by jenjul | Sep 21, 2018 |
THE 8 MISTAKES I MADE AS THE WORLD’S WORST SOCIAL MEDIA MANAGER. AND WHAT I DID TO IMPROVE MY BUSINESS.
I WAS A TERRIBLE SOCIAL MEDIA MANAGER.
I admit it.
I own up to it.
In 2017, I began my social media management business. This was after I decided to PIVOT from my first love of Photography. It seemed like a natural progression in my entrepreneurial journey.
And why not?
As an expat I was already on social media to keep in touch with friends & family. I took many digital media marketing courses and felt fairly confident in social media marketing. I was ready to tackle social media management. I even got some friends that owned small businesses as clients.
So I thought, “Ok, all I do it just plan and schedule their postings and bam, I’m in business!”
How naive I was.
Social media isn’t for the weak-hearted. It’s bloody hard. It’s draining. It takes a ton of energy, strategic thinking, creativity, time, and organization to manage a social account, let alone multiple accounts. When I first entered the social media marketing world as a newbie, I made a lot of mistakes.
Even as someone who has an advanced business degree, and who was “raised” in the age of social media, and has worked as a corporate executive in Business Management & Marketing (before starting my own business), there is still so much to learn. And the online world is ever-changing. Moreso, the “business” they teach you in school, is nothing like running an online business. And so, I don’t want you to waste your time making the same mistakes.
HERE ARE 8 MISTAKES I MADE AS THE WORLD’S WORST SOCIAL MEDIA MANAGER AND WHAT I DID AFTER THESE INSIGHTS:
#1: NOT SETTING BOUNDARIES AND MESHING WITH CLIENTS:
Setting boundaries is huge when you’re in an industry that never sleeps. Social media is literally 24-7. But there is NO such thing as a social media emergency. Sure planning can change based on disasters but there is no real social media emergency. This needs to be conveyed with clients from the get-go. This was one of my hardest learning lessons.
What’s more, THEE MOST IMPORTANT THING: Boundaries are huge. Boundaries must be clearly conveyed and set right at the beginning of the client relationship. This should be clearly stated in your contract. This should also be reinstated in your clients ‘onboarding welcome packet’ that outlines these boundaries. This could include things such as how to get in contact with me (by email, CMS, text, etc.), how to schedule meetings, my working hours, and how often I check my email.
Also, initially, you must make sure you are a good fit for your client. There is no way to know this without ‘feeling them out’ (if you will). This requires some upfront work. What I did was have a few discussions and I made a designated questionnaire. I had a questionnaire all right, my mistake was that I was just asking all the wrong questions. But, I was just starting and I wanted the experience.
If I learned anything, I would ask relevant questions about what type of person they are, are they comfortable with another person posting on behalf of their business? What is their personality type? If there was anything in the questionnaire that raised ‘red flags’ you should take this into serious consideration in terms of you taking them on as your client. Working relationships are everything. I would ask these things to gauge potential clients fit with my own personality and if we’d mesh. Bottom line, trust your gut.
#2: NOT TREATING MY OWN BUSINESS AS PRIORITY # ONE.
Too late in the social media game did I realize that my own business is my most important client. Seriously, your business must always be a priority. It is your most valuable client. That means taking yourself through the same process you guide your clients through. This means scheduling your own social media strategy for the following month, writing the pertinent blog content, scheduling the photoshoot to get those styled photos, planning your blog content strategy, evaluate your own analytics and engagement. DO all the things to keep your business going strong.
Ignorance is not bliss when it comes to your business. At the forefront, you should walk your talk…period.
#3: NOT HAVING SYSTEMS IN PLACE FROM THE BEGINNING
I was a hot mess when it came to figuring out systems and I feel like it completely hindered my growth. I truly believe that if I was more organized I would have had more time to do client outreach and serve my clients better.
Next, I would have already figured out which social media management platform to use and stick to it. This is what I figured out only after my client expressed frustration with me after changing the social media management platform yet again to approve and post their content. I was changing the scheduling management platforms weekly (i.e. Hootsuite, Buffer, Later, Facebook, Kontentino, Social Report, and Loomly). That’s a LOT!
Anyways, I learned a lot from that and the social media management platforms themselves. I will just say that it was not only expensive for this fledgling social media marketing fool, but it was also time-consuming and now I know which platforms are worth anything based on my experience.
#4: TIME MANAGEMENT
I feel as if this is something that you have to RE-LEARN as a freelancer/entrepreneur that is trying to balance family and work. It’s hard to find that balance but that’s where ‘time management’ plays such a crucial role in anything you want to achieve. Anyways, I didn’t have it. Nor did I stick to it when I did try to manage my time. Why?!? Well, kids, family, searching for a job in Denmark, kids, husband, it was always something.
In retrospect, those were ALL excuses. I just didn’t have any structure. I was more ‘reactive’ rather than proactive and this is my life these days. At the root, I don’t have any structure, and I think it’s just because I lack the structure that came with a ‘real job.’ You know, that 8-5 work schedule where you went to a soul-sucking job for little pay?
Just kidding, I digress….it just came down to myself having time management and sticking to it. I think if I want to DO ANYTHING and make MONEY, I have to have a schedule, and really stick to it in order to be productive. And so…I’m working on it. The struggle is definitely REAL but I’m trying all the things.
#5: TRYING TO BE EVERYWHERE ALL THE TIME
I don’t know about you but I was trying to post to ALL the platforms ALL the time. It was exhausting. It’s true what they say, ‘Niche down, know your target audience and ‘perfect’ and nurture that audience on that specific social media platform.’ Seriously! If your people are hanging out on Instagram, engage with them there. And only when you have mastered that platform, you move on to another. Only then can you see real growth and engage with your client’s audience.
#6: NOT SHARING ANY VALUE
I was constantly pitching my clients’ products and services but not providing any value. Often, I see other Social Media Managers just posting about their services without sharing why they’re qualified to even be offering those services. By providing some real value you build the ‘like, know, and trust factor.’ And only then will you see growth and more clients.
#7: FAKING IT UNTIL YOU MAKE IT.
Some of the most common mistakes I see other SoMe managers buy into is the ‘fake it until you make it.’ I did it. I drank the kool-aid. But you know what it did? It stressed me out to the point of burn out. Early on, I realize clients asked if I did ‘branding,’ logo design, and graphic design. I knew enough about Canva to use my creativity to create amazing images and content to post, but branding? I had to learn on the way and I said yes because that’s what freelancers (that need clients) do, we say yes always. And then I asked my trusty friend, ‘Google’ to please help me out.
I burned the midnight oil for weeks on end to learn ‘branding’ and created color schemes and logos for clients. I found I actually had a knack for it. But it was at the price of being sleepless, tired, not present with my family, and I was grumpy. I was nearly burned out.
So I did the one thing I never do. I asked for help. When a client asked for a new website, (and myself knowing nothing about website design), I outsourced to an experienced designer. Since it wasn’t my strong point, I asked for help. So, I wouldn’t recommend, ‘fake-it-until-you-make-it,’ because it comes at a hefty price both mentally and financially and at the price of friends. Just be honest and know your boundaries (#1 mistake) and what you are capable of.
#8: HAVE A SALES FUNNEL
What’s a sales funnel? That’s what I asked myself when I had my own website evaluated. Basically, a sales funnel is the process in which you take a potential client through in order to buy your product or service. I didn’t have a process to lead potential customers to, nor bait (that free offer or service) that is providing value but also leading them through the funnel.
This caused me to take a step back and rebrand. I updated my website, learned more about funnel building, email marketing and the like to build my business to what I want it to be.
Now that I’ve shared my social media management mistakes and insights, from going from The World’s Worst Social Media Manager to what? What did I do?
I niched down to ONE social media platform that I’ve loved even before I knew social media management was a thing. PINTEREST.
Heard of it?!?
Did you know that it’s NOT ONLY a social media platform but a HUGE visual search engine? Think Google, but with a visual catalog where you can find pretty much anything. AND what’s more, statistically, the people that are on Pinterest are ready to buy. So, if you aren’t using Pinterest for your business right now, my goal is to change that for you and help you use the platform to generate traffic and profits for your business.
So let’s get to “pinning” and while you’re there, feel free to follow my boards and look around: https://www.pinterest.dk/jen_jul/