your marketing and business development work

When we treat our own marketing like a client project, this tends to happen:

  • We break down projects into milestones
  • We plan individual tasks for achieving these milestones
  • We schedule them into our diaries
  • We focus on the tasks which really make a difference, and say no to ‘nice to haves’  
  • We review progress and adjust our plans

It’s so important to make our main social media channels look good – after all they are our shop windows to the world.

So let’s figure out who our target market is and on which channels we’re likely to find them.

Many people find it hard to sell themselves in the beginning, so let’s start with the easy housekeeping work:

  • Optimise your social media bios – we need a professional headshot and copy that entices your audience  
  • Create a mini social media and content marketing strategy for those
  • Ask yourself what questions does your audience care about – answer them
  • Be present on the platform. Not all the time – but at regular intervals.

Stop sharing your expertise for free

Yes in the beginning you might be tempted to offer your expertise for free. When you do – please ensure that you at least receive a LinkedIn reference in return – which you could also use on your website.

We encourage our members to become selfish with their time.

Why?

Every time you meet for a ‘freebie brainstorm’ over a coffee, you could be using the time better for working on your own business. As you get more experienced, you will become wary of the ‘Can you just..’

Once you’ve offered someone free advice, why would they consider paying you? It’s very challenging to get someone to pay for your services if you’ve already shared your best tips with them.

What you could do instead:

  • Learn to say no… simply say that you’d love to help but that you’ve to be mindful of your time – you need it for paid-for client work or for working on your business
  • Offer a 15 min free discovery call – calendly is a fantastic way to set this up
  • Even better, give them one super quick tip that you can identify from looking at their channels, and offer a paid for power hour / consultation with you

Hear from Nicole Osborne, one of our co-founders how she carves out time for their own content marketing

Nicole Osborne:

When I first started out, I saw content marketing as an opportunity to establish my ‘NEW’ identity after years of being a client side marketer. I embarked on additional training and read some great content marketing and personal branding books. I felt there were so many social media managers out there and I wanted to show what I could do. I didn’t know what my niche would be or what I wanted to specialise in – that came 2 years later.

The most important thing is to not put off your own marketing – as soon as you go into business you need to start it – even though it’s rather scary at first. We can’t afford to remain the world’s best kept secret, can we?

I was lucky that I found regular client work fairly early on, so I always was able to allocate a percentage of my time to marketing activities for my business. It was also a way to show my clients that I ‘walk the walk’ and don’t just ‘talk the talk’ so I really prioritised marketing for myself. I sometimes even hired a babysitter to create some new content. And I continue to challenge my own time management – it’s not always perfect, but it’s getting better.

I found six month into my first baby steps into marketing myself, I actually started enjoying content marketing together with getting positive feedback and leads from it. So when you first start out, just get started: get to know your audience, develop a distinct approach and be consistent – and results will follow.

What’s next?

Do you need more insights for being more productive, read our blog: How to manage your time with Tiana Wilson-Buys.

As business owners ourselves, we keep our Go With The Pro members motivated and help them to feel more in control of their time so that they can drive their own marketing forward.

We offer many tips and tools for social media managers and digital marketing freelancers. For example, we created a time-saving Social Media Awareness Days Calendar for days when you feel stuck for content inspiration, either for yourself or your clients. We’re proud to say that it’s probably one of the most comprehensive calendar for UK days, so go and check it out!

Running our own businesses and managing it all can feel overwhelming. We’ve all been there! And often all it takes to change our mind-sets and to be more productive is a little inspiration, encouragement, time-saving tips and accountability.

So why not check out our Go With The Pro membership offering. We look forward to seeing you on the inside!

To get a taste for what’s on offer, meet us in our free Facebook Group where we offer networking and support for freelancers.