I’m going to start this blog post off with a mini-rant. Whether in corporate positions or freelance, it is a common trend that social media managers are overworked and under-appreciated. Seeing this happen to my friends (and experiencing it for myself) is why my business owner boundaries are so important to me. With this post, I hope I can illuminate why you should be treating your social media manager with respect (and if you’re a social media manager, I hope this encourages you to set boundaries of your own with your clients).
Boundaries have gotten a bad rap for being restrictive. But I actually don’t see my boundaries as rules for my clients; Instead, I am telling you how I expect you to respect me, my energy, and my work. It is ultimately your choice whether you respect the boundaries I set as a business owner. But it’s also my choice if I work with you 😉
With that being said, let’s get into what some of my boundaries are!
This is the BIGGEST one, and it probably sounds surprising. How can someone you’re outsourcing to not be responsible for your business?
Social media is one small aspect of your marketing, and an even smaller part of your overall business. I am responsible for the strategy, the content, the engagement, and improving insights (including reach, impressions, and website clicks). But I am not responsible for what happens when someone moves off of Instagram. For example – I don’t control the responsiveness of website; I’m not on sales calls helping you close; I’m not the one developing your products and deciding your pricing. There are SO many factors that go into whether or not someone converts and I am only responsible for making sure the top of your funnel (Instagram) performs as well as it can.
Similarly, if you deviate from the strategy I’m implementing (ie delete content I posted, post additional content I didn’t review, start running ads, etc.) I also cannot guarantee the results of that content nor the impact it will have on the overall strategy.
This boundary is in place to set reasonable expectations for you, the client, and help you see what is and isn’t possible from social media management (curious about what I can do for clients? Check out this case study).
This is on par with my first boundary in terms of importance. Signing a contract with me to manage your social media does not mean you get 24/7 access to me, at your beck and call. Having clients that respect me is a massive reason why I started my own business versus going the corporate route – and one of the ways I protect myself is to not even give out my phone number. If a client wants to get ahold of me, they can do so during my business hours through one of the two communication methods I offer (more on that later)
My content approval process is designed with you, the client, in mind. I
So we can both get to enjoy the weekend and spend time off social (shocking for a social media manager, I know!) This – Wednesday & Thursday – is the time to request edits. Last minute requests or “can you post this real quick?” are managed on a case by case basis and are not guaranteed. While this may sound harsh, it’s again – designed with you in mind. Rushed posts, not considered within the overall strategy, often perform poorly. You have a plan in place for a reason – trust it, and trust the person you chose to invest in (me!)
Going back to my second boundary – you may be wondering, if I don’t provide my cell phone number, how do clients get in contact with me? Every client gets a private Slack channel where I respond to all messages within 24 hours (although often it is much faster!), and can also reach me by email.
I don’t respond to client messages via Insta DM. This is again for YOUR benefit – to ensure I don’t lose any important information in my busy inbox, and that my clients who are paying for my time get top priority. I answer Slacks and emails before DMs from followers. You get a direct line of access to me, and I treat that with the highest priority.
Ending on another doozy: I cannot care more about your business than you.
I definitely might lose clients for writing this. And I almost considered not putting it in. But it is so integral to how I work that I’m leaving it in.
I care SO SO deeply about my clients and their success. I move calls around at the last second because something came up with their kids. I think about their Instagram content when I fall asleep and when I wake up. If performance drops one month you can bet I am stressing and strategizing how to improve it for them. I want to see you win just as much as you do!
But I cannot care MORE than you. Here’s what I mean by that: I need you to be a partner in your Instagram marketing. I cannot force you to create reels, I cannot drag content out of you forcibly, I cannot make you respond to my messages. But if you want to see results? I need you to participate enthusiastically in the strategy I lay out and allow me to do what I do best.
BOOM! CRASH! THE DUNGEON DROPS!
Not actually 🤣 If a client accidentally goofs on one of these, I just let them know and move on. It’s a constant conversation and I don’t expect you to remember all of them perfectly.
If it becomes a repeat issue, I will be having a more serious conversation with the client. And if it turns out that it simply isn’t a boundary we can agree on, I will (and have!) parted ways.
I hope it is clear throughout this post that these boundaries are not just about me and my wants. They are yes, about protecting my mental health and longevity as a business owner. But they are also about protecting my clients and my working relationship with them. Protecting my energy this way allows me to show up as my best, most effective self for the people trusting me with their businesses’ marketing. It also enables us to have the most respectful, productive relationship possible. That is why setting and enforcing these boundaries is SO important to me.
What boundaries do you set in your business? Is this something you struggle with? I’d love to hear how you handle this!
Drop your email below to receive 3 content ideas, 2 trending audios and 1 free resource each week (plus access to special offers only available to the email list!)
Want more social media magic?
ABC Social Media Management® is a Florida-based social media management company serving female entrepreneurs worldwide through comprehensive management and strategy services.