There are lots of businesses that need an expert to help them with their social media strategy. If that’s your freelance gig, you need to create winning social media strategy proposals in order to win those clients.
So how do you go about creating a great social media strategy proposal? What are the key components? What are clients looking for when they sort through proposals and choose a winning freelance business with which to work?
Whether you want to use a professional service for your proposals or you want to develop your own, let’s look at 7 steps to take to write a winning social media strategy proposal.
Before you can work for any client, you need to gain an understanding of their business. You have to learn about their key products and/or services, their value proposition, and any relevant financial information.
Think of yourself as a new employee, undergoing an orientation to your new workplace. As a freelancer, you need to understand your clients in the same way.
It’s impossible to know what social media platforms to target and what kind of content will be effective without first knowing the customers and target customers of your client’s business.
Gather as much data as possible, or ask the prospective client to share their data, so you can understand key facts about customers such as demographics, buying habits, lifestyle information, and more.
If customers are currently following your client’s brand on social media, what else do they follow? Are there consistent trends among customers? This kind of information is helpful when it comes time to determine social media content.
Find out if the client is looking to expand to new audiences, like a new age category, for instance. Do research on the target audience and their interests.
This kind of data will be beneficial as you prepare your social media strategy proposal. It’s also ideal background information when you get the job, because you can build customer personas to help you execute on your strategy.
It’s also a good idea to get a basic understanding about the competition. If you can identify a number of strong competitors, you’ll be able to learn about their successes and failures in relation to your client’s business.
Then, take a look beyond the direct competition to similar businesses, maybe not even in the same industry, but with the same target audience. How have those businesses had success, and what can your client learn from those successes?
Learning about comparative companies doesn't mean you’ll do the same thing. It means you’ll have a better understanding of how those competitors have done well, and where they haven’t done as well, in interacting with the target audience for your client’s business.
Those lessons will serve you as you build a social media strategy proposal for your prospective customer.
Now it’s time to dig into information specific to your potential customer. Before you can outline how you can improve a client’s social media presence, you need to understand the current state.
That means examining and outlining the client’s current involvement, with a summary of what the client is doing on each social media platform.
If the client doesn’t have a social media presence at all, you can point that out.
What you’re doing in this step is almost like an audit. You’re examining which social media channels your client is currently using, where they have the strongest presence, and why it works. You’re also looking at where their social media presence has fallen down. Find out if they’ve done specific campaigns in the past, and why or why not those have worked.
If you’re at the proposal stage, chances are you know a bit about the client. Perhaps you’re responding to a Request for Proposal, or you’ve had a meeting with the client, or the client has contacted you to request you prepare a social media strategy proposal.
Using the goals of the client’s business, you can develop a social media campaign that will help them achieve those goals, as well as the metrics you will use to measure the success toward those goals.
Make sure you use the “SMART” framework in developing social media goals:
Each of your goals should include the social media platform(s), the goal, how you’ll measure it, and a timeframe for attainment. Each objective should align with the client’s overall business goals.
For instance, one goal could be to increase Instagram followers by 25%, by the end of the second quarter of the year.
This is where you describe your actions that will achieve the goals of the strategy and support the overall business objectives of your client.
You’ll want to include any ad campaigns, content strategies, promotions, lead generation, and any other initiatives that you will manage on behalf of the client in order to achieve the goals of the social media strategy.
Usually this is the final section you will prepare in the social media strategy proposal. Once you understand the scope of the work, you can create a timetable and budget for your work.
Make sure the client can understand what you’ll be delivering, when each stage will be completed, and when payment will be expected for the work.
The benefit of doing all this work at the proposal stage is that when you win over the client, the social media strategy proposal will form the basis for a contract of work so that you can begin to execute as soon as possible.