This transcript is from Episode 74 of the I Do Wedding Marketing podcast! You can listen to the podcast here, or if you prefer to read the content then keep on reading!
On our last episode, Episode 73 I shared with you the three things to focus on as you prepare your business for 2023. But maybe you are looking to outsource more and take on less for your new year. And if that is the case, then let’s talk about what you need BEFORE you hire a Social Media Manager!
1. Budget. We spoke a bit about how you can review and asses your budget in our last episode, but effective social media management may not be as easy as tagging it on to someone else’s work load. If your intention is to hire an EXPERT for your social media marketing, then a budget is going to go along with that.
Your social media marketing budget should be taken as seriously as your advertising budget, web design budget, and so forth. Modern digital habits of users indicate that couple’s aren’t just going to The Knot, or to your website, or to Instagram. They are going to all three and they all work together.
My job as a social media marketer is to get couples to go from your social media profile to your website, where they cane enter your sales funnel. Weddings are not only a high price point sale, but are only relevant to a very specific client – someone who’s engaged! To capture people during that small frame, an expert will be more effective than if you compromise to an agency that does not specialize in the industry.
Take in to account your volume of bookings and the average price point. Use that information to determine a monthly or annual cost you are comfortable with to devote to social media management. For example, you may hear a figure like $800 a month and think it’s impossible. Instead, view that as it’s annual cost of $9,600. Consider how many weddings you would need to book to justify that cost. Depending on your business, it could be one wedding, or it could be 5 weddings. Have a conversation with your prospective Social Media Manager to discuss the realism of your goal. But I am confident with the proper strategy and TIME you will hit that.
Which leads me to the next thing you need.
2. Time. I always tell clients that I need a minimum of 3 months in order to get on autopilot with an account. For me, autopilot means I am understanding the account, what’s working, what isn’t and make the necessary changes.
For example, I had a client who had not posted in over a year. The first week of posting, not too much happened. I cannot judge that against the content, because we are just starting to reestablish the account to both the audience and the algorithm. A social media manager will learn more about what works for an account that’s been posting consistently for 3 months than for an account that only started posting.
A 3-month commitment allows your wedding business and your Social Media Manager to begin gathering ACCURATE information. If you don’t have 3 months MINIMUM to consider, than a social media content strategy will be futile.
3. A website. You heard me mention earlier that my goal as the SMM is to get clients to your website to enter your sales funnel. I say that because for 100% of my current clients, they are making sales in person or through their website and not through direct messages on social media. I encourage having a website because, as I mentioned earlier, weddings are a high price point. Even a low cost item of a favor becomes a large order when multiplied by the amount of guests. A website is a great investment towards your business if you don’t have one. If you are looking for web design I have several people I recommend, one of which being Brian Lawrence weddings. Now let’s get to the next part of this which is branding.
4. Branding will allow your Social Media Manager to post cohesively with your brand. If a client has good branding, I am able to immediately step right in and post from their “voice and vision.” I have had several branding experts on the podcast you can check out, though one I will mention right now is Ariel at I Do Design Studio.
5. A portfolio of imagery. You should have a base collection of photos or video to provide your Social Media manager or agency with. If you do not have this, expect to invest in a photographer to come and take photos of yourself, your work or your location. As a social media manager I do obtain, create and even take images, but this does delay starting your content. Plus, you should always have a portfolio for the other sales aspects of your business. Which leads me to…
6. Additional marketing. Your social media manager does just that – social media. Items like e-mail marketing, blogs, showcases, etc. are not typically a part of that base package. I do offer email marketing and blogs as an additional service, but it’s not at my entry price point. Similarly, I do not get involved in networking events, attending showcases or any other marketing endeavors. Social Media will be able to support these items, but they do not necessarily fall within the umbrella of social media.
7. Trust. Trust the process. Social media is one spoke in the wheel it takes to run a successful business. You cannot rely only on social media, but you also cannot go without it. Also, be willing to surrender knowing what’s best, especially for those first 3 months. Allow your social media manager or agency to guide you. I have one client who was very nervous to allow someone else to speak on behalf of their business. More so than a usual client. And first off, I want to say that is FINE! Your social media manager should welcome open conversation, which is what I do with this client. What’s important about this experience is that my client will let me know what is on their mind and then we will work through it TOGETHER. They will let me know their concerns, and I will let them know my expertise. And then…they listen. They trust. And I move forward knowing their concerns and what I need to accommodate going forward.
An open, trusting mind will make social media significantly easier. The clients who are more controlling I’ve had the least success with. The clients who trust me to do the work receive the best results.
Do you feel your wedding business is ready to out source it's social media to a freelancer or agency? If you're unsure, schedule a strategy call with me and we can go over the specifics!