Posted in Business Forum

The Entrepreneur and the Client

In the past, my approach to entrepreneurship has been to get many clients; enough to pay my bills. I was wrong.

  • Don’t allow your bills to be the determining factor for how your business is doing. Your business may determine your bills, but not the other way around {Click to Tweet}

This is a principle that was taught to me recently. The principle that your business should be active, not reactive. By taking the approach to get enough clients to pay my bills, I was:

  • Limiting myself, because bills, regardless of how big or little they are, are limited
  • Putting my business in the role of troubleshooting problems, instead of seeing it as a way to provide value
  • Viewing my clients as dollar signs, as opposed to primarily positioning myself to be valuable to them
  • Stunting the growth of my business, as opposed to seeing it as a flexible, dynamic, growing entity

It  would even be better to take care of all your bills in January (for the entire year), and then work on the business, to build it, to provide value, to grow it, to make a difference. When I received this advice, it helped to shift my focus tremendously; and now, rather than seek to find enough Social Media clients to take care of my bills, I look to sign up a client. Just the one.

But Why?

With my attention shifted onto signing up a single Social Media client, I am able to focus on preparing a proposal or presentation for the singular individual/business. With this approach, I no longer take it personally when a business owner doesn’t feel like their Social Media needs match up with the services that I offer. With this approach, rather than feel like they really must have something against the concept of me paying my bills on time, I recognize that the decision isn’t personal.

The Process

When reaching out to a potential new client for Social Media, my approach used to be rather random. Now, I am a little more picky, and something about the business has to catch my eye. Here are some examples of things that may cause me to reach out to a business:

  • If the business is launching a new product or service, I reach out with a Social Media proposal aimed at educating the market on the product/service, ahead of its launch
  • If the business has a Social Media presence that is stalled; for instance, if they’d been active on Facebook but then suddenly stopped or gradually phased out
  • If the business has got no Social Media presence at all, and I feel that they would benefit from building a Social Media community around their brand
  • If the business is in an industry which people find mostly via Google e.g. courier companies, online stores, taxi services, hotels, et cetera; because for these, an online reputation is a high priority

Once I identify a business to which I feel that I can provide value, I craft a proposal that outlines:

  • My understanding of that business’ purpose on the specific Social Media platform e.g. Facebook or Twitter
  • What my role would be in managing their Social Media account on their behalf
  • Expected results/ My Key Performance Indicators
  • Available packages and rates to choose from
  • The next action-step
  • A list of other services that I offer

This is a template that I started to use fairly recently and so far, it works for me. It helps to clarify the value that I’m providing the client, as well as outlining exactly what they can expect from working with me.

Besides this, I’ve been able to provide flexible choices to clients, with regard to rates. Each Social Media service comes in four possible packages; ranging in rate from a basic package to a royale package. The flexibility is appreciated because now, rather than offer a single option for clients to ‘take-it-or-leave-it’, the customer is now able to choose a Social Media Marketing package that works for their budget.

So, focus your energies on getting one, single client; and then once you get that client, focus on getting one, single client; and on and on and on….

And once you sign the client up for your services? Provide value. Do not give them that which they expect; anybody can do that, and in my opinion, this strategy isn’t what’s going to have them refer you to other clients. Instead, give them more than what they expect. Go above and beyond for them; rather than doing the bare minimum. In my business, this means working on behalf of the client, to form relationships between their business, and other businesses and organisations that can either be beneficial to them, or to which they can be of value. Because when all the frills are taken away, that’s what Social Media is, right? Forming relationships that will help and profit your business.

I set out to sign up one client every time, because when I do my job right, that one client comes with a lot of repeat business, and a lot of referrals. But if I am too focused on getting enough clients to meet my needs and pay my bills, I do not give the client the individual, focused attention that he/ she will need; going above and beyond what their expectations are. When I’m too focused on getting many clients, I may come off as indifferent to the individual, by failing to focus on them. When my focus is on closing 5 deals in a day, the quality of those relationships hasn’t been what I’d have liked for it to be, because the client has felt like they’re in an assembly line.

For these reasons, now it’s just me, and one client.

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Providing businesses with Social Media Help through Training, Step-by-Step Guides and Hands-on Social Media Management.

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