Flash back to July 2022. I was happy with the three management clients I had, but felt like I could absolutely bring on more (and needed to if I wanted to grow my business). The only problem? I felt like no matter how many discovery calls I got on or warm leads I pitched, I couldn’t sign new clients. My client roster was stagnant. I had inquiries that ghosted, discovery calls that didn’t turn into contracts, and throughout it all frustration that I still couldn’t find the right people who both believed in the value of social media management and were ready to be a trusting, collaborative partner. (I actually had to let go of three clients over the spring/summer, which is a story for another post but definitely a blow to my confidence).
If you’re a service provider, you’ve probably gone through a similar period where business is just stagnating. I bet you’ve felt the same. You know your work or your product can make an impact. You’ve done the market research, attended the trainings, have spent hours on social. You make the content that experts tell you, and try to figure out this engagement thing and….crickets.
So what changed? What took me from very few (and very dry) leads in my pipeline to incredible, dream clients downloading my service guide, booking calls, and signing contracts? And what can you learn from me? I’m sharing the 8 strategies I know helped me double my client roster in today’s post.
My prices are based on my skills, the time it takes me and my team to execute on the package contents, and my expertise. I am not inexpensive, and if you’re on a strict budget or only looking at price first? I am probably not the social media manager for you. Admitting that openly in my content, and really owning the value of my time, felt hard at first even though I had the results to back my prices up – despite being a social media manager myself and knowing the importance of talking to YOUR people, it still felt uncomfy to alienate people. This summer + early fall, I worked on owning my prices without feeling the need to justify. Doubling my client roster wasn’t going to be possible without owning why the price is the price and finding the right people who wanted to invest.
Now, I have a process for a reason. If someone complains to me about my lead intake form, or says it’s a “waste of their time” to answer those questions, I can see those red flags for a reason. But if someone needs the link to book their call sent directly to them? Done. Or we’ve chatted in the DMs and I know a bit about their business, and it’s easier on them for me to book their call for them? You got it. The details of my services are easy to find, my pricing is readily accessible, and I make it fun – not a burden – to talk to me about working together. This pivot, instead of sticking rigidly to processes, has led to more sales conversations.
I have always told you that it is so important to show you and your business at work to attract new clients. They want to see what you’re up to, and imagine how it would feel to be in those clients’ shoes. I’ve shown this before, but I really doubled down in both feed posts and stories. I could see via insights that these posts were getting saves and indirectly, more DM conversations about what I was up to. Expanding my client roster came down to making people see me not just as another social media manager in a sea of social media marketers on Instagram, but as someone they could imagine supporting them in their business.
P.S. Using pinned posts to highlight your best client work is one of my favorite strategies to get even more eyes on that content, and make the impact of those posts evergreen rather than the standard 24 hours of attention an Instagram post gets.
My pricing is readily available, but to see it? You have to input your email. This isn’t so I can stalk and harass you about working with me (because yuck 🤮), but so I can see who’s interested in ABC SMM services and open the conversation. I’m not here to force you into social media management if you’re not ready. I’m here to be a resource, answer your questions, and support you when you’re ready.
How do I make sure those leads feel nurtured? I keep a simple tracker that lets me see when we last chatted and what we’ve talked about, and I use it as a way to stay connected. If you’re not making note of who reaches out, following up when appropriate, and most importantly – genuinely caring about their business whether or not they work with you – you’re not maximizing your marketing channels’ potential to bring you new business.
Once you get potential business on your calendar or in your inbox, you have to remember the advantage of the fastest mover (that is SO not the actual name of this principle, but it’s something like that!). I send out personalized proposals quickly and am available for follow up questions so potential clients feel heard and taken care of. My client roster filled with dream clients quicker by approaching post-sales call follow ups with urgency.
P.S. have questions about what social media management entails? Check out this blog post answering all your questions about what I do.
When I first started working in social media management, I focused on the niche I knew – wellness + beauty. However, I quickly discovered this work didn’t light me up. I actually stumbled on my specialty, interior design and home decor, by accident but knew within a couple months that this work was what I was both good at, and enjoyed. I got really clear about speaking directly to interior designers and related businesses in my content and offers, and made some partnerships that helped me get in front of even more of my ideal client.
In a more general sense, I started setting clearer and clearer boundaries and most importantly, being vocal about them on social. I value my time freedom greatly, and do not want to work with clients who don’t respect that. But I will also bend over backwards for clients who do maintain that flexibility and show that they’re a true, collaborative partner in their marketing, and owning both has led the right people to my business.
The penultimate piece to expanding my client roster was putting myself out there to connect with other business owners who also work with my ideal client, and adding value to each other’s businesses by combining our networks. This has led to some great business friends, new business opportunities, and more people to lean on as I continue to grow as an entrepreneur.
In the midst of flashy “make six figures in six months” marketing comes a lack of conversation and transparency around those results. Hitting $100k and being “booked out” isn’t as easy for some people as coaches would like to make it out to be. It took time to refine my processes, define my ideal client, and feel confident in my prices – even with business mentorship. Being on a rush to the finish line and falling into a comparison trap (trust me, I’ve been there!) is part of what makes the online business space so hard for new business owners.
If you are struggling with getting clients, know that you are not necessarily doing something wrong. You are where you need to be, and don’t feel that you need to rush the process or meet a certain benchmark that the online space pressures you to hit. Try out a couple of these strategies and commit to most importantly, putting in the time necessary to make your business work for the long term!
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ABC Social Media Management® is a Florida-based social media management company serving female entrepreneurs worldwide through comprehensive management and strategy services.