How To Create an Effective Social Media Proposal

Client management

Marvellous

Marvellous

How To Create an Effective Social Media Proposal

To grow your business, you need paying clients. A great proposal will help potential clients see the value in hiring you or your firm.

Aug 23, 2021
Update on
11 MIN.
Table of Contents

As a freelancer or agency offering social media services, you need to have a strong social media proposal. 

To grow your business, you need paying clients. A great proposal will help potential clients see the value in hiring you or your firm.

They are also very effective in helping you win new business. Studies show that 50% of all proposals are signed within 24 hours of opening. 

In this article, we will show you how to create an effective social media proposal. 

Let's get started.

What is a social media proposal?

A social media proposal is a document used by freelancers or agencies to persuade a potential client into hiring them for their social media marketing services. 

When creating a social media proposal, you will have to outline your skills, establish your expertise, and demonstrate to the client how you will help them reach their business goals.  

Before you draft a proposal, it's important to understand what the client's goals are.  Do not make the mistake of using the same proposal for every client. Every business has its specific pain points. There is no one-size-fits-all. When you identify their pain points, your proposal will relay how you can help solve them.

When will you need a social media proposal?

Sending a potential client your social media proposal is part of the sales process. 

A sales process is a set of steps that takes a prospective client from the early stage of awareness till they become a paying client. The sales process typically consists of 5-7 steps:

illustration of the different steps of a sales process

 

  • Prospecting: This is the process of identifying potential clients.
  • Preparation: Here, you research the potential client; their pain points, and business goals. 
  • Approach the client before sending your presentation. 
  • Presentation: After reaching out to the client, the next step is to make your presentation. It is at this stage that you give the client your social media proposal
  • Handling objections: Here you listen to your prospect’s objections and address them. 
  • Closing: If the client is satisfied with your proposal, they can then hire your services. 
  • Follow up: Some clients might need some time before making a decision. It is important that you follow up regularly until you get a definite answer. 

How to create a social media proposal

1. Determine your prospect's social media goals

The first two steps in the sales process play a crucial role in determining how effective your proposal will be. 

#Step 1: Prospecting - You need to look for clients that require the specific set of social marketing services you offer. Since the client already needs your skills, it will be less difficult to convince them of your value. 

#Step 2: Preparation - This can also be called the discovery stage. Here, you research the prospect and gather as much information as you can about their business. If you don't take this step seriously, your proposal won't be convincing. 

The best way to research a potential client is by reaching out to them for a short chat. You can schedule time for a video call or an actual in-person meeting. By speaking to prospects directly, you will clearly understand what they need. 

Here are some questions you need to answer during the discovery stage:

  • What are the business goals of your prospects?
  • What challenges are they facing?
  • How are they using social media marketing to address these challenges?
  • What are their social media goals?
  • Have they had success with their social media strategies in the past?
  • Who are the decision-makers?
  • What are their expectations when working with a freelancer or agency?
  • What is their budget?
  • How can you help the client reach their goals?
  • What is their timeline? 

These questions will help you create a proposal with a strong value proposition

2. Identify your prospect's target audience

The target audience of a B2C firm is different from that of a B2B firm. Do not make any assumptions when drafting your proposal. The more tangible data you have, the more effective your social media strategy. 

If you are already communicating with the prospect, ask them to share any information they have about their audience. Keep in mind that this option will not be available most of the time. New prospects might not readily offer data about their audience unless they already have a relationship with you. 

There are still other ways you can research your prospect's target audience.

First, go through their social media accounts and see what information you can find. Using a social media analytics tool like Iconosquare, you can perform an in-depth analysis of the prospects' social media profiles on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Check out Iconosquare

Next, check out statistics and audience demographics that are relevant to the prospect's industry. With this information, you can create customer personas to help you understand the prospect's target audience. 

Tip: In your proposal, make the connection between the prospect's business goals and audience very clear. This will let them know that you understand their business and give you an edge over your competition. 

3. Learn about the prospect's competition

There are probably several other freelancers and firms that are offering the same services like you to a prospect (at the same time). 

How do you differentiate yourself? By going the extra mile. 

Every business has its competitors. In your proposal, show the prospects that you have a good knowledge of who their competitors are. Let them see clearly how your services can give them an advantage over their competition.

Research at least five competitors to benchmark against. This can be direct competitors or other businesses that target a similar audience. You can ask the prospect to identify their biggest competitors. 

You can also check these places for clues:

  • Business directories
  • Press reports
  • Exhibitions
  • Trade fairs
  • Ask the customers
  • Google for similar services or products
  • Questionnaires
  • Check online forums or social media communities

After you have found out who the competitors are, research how they make use of social media. Do they use ads or do they have an active presence on social media platforms? With this knowledge, you will be able to effectively compete with them for the attention of the target audience. 

Use the social listening feature in Iconosquare to monitor the prospect's competitors on social media.

4. Conduct a social media audit

Most of the companies you approach will use social media with little or no planning. You will need to conduct a quick audit to help you understand how the prospect is using social media. It will allow you to see what's working and what's not. 

What is a social media audit?

A social media audit is the process of reviewing a prospect's business to assess growth opportunities and what can be done to improve their social media performance. Some of the social media metrics you can measure include: 

  • Awareness metrics: brand awareness, audience growth rate, post reach, potential reach, and social share of voice. 
  • Engagement metrics: This will include likes, shares, comments, favorites, etc. 
  • Conversion metrics: Conversion rate, click-through rate, bounce rate, and cost-per-click. 
  • Customer metrics: customer testimonials, net promoter score, and customer satisfaction rate (CSAT). 

If you had a discovery session with the prospect as explained in step #1, you should already have an idea of how they currently use social media. 

Along with these metrics, here are some important questions to answer when performing an audit:

  • What platforms is the prospect using?
  • Which platform are they seeing the most success?
  • Do they run social media ads?
  • How often do they post and what kind of content?
  • How is the performance of their organic and paid posts?
  • What are their top-performing social media posts and what made them successful?
  • What opportunities are available on other social media platforms?

To get access to all of your prospect's social media metrics in one place, check out Iconosquare's free trial

5. Work on a social media strategy

With the knowledge you've gained from steps #1 to #4, you can then create a social media strategy for the prospect. The social media strategy will make a significant part of the proposal. 

In the proposal, make sure the strategy is detailed and targeted. Highlight how you will use your skills and experience to run a successful social media campaign. Use language that is easy to understand and avoid any social media jargon. 

Tip: When creating a social media strategy on behalf of a prospect, make sure it follows the SMART goals principle. 

What this means is that the strategy must be: 

S - Specific

M - Measurable

A - Attainable

R - Results-focused

T -Time-bound

6. Create the proposal document

After you have researched the client and established a suitable social media strategy, the next step is to create the proposal. 

In the next part of this article, you will learn how to effectively write and present your proposal. 

Anatomy of a social media proposal

1. Introduction

The introduction is a key section in a proposal. It's at this point you show the prospect that you understand their business goals and needs.

The discovery session with the client from step #1 will come in handy here. The pain points the prospect mentioned in the initial chat, repeat them in your introduction. Do not start your introduction by talking about who you are or your firm. Instead, write about how you can help them reach their business goals using social media. 

2. Scope of work

Scope of work (SOW) is an agreement on the type of tasks you're going to perform during the project. It ensures that you and the client are on the same page, leaving no room for misunderstandings.

The SOW also protects the freelancer or agency offering the service. There are instances where a client might want to add new features or tasks to the project beyond what you'd initially agreed. You can refer them back to the scope of work. But if the new task is something you can handle without reducing the quality of your work, you can renegotiate your pricing. 

Depending on the social media services you are offering, here are some things to include in the scope of work:

Publishing schedule: Before starting a project, outline what the posting schedule will look like. Let the client know which networks you will be handling, what time posts will go live, and how often you will be posting. 

Content creation: Specify what kind of content you will be creating for the project. For example, will you handle both written and visual content? Also, find out how often you will be required to create content and who will be in charge of approving them before publishing.

Analytics and reporting: Analytics will allow you to measure the effectiveness of your social media strategies. Depending on the client goals, specify which key performance indicators you'll measure and how often you will give reports. 

Review sessions: For a smooth working relationship with a client, plan everything. This will allow for less friction during the course of the project. Depending on the client's preference, meet up for weekly or monthly review sessions to make sure you are still on the right track. 

Tip: When working with a new client, you need to set clear expectations of the services you will offer. Let the client know how much of your time you will dedicate to the project. This is especially important for social media managers. Since social media is 24/7, you need to state clearly the hours you will be active. Unless you have a team, let the client know that you won't be available 24/7. 

Using the right tools will make a social media manager more effective. With Iconosquare, you can schedule posts, monitor mentions of your client’s brand online, and create reports easily.

Social Media Scheduler interface by Iconosquare

Start your free trial

3. Project milestones and deadlines

This section will help you define the milestones you will use to measure the success of the project. For example, if the client wants to increase brand awareness on social media, a good project milestone will be increasing impressions and follower count by 10 percent in the next 2 months 

Tip: Before settling for the milestones to meet, look at the client's current growth rate. It is better to underpromise and over-deliver. 

The milestones will also determine what your deadlines will be. Be wary of clients that will want to hit you with tight deadlines. Ensure that you accept deadlines that will not affect the quality of your work. 

4. Proof of work

Your proof of work will show the prospect why they should choose you over your competition. In this section, highlight what makes you the best person for the job. Show the client that you can actually deliver the services you are offering. 

You can include case studies that show how you have successfully managed projects for clients in similar industries or with similar goals. Also include testimonials from clients you've worked with in the past

Tip: Choose case studies that are relevant to the client that you are sending the proposal to. It is also best practice to focus on showing results rather than how hard you worked on the projects. 

Instead of saying you spent 12 hours a day managing the client's social media profiles, talk about how you increased engagement rate by 50% and grew their following from 15K to 50K in 6 months. 

5. Pricing

State clearly what you will charge for the project. Will you be paid hourly, per project, or on a retainer-based model? Make sure that the client agrees to your rate so they won't dispute it later in the future. 

If you will charge by the hour, include a minimum and maximum work-hour clause -  “Project A won't take less than 10 hours and no more than 15 hours”. 

What does the clause entail?

You will get paid for 10 hours even if you finish the project early. Also, the client won't pay for more than 15 hours even if it takes you longer to finish. 

Tip: Include a ‘kill fee’ clause in your proposal. It is also known as a cancellation fee. The clause ensures that the client doesn't suddenly terminate the project. And even when they cancel the agreement, you still get paid for the work you've already done. 

6. Terms of agreement

This is the legal section of your proposal. It protects you when the relationship with the client gets strained. Here you will clearly state your contract terms and how you will work. You can hire a lawyer that will write up the terms of agreement for your brand. If you don't want to spend the extra cash, there are online tools that will generate it for you.

Next steps 

Here, you will decide what will happen after you send the proposal. For example, can the client ask you to revise the proposal? Will you follow up after a certain number of days? 

You can even include an expiration date on your proposal along with a copyright notice. If the client doesn't get back to you before the expiration date, the proposal will be null and void. 

When is the best time to send business proposals?

Research shows that sending proposals on Monday slightly increases conversion by 0.9%. However, sending your proposals within 24 hours after meeting with the prospect increases conversion by 14%. 

Conclusion

In this article, we have seen how you can create a social media proposal. Remember to use clear and concise language. Do not include technical language that can confuse the client. Also, before sending the proposal, proofread for any errors or typos. If there are a ton of errors in your proposal, the prospect might question your credibility.

Marvellous

Marvellous

Copywriter @Iconosquare

Hi! I'm Marvellous, huge fan of Iconosquare as a product, and determined to help experienced social media marketers thrive in the various aspects of their career.

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