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Propasal By Social Media

By Lisa McNeill

Since we launched at Ignite, we've been inundated with prospects that are looking for a social media agency.

As you can imagine, one of the most common requests that we get from these prospects is always "Can you draft us a proposal?".

And so a few weeks ago when Glen Allsopp over at ViperChill suggested that I cover some steps to writing a social media proposal, I thought this would be a great way to share some of our strategies that we have learned along the way - for both the social media marketer and potential prospects alike.

1. Don't give it all away. Some "potential clients" will be looking for a proposal to be a comprehensive social media strategy with specific ideas and tactics outlined. Beware of giving too much proprietary information away - many of these prospects will have no intention of hiring an agency, but are seeking high level strategy or ideas to guide their efforts. Be modest - don't give it all away on the first date.

2. Evaluate the Business. Before drafting the proposal - take a good hard look at the business and its current business model. Often times we have been approached by internet companies who are simply wanting to spam and sell links. Be sure to remember that even the best social media campaign cannot help a bad product or sleezy business model - use a level of discernment in choosing your clients. Ask the following questions:

- Is the product or service offering quality?

- How does the client make their money?

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3. Ask Questions. Many potential clients have come to us and said, "We'd like a social media proposal for our company". Before running to write, the following are some examples of the questions you need to ask:

- What is the benefit you wish to gain from social media marketing?

- What are the current external and internal communication needs within your business?

- What type of internal resources do you have available? (content creators, technologists, etc?)

Finally, if an opportunity arises to ask about the allocated budget, ask. There is literally no end to what can be done for a client in social media. The budget can help determine how many hours should be allocated for content development can have a huge determinant on the tactics and strategies that are suggested in your proposal.

Additionally, no budget and just wondering "how much this is all going to cost me" likely means they aren't very serious about making an investment. It's not that you can't start with some things and ramp up, but not even being willing to react to a range of costs (or react to a specific list of services) may send red flags up for you.

4. Tailor. Yes, it is tempting to shoot a list of your services and call it a proposal, but social media is not one size fits all and your services will not be the right fit for every client. A good rule of thumb we've used in tailoring our proposals is to outline 3-5 services we provide that "make sense" for the client and the client's needs. We don't put everything and the kitchen sink...

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About the Author:
As a Social Media Strategist for Ignite Social Media, Lisa McNeill outlines social media tactics and develops social media campaigns to help companies reach customers and build brand advocates. Her expertise in project management and marketing additionally guides the execution of these campaigns.

Visit Ignite Social Media

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