If you have to work sixteen hours every day without hiring help for your social media consulting business, there might be something wrong with the way you are doing things. This behaviour is usually indicative that you are devaluing yourself and undercharging for your services.
Everybody knows that some sort of personal sacrifice is required in order to get a business started, but there is a point when you should sit back, reap the benefits and pass the work onto others. If it has been three years and you’re still in this same situation, you might want to rethink the way you are doing things.
Like most first time business owners, I started my social media business with a bad attitude. I thought that if I provided my services at a lower rate, I would stay competitive. I reasoned, that if I did most of the work myself and had enough clients to spread the word about me, this would eventually lead to more clients. This is a huge mistake, and one that many first time social media consulting business owners make because they purposely do not tell you this in any of the training sessions on social media. I truly believe that if you knew how much work was actually involved in doing social media before taking the training, you would run away and never pass go. It is already too late when you have invested time and money and you have to at the very least give it a try.
Social media is a great business when its successful, but at the same time, it is a great deal more difficult than people will have you believe. Most consultants end up working for someone else because they cannot make it on their own. Proof of this lies in the fact that many social media consultants now market themselves as Virtual Assistants because the reality is, they do not have all the skills required to do the job. This is an article for another day.
Each of the five major social media platforms needs to have one person to manage it, if you want to do it as effectively. You also should have someone who can write effective blogs, a web consultant, graphic designer and someone who understands a great deal about content management, marketing and administration when running a successful social media business. They do not tell you this in training, in fact they lead you to believe that you run this business all by yourself, this is not the case. It takes a great deal of time and effort to be socially engaging and if you have too many cheap paying clients, you will not be able to afford to hire the help and resources that you need run your business.
In the end, you will lose most of your clients and have to start over again because you cannot provide quality, only quantity.
How do you manage to provide social media services to small businesses and still maintain a level of quality? There is only one true answer ~ with good clients of course! If you get paid cheap, cheap is what you will give, no matter how you slice it. If you undervalue yourself, you will never be successful and your business will remain small. If you have quality clients, they will pay you properly and you can hire the help and resources that you need.
Do not worry, it happens to the best of us. The good news is, if you start now, you may not have to learn the lesson the hard way.
Business lesson number one – avoid falling into the LOSER client trap and if you have already done so, lose the losers.
What is a loser client?
They usually tend to be cheap, unreasonable, controlling and they think because they read about social media somewhere that they are an expert on the subject and they constantly question you. There is a level of professional courtesy that must be attained when you are in a business to business relationship and if your client is constantly questioning you, this leads to a negative working situation and affects your confidence level. Negativity spreads to your other clients, creating a bad working environment for everyone. Learning to decide if a client is more trouble that he is worth, is the best lesson in social media you can ever have.
Social media is about being engaging, positive and social, if a client is causing you to feel negative and you cannot stand to even do anything for them especially for the amount of money they are paying you, its time to lose the loser and move on to positive clients. Losing one client is not the end of the world, learn from it and accept that not everyone can get along. It is not a bad choice, it is a wise and professional one!
Speaking of loser clients, I have to go make a phone call in order to maintain my sanity. Stay positive, stay real and you will succeed, and it starts by charging people what you’re worth. If you can do social media, you are worth paying for. Think about this, if people are paying others to do it for them, it is because they know they cannot and do not want to do it themselves.
The more you know, the more you grow!