So, I am sitting here after a mind-boggling day of fast tracking into an intense six-week course on Social Media Marketing and Strategy. Literally, my mind is a bit mush and if I had to describe what the inside looks like, I am pretty sure the rowboat scene in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory is a pretty good visual…
Okay, okay, okay…I am not that lost…yet…here is where the magic (wizardry) comes in for me…
After speaking with my personal mentor and friend Carol and wobbling through a few months of frustrating job searches, it was decided that I would begin my own new venture. Enter Social Media United or, more commonly referred to as SMU. Now, I am going to be perfectly honest here: if you click the link on this website, it’s going to appear like one of those ‘I will train you for five million dollars’ type deals, but there is a reason why I trusted it right away: Carol has always had my back and she is a well-educated woman of today who investigates and researches these kinds of things very, very carefully. In fact, she spent months researching feedback from graduates of this program as well as the costs associated and the time-frame to complete the courses. This was doable!
After deliberating over and over whether or not this was the path for me, things suddenly became clear: I was running out of time and money. I have had several people in my inner circle and complete strangers help with my gofundme campaign (see here) while I continued to job search and put myself out there. No one was biting. I kept getting the ‘You are clearly overqualified’ or the classic ‘You need some more skills to be able to master what our needs are’. That was all incredibly frustrating to hear over and over and over again. Little did I know that my dear superhero friend was listening to my plight and had already begun months of research on the requirements of becoming a Social Media Strategist today.
I finally had it. I know that I have acquired years worth of experience running socials for many people at little to no cost. What I lacked was the wherewithal to properly structure a payment plan/schedule and actually submit a proposal for my worth. Enter SMU.
In only two days, I have begun to see the light at the end of the tunnel. Many things that are taught in this course are things that I do know, but – there are implementations and structure plans that I am only learning to utilize now. One of the biggest things that I realized over the years is that many people who are not willing to pay for the value that a Social Media Strategist offers are often the ones who consistently demand with comments like ‘What are you going to do for me?’ or ‘I only have so much money set aside for this’ (meanwhile their ‘project x’ is getting fed all their (grant) money and little to none is left over for marketing). The best are the ones who approached me and expected me to work 60 – 80 hours a week and be on call for a mere pittance (if that).
Here’s what I have to say about all this: I am educating myself on the protocol of a Social Media Strategist. This means that I will be able to tailor marketing plans to the needs of your businesses. This includes Facebook ads, social media management, content creation, marketing plans/structures, funneling, branding, blogging, analytics, & much more. There is a false impression in many small businesses that social media management/strategy isn’t very important. Many times, the grave error is made to ‘let go’ of an employee who ‘just plays on social media all day’ and ‘doesn’t really work that hard’….WRONG! To prove my point, if you had to ask yourself what any of the skills I am learning are (above), then I am already a step ahead. This isn’t meant to be condescending, its meant to demonstrate that the position of a social media marketer/strategist is vital for your business success and should be woven into your budgets. I am that girl.
I have known all along that there is great worth in what I do on social media, but until now, I had allowed potential clients to diminish my worth. Do people realize that when a social media marketer funnels your information to all their contacts/followers on socials, that is being a significant influencer who should be paid for this service. Why? We see our free or low-paid services as the equivalent to opening up our Rolodexes and saying, ‘Here! Have at it! Go ahead and get what you can for free! It doesn’t matter that I worked seven years or more to acquire or secure all these business relationships! Meh! Even though I did all the hard work, you can go ahead and take them all!’ This is a grievous error I have made more than once, allowing others to benefit from all my hard work, for FREE! Now, don’t get me wrong, I am all about mentoring and supporting others who genuinely need the help. In fact, I support several charities and non-profit organizations by bringing them to my podcast show or by writing about them on my blog. I also ensure they get the support on social media as well. What I am talking about is the business owner who refuses to see the merit in paying for a social media presence that will effectively bring their company more business by way of qualified leads and a significant social media following which will only lead to more opportunities to expand.
Networking is also a huge part of what a social media manager/strategist considers when putting out content onto their clients sites. This is a skill that can be taught, but is a truly natural trait in some of the top influencers in the world. We are social butterflies by nature. This means, that when you hire a social media manager/strategist, they take the time to get to know your company and what your target is. This means that your socials will properly reflect your companies’ voice and will result in networking opportunities that will take your small business to the next level.
Still think you shouldn’t have to pay for a social media expert? There is a reason there are intense online courses and programs geared specifically to train these people on the things you don’t want to do (how many of you said you hate twitter to me? at least two dozen or more!) so that you can continue being time-effective in the things you excel in!
Here’s a thought: set aside a budget. Contact me. Let’s go over your needs and come up with a fair deal for us both. You want a return on your investment. I want to be paid for the skill-set and network that I bring to your table. I am open for discussion but know that this girl has just sharpened her pencil, re-examined her qualifications, and is not afraid to ask for what she is worth going forward. Although there are skills I am presently learning, I am quickly picking them up. I have always been a very ambitious and self-disciplined individual with an entrepreneurial mind-set. This means: even right now while in training, I am ready and able to take on clients & rock their social media world. Let’s talk!
Lesson: no matter what it is you do, discipline yourself, step outside your comfort zone, learn new skills, and put yourself out there. KNOW YOUR WORTH! It doesn’t matter whether or not you feel like me and you are on the rowboat with the Oopma Loompas, the fact is, you are on that ride and that is a step ahead of the rest! I am re-evaluating myself and I think the empowering feeling I have is reminiscent of one of the last scenes on the Wizard of Oz where Glinda tells Dorothy that she had the power all along.
So do you.