Start a Content and Social Media Management Business
One of the most important and effective ways of conducting online marketing is to develop and market content. Content consist of articles, blog posts, eBooks, eReports, videos, memes and more. If it provides information to your audience, it’s content. The best way to market that content is via social media.
When you create content for your audience you will create valuable and relevant information designed to attract your specific customers. So, the type of content you create will depend on the target audience you have in mind if you want it to work to attract your ideal target audience. This has to be done on a very consistent and regular basis in order to get the results you desire. This is where a content and social media management business comes in.
As a social content and social media management business owner, you will handle this function for your clients. Because this is such an in demand skill to possess, you will be able to build a highly profitable and highly sought out business. The fact is, every business that hopes to market online needs content and social media management.
Why Content & Social Media Marketing Are Essential to Any Business’s Success
Go to any website for any type of business, whether it’s a bricks and mortar business or a strictly online business, and look at what is on the website. They probably have images, blog posts, free reports and more to get people to sign up for their email lists. Likely, they have links to follow them on various social media networks. But, from the start, the thing that drives customers to your online real estate is the content that you market.
- Drive Traffic – When content is published on any website, and then promoted on social media, it works to drive traffic to the website. There is usually a goal in mind when any traffic is driven to any website. That goal is usually to build up an email list, sell something, or educate the audience about their problems and the solutions that business provides.
- List Building – You’ve heard the saying, “the money is in the list” probably many times as you research different career avenues to take online. This is true for any business and has been true before the internet came into being. Mailing lists, whether for electronic mail or physical mail, have been the most important money makers for all types of businesses for decades, and nothing has changed other than the fact that you can now do this online with a completely digital list, even if the business is bricks and mortar.
- Education – When you get people on an email list, then you will need more content that is then used to educate the list member about their problems and the solutions the business provides. So, content marketing doesn’t just end the moment someone signs up for an email list, in fact, some might argue that’s where it really begins.
The fact is, content marketing and social media marketing is at every stage of the consumer buying cycle, from research, to buying decision to follow up. This gives a savvy entrepreneur with the right skills a terrific business model to start that will be profitable.
How Content Marketing & Social Media Marketing Work Together
In order to start and run a profitable content and social media management business, it’s important to understand how content marketing and social media marketing work together. The best way to understand this is to look at the content marketing cycle.
Content Marketing Cycle
If you do a search on the net for “content marketing cycle” you’ll likely get several definitions about what it is. But essentially, it’s the entire cycle from start to finish involving content from its reason for existing to the results you get. Each part of this cycle gives you as the content and social media manager different options for earning a profit in your business while creating a profitable business for your clients, too.
A lot of research needs to happen for each business that you work with. You’ll need to understand their audience, who their customers are, what customers they want to attract, and how to create useful and relevant content for that audience. This will take knowledge of how keywords work, and how search engines work to help drive traffic.
Many content and social media managers start with creating audience personas for their customers based on the research. They use that information along with product knowledge to create a publication and marketing plan for their clients. This plan will include titles of articles, and plans for videos and more for the client, depending on what type of content the client wants to go with. A mixture is best.
Once they have the information garnered through research and a plan of action, the content and social media manager may create the content themselves or they may outsource it. Once you have a good plan and a content calendar created, it’s easy to outsource. You’ll provide the writer or other creative person, such as audio, video and graphic designers with the information and a deadline, and then you’ll get back the end product that you’ll then use for your client.
As a manager, consider outsourcing a lot of this, because you’ll be able to take on more clients if you outsource the creative parts of the work. Otherwise, you’ll need to ensure that you have enough time to create the amount of content each business owner needs you to create. Price yourself accordingly.
It used to be that content optimization was all about keywords. Today, it’s much more focused on ensuring that the content is created for a specific audience because you want to ensure that trust is built between the audience and the business. That means that you’ll want to ensure that titles have keywords but aren’t clickbait. In other words, every headline you create should not trick the audience into clicking. Understating the intent of the audience helps.
In addition, you want all the content created to be well-made, using proper grammar, spelling, formatting and so forth. You want it to be easily digestible so that the consumer can stay focused and understand the information you’re trying to relay while establishing authority for your client, the business owner you’re working for, all the while ensuring that you create a call to action for every piece of content whether that’s read more, sign up now, buy now or something else entirely. Finally, today a highly optimized piece of content also includes important visual elements such as images that help explain your story.
Once the content is created, you’ll need to have a plan for publishing it. Most of the content that you create for your client should be published on your client’s online real-estate. The owned assets are most important, such as their blog and website. But, some content will also be published in other places such as Amazon Kindle, or YouTube, Slideshare.net, LinkedIn and as guest blog posts on other people’s sites.
You’ll want to establish a good mixture with the most important pieces always being published first on the client’s blog or website that they own. Outside of the blog you’ll need informational pages on the website, newsworthy pieces, sharable social media content, video content, infographics, eBooks, and more that all start with being promoted on your client’s website or blog.
In some ways, this part of the content marketing cycle should be all in bold because it’s one if not the most important aspect of being a content and social media manager for another business. This is what is going to get you the most bangs for your buck. Every single piece of content that is ever created and published on behalf of your client must be promoted. The days of just publishing and sitting back to wait for traffic are over.
The way in which you promote content starts with creating content that is specifically made for your client’s audience, is optimized with appropriate keywords, images, and titles, but then is also made available for them to read by promoting across all online channels using social media marketing. If a blog post goes up on the blog, it should then be shared on every social network with a blurb and an image to go along with it to make the audience want to click through it to consume the content.
One job of a content and social media manager is to keep tabs on the metrics. You’ll use various products to do this, but it usually starts with Google Analytics and native analytics in your social networks. Each time you publish anything, check at least quarterly for the results. You’ll start seeing a pattern after time with content that is getting better results than the others. Promote the content that gets higher results more.
For example, if you discover that your audience engages more with video, start doing more videos. This is the perfect time to understand the 80/20 rule, which states that 20 percent of the work you do gets 80 percent of the results. When you identify that 20 percent that’s getting the results, you will want to do more of that and less of the other things to improve your statistics even more.
Reuse/ Repurpose / Repeat
All this content creation can become overwhelming at times. But the more you learn about content marketing and social media marketing, the more you’ll realize that you can reuse and repurpose content across all channels. For example, if you have a blog post that is getting a lot of attention why not repurpose it into a YouTube video and vice versa?
When you remember to reuse content in a new format, and repeat what is working, you’ll find that you’ll become invaluable to your clients because of the results you’re going to get with the work you do.
If you work this hard to create the right type of content, and market it for your clients, you’ll soon become very sought after because you’re going to be getting huge results for your clients. Not only will you feel good about what you’re doing, but your clients are going to come to depend on you for your skills.
Why Content & Social Media Management is Such an In-Demand Skill
There is a lot that goes into being a good content and social media manager. It incorporates a lot of different skills into one position. You can outsource a lot of it, but you still need to understand it in order to manage it. You need the following skills to become a content and social media manager.
- SEO – Both on and off page search engine optimization is a skill that anyone who wants to be successful marketing online should learn. But, a business that wants to become a content and social media marketing manager for numerous businesses definitely needs to make this a top priority in terms of education.
- Writing – While you don’t have to do the writing yourself, understanding what a good piece of content looks like is a plus. If you’re going to outsource the writing, understand all the things that make a piece of content useful for marketing online so that you can demand that from the contractors you choose.
- Graphic Design – Again, you don’t have to do this yourself but understanding what makes up good graphic design is helpful. You can learn about the elements of good graphic design and then use that information to ensure you find the right contractors for your content and social media management business.
- Video – Today images and video play an important part in content marketing, which means you’ll need to either understand how to edit video or you’ll need to outsource to someone who does. Again, understanding what makes a good video for content marketing purposes will help you to choose the right contractor.
- Marketing & Advertising – Many people group these two together, but understand that they are different but go hand-in-hand. Marketing consists of doing things that only cost time and skills while advertising costs money in addition to the time and skill. For example, creating a blog post, then posting a link to it with a blurb to it on Facebook is marketing; boosting that post by paying is advertising.
Being well-rounded in these skills will make you in demand as you build your content and social media marketing business. Knowing how to find people to outsource to will allow you to grow your business into a very profitable, long lasting business that can even be sold to someone else if you also create standard operating procedures as you go. In the meantime, it’s important to keep developing these skills even if you are outsourcing because you want to know what is right and good when you do it.
How to Determine Your Ideal Client & Choose Your Services
The great thing about a profitable content and social media management business is that you can choose your clients. You can work with just one type of client and still create a profitable business. In addition, you can choose to do just one aspect of content and social media management or you can choose to do either content management or social media management. The sky is the limit.
The first thing you need to choose is which clients you want to work with, then based on who you want to work with and your skills (or the skills of those you’ll outsource to) and resources you’ll match their needs with your skills. That will be what you offer them.
So ask yourself these questions:
Who Do You Want to Work with? – Example: “I want to work with health coaches.”
What Are Your Skills? – Example: “I can plan and write health related content.”
What Are the Gaps in Your Skills? – Example: “I’m not so great at graphic design, so if I plan to put graphics with the content I create I need to find someone to outsource to.”
Once you answer these questions you can then choose which services you’ll offer. Remember that you don’t have to be a one stop shop. You can offer just content planning and writing services or you can offer content planning, writing, publishing and marketing services. It’s up to you how far you’ll go with what you offer, plus up to what your ideal clients want and need in a content marketing and social media manager.
A Note about Finding Contractors
Let’s talk for a moment about finding contractors. You’ve seen within this guide that you don’t have to do everything because you can outsource. There are numerous ways to find contractors to outsource and will depend on the type of prices you plan to charge your clients, which will depend on what your clients can and will pay, right?
Some places to find contractors are:
Upwork.com – This is a freelancing website where you can find contractors all over the world at every price range. You’ll simply post your position, and wait for the bids. You the hire people via the system which handles payment to the contractor, too. This is a good, safe way to hire your first contractors. Be aware that the lowest bid is not always the best bid. Pay attention to ranking and experience of those who are bidding.
WriterHelpWanted.com – This is a group for writers, which also accepts job ads free right now. You can simply go to their website and click on “submit a job” and fill out the form. Your listing will be placed and then the applicants will reply directly to you for the position. You’ll also handle all background checks, references, and payments yourself.
Listing on Your Website – If you are going to hire contractors you may as well put an “apply to work with me” posting and page on your website. Even if you’re not currently accepting contractors, keeping that up will help you keep leads in your pipeline. When managing contractors, it’s always best to have more than you need at your fingertips.
Of course, there are many more ways to find contractors. You can place a request right on Facebook in various groups you join, on Linkedin.com and other places where people who can do the job hang out. You can even place an advertisement in your local paper. Leave no stone unturned locating contractors if you plan to run your business this way. Be sure to have plenty of leads in the hopper because if one person doesn’t work out you can turn to someone else.
Differentiating Yourself from the Rest
As you work out the business model you want to follow, one thing you’ll need to do is stand out from the crowd. Thankfully, it’s not that hard. You know how often mechanics seem to have broken down cars? Well, content and social media mangers often have horrible social media and content marketing examples of their own. Why? They’re busy. But, this is no excuse. You can stand out by treating yourself as your own client first.
Build the best social media marketing networks, and the best content marketing examples for your very own business. Do for yourself what you purport to do for other businesses as you seek clients. The easier you are to find by your clients, the more they’re going to trust that you know what you’re doing and can do for them what you are doing for yourself.
As you work to be the best ask yourself these two questions:
Who is Your Competition?
Once you’ve identified your exact audience and what you’ll do for them, you need to find out who is already doing this. When you locate them, don’t be discouraged. Many people shy away from competitors and think they should pick a different niche, but this is faulty thinking. The truth is, if no one is doing it, it might not need to be done. If someone is doing it, and especially if they’re having some success, then you know it is a needed service.
How Can You Do It Differently?
One you locate them, join their lists, and start observing what they do. Then you want to emulate them but while doing so, fill in the gaps. For example, if you feel they are great with social media marketing but come up short on email marketing, you can improve email marketing for your clients. Figure out ways to add that something extra to your offerings that help you stand out.
Remember – do not be afraid of competition. Competition is a good thing. Let them do all your research. You won’t be copying them exactly, but you will be using their ideas, improving upon them, and capturing the customers because you’re doing it just a little better.
How to Price Your Services for Profitability Yet Competitively
One of the most important aspects of becoming profitable is learning to price your services well. For every customer there is a sweet spot in pricing that lets you become very profitable but still makes the client feel like they got a great deal. It will take time and research to figure out what that price is.
Start with answering these questions:
What’s Your Time Worth?
Many people think this is a pie in the sky question because of course everyone will come up with a different number. But, it’s a good number to start with. When you consider the lifestyle you desire, how much would you have to earn to live it? If you want to be a millionaire, have you picked the right path?
Who Is Your Client?
Not only do you need to understand what your client can afford, but you need to understand what they’re willing to pay and that all starts by knowing exactly who your client is. You’ll know what they value in life, what they’re willing to do to get what they need, and how they view money.
What Value Do My Services Provide?
A really good way to determine how much you’ll charge is to place a value on your services. For example, if your work will generate six figures a month for your client, how much should you get of this amount? If your client knew they’d earn six figures a month, how much would they be willing to pay you of that amount?
What Are My Competitors Charging?
This is a good way to go in some ways, but in a global market this can be dangerous, too. If your competitors currently live in an area that is a very low cost of living, they may be charging a tenth of what you need to just break even. Don’t let this scare you. Find competitors who are doing what you want to do in your market and compare their prices instead. Yes, sometimes your clients will go to that super low priced place, but often times they’ll be back to you due to language and other difficulties that may arise while working with low cost providers.
What Is My Break Even Point?
This is a very important bit of information to have. Even if you work from home, you have expenses. You’ll need to pay self-employment taxes, a portion of your rent or mortgage, communication costs, research costs, software costs, licensing and more. Figure out what that cost is, and multiply it by 1.5 in the case that you forgot something. Use that number as your breakeven point so that anything you make over that is considered profit for purposes of pricing.
Don’t be afraid to price yourself fairly. You want the ideal price to be that sweet spot that makes you feel good about what you do, and also makes your client feel as if they’re getting a really good deal. This price will be different for different markets. Choose your market based on what you know you need and want to earn.
Now that you know what goes into creating a profitable content and social media marketing business, you probably want to know what you can do to get started right now.
- Identify Your Skills – Are you a writer, an organizer, are you good at planning? What about graphic design? Do you understand about SEO? Are you good at editing video? There are so many niches within this business idea that you can go in many directions.
- Identify Your Clients – It’s good to start with the type of people you want to work with. Do you want to help local mom and pop shops market their businesses with content and social media? Do you want to help internet marketers, multilevel marketers, beauty shops? What? What type of clients will make you happy to work with them and why are you the right person to do it?
- Fill in the Gaps with Contractors – As you work out who you want to work with and what your skills are, it’s a good idea to look at the entire content and social media marketing cycle and decide which skills you have and don’t have so that you can find people and resources to help you fill your clients’ needs. Just because you aren’t good at writing or graphic design doesn’t mean you can’t run a profitable content and social media management business.
- Choose Tools of the Trade – There are a lot of tools that you may need depending on your niche. For example, you may need to purchase software to help you run multiple social media groups and pages such as, SproutSocial.com, HootSuite.com or Buffer.com. Maybe you need to upgrade your graphic design software or invest in copyright management software. It all depends on what you plan to do.
- Get a Business License – Pretty much every country, state, and city requires some sort of licensure to do business. If you’re in the USA, get an EIN to help you not have to give out your social security number for safety reasons. Call your local SCORE office to find out what you need to do in your locality to be legal.
- Set Up Finances – Get some accounting software or determine how you’ll keep track. There are many options online such as Wave.com, Go Daddy Bookkeeping, Quickbooks.com and more. Choose based on your budget and your needs, but don’t skip this step because keeping track of your income and expenses is imperative.
- Build a Website – Every business needs a website, especially one that purports to help other businesses market their business online via content and social media. Your website should, of course, have a blog included. Do not get a free website, try to build a professional website with a domain name that you own on hosting that you pay for.
- Set up Social Media Accounts – As an online marketing professional, social media is necessary, even if you plan to focus your business mostly on the content marketing aspects. They key here is not to be everywhere but to be where your particular clients are. For example, if you want to work with coaches, they love using Instagram.com, LinkedIn.com and Facebook.com.
- Start Building Authority – Once you build up these areas of your business, it’s time to build authority. You can do this by doing for yourself what you will do for them. Write a book, post blogs, write reports, and create videos. Whatever it is you plan to do for your clients, do for yourself as an example of what you can do, but also to promote your business.
- Offer Your Services – Oh yes, don’t forget your calls to action, because offering your services has to happen in there someplace. If you just write about it and give everything away for free without a call to action of some kind, no one will hire you because they won’t realize they can hire you.
You don’t need to place your prices online to offer your services. Just say this is what I can do for you and if you want to know more, let’s set up a discovery call. And then make it easy for them to do that using online scheduling apps to get the call scheduled. Creating an onboarding process is important if you want to be successful.
It really is that simple to start a content and social media management business. There aren’t enough of these professionals around to help all businesses. Locally alone you probably have more than 100 businesses that can use your services. You simply need to identify them and let them know you’re available. What’s stopping you?