The service you provide to a client should be something that you’ve done for yourself. #vatip Gotta Tweet!
Once you know what it takes to provide a service, you can create your own checklist. #vatip Gotta Tweet!
Follow the top people in social media and learn from them by being a great observer. #vatip Gotta Tweet!
Hi. This is Tiffany Parson and welcome to The Business of Being a Virtual Assistant. Here, we talk about how to get started as a VA, how to get started as a virtual service provider, because I know some of you listening don’t like to be called virtual assistants. It doesn’t matter what you call yourself. Are you a virtual service provider? Yes. Okay. You’re listening to the right show.
I want to talk about a question I received today from Sonya. It’s a fantastic question and I knew it would be great for the show because you can relate it to anything.
Here’s her question: “Hi Tiffany. I’m in need of a checklist to ensure I get everything done (tasks wise) as a to be social media manager. Do you have a checklist I can use? Any courses you recommend to make sure I’m all set? Thanks, Sonya.”
Well, Sonya, thank you so much for your question. This is something that is an easy question but not an easy question. The reason why I wanted to talk about this on air is because I wanted to know if Sonya uses social media.
If there’s a service that you want to provide to clients, whether it’s social media, whether it’s blog content, writing, whatever it is, here’s the question for you: Are you doing that for your own business?
If you want to be a social media manager, are you your own social media manager? If you have been, but you’ve found it a bit overwhelming so you outsource it yourself, that’s fine.
My point being is this: You want to be sure that the service you’re wanting to provide is something that you’ve done for yourself.
Here’s why. It’s not only about the experience, but it’s about learning the ins and outs and working out the kinks before you put it on a client’s project.
Let’s say you’ve been your own social media manager. You’ve utilized Hootsuite. You’ve scheduled in Facebook. You have live posted on Twitter, live posted on Pinterest and Instagram. You’re very familiar with the ins and outs of these networks. It makes it a lot easier for you to serve a client when you’ve done something yourself.
Because you’ve done it for yourself, you know what it takes and you can create your own checklist because of what you’ve done for yourself.
Now, of course, I can easily create a checklist for Sonya and for all of you that are listening. I can create a checklist for social media manager, for a blog content manager, for a technical virtual assistant, a WordPress virtual assistant, an AWeber virtual assistant, a webinar virtual assistant. All because these are things that I’ve done for myself personally and so I learned the ins and outs, worked out the kinks and then provided as a service to a client.
Here’s my challenge for you and for all of you that are listening that are interested in being social media managers, social media virtual assistants, whatever you call it. You’re providing some social media service to your clients.
Start with you. Start with Facebook and Twitter.
Those are going to be those most common networks that you’ll find that clients are using: Facebook and Twitter. Those are like the two bases, and then you add others. But Facebook and Twitter, start with that. If you have not been regular on your Facebook page, your clients are going to hire you work their Facebook page, not their personal profile. So work your Facebook page and your Twitter account, start with that.
Sign up for Hootsuite. Sign up for the free version or the pro version. It’s totally up to you. The difference is that the pro version allows you to schedule in bulk. Scratch that. Start with the free version so you can experience what it’s like to schedule one at a time. You want to get that experience. You want to get a feel for what’s better.
Keep in mind, your clients may come and they’re going to have their own Hootsuite account, or they may prefer you schedule it directly for them in Facebook. But if you’re dependent on the bulk upload because it’s easier, it’s faster, then there’s going to be a hiccup, and even with the bulk upload, you still want to check it individually. So start out with the free account, schedule it individually.
Schedule things directly in Facebook, especially when you’re uploading images so you can see what things look like. You know what the best size is for Facebook images and such. I keep a cheat sheet on Pinterest and I’ll include the link in the show notes. But I keep a cheat sheet in Pinterest on tiffanydparson on Pinterest. You can go find it if you are listening and want to get to it right away. It’s on the board Social Media Tools and Tips. But there are a few cheat sheets on there about image sizes, as well as content lengths also to help you.
Start scheduling your own stuff and get a feel of what it’s like. Start scheduling, I don’t know, pick a number. Four to five posts a day, two to three posts, whatever. You’re doing it to get experience. You want to be the virtual assistant, the social media manager that does social media.
You don’t want your clients to be the first person that you serve. Serve you first.
I recently wrote a blog post on the website called You’re Neglecting Your Number One Client, and your number one client is you. Your number one client is you, so this takes care of two birds with one stone. You’re getting ready for future clients as well as putting your information out there on social media.
Now, when it comes to social media manager, decide what that means for you. Does that mean you’re scheduling content? Does that mean that you’re creating content, meaning actually writing, creating images, creating ads, or writing ads? Are you monitoring their analytics, their insights, you know, all that data for whatever social media platforms they’re using.
You want to stay current with trends and updates.
Great resources for staying current: Social Media Examiner, kimgarst.com, Cynthia Sanchez for Pinterest. Her website is ohsopinteresting.com. I’ll include these links in show notes for you. But those are great places to get started.
One of the best social media books that I have read this year is called UnMarketing. It’s a fantastic book. You want to get that. It’s one you want to read again and again, maybe quarterly just to refresh yourself. Then he has another book: UnSelling, and I’ve got to read that. I read the sample, got to get the whole book.
But anyway, best book, and gosh, what is his name? He’s UnMarketing on Facebook. Let me see if I can pull up his name right quick. I’m just a stickler for getting people’s names right. Scott Stratten is the guy that did UnMarketing.
In addition to staying current on trends and updates, are you going to be giving advice based on the information that you’ve gotten?
You’ll be confident in giving this advice because when you’re looking at the trends and updates, if your initial focus is Twitter and Facebook and you totally stay focused on that to get acclimated to social media, and you are putting into action the advice and tips that you’re getting and also making notes of updates, it will be easy for you to communicate that advice because then it becomes a part of you because you’re doing it for yourself.
Will you be creating strategies for your clients based on your clients business, their target market, and current information as it applies to their business? Will you also be helping them build community like increasing their likes and followers? Will you be replying to comments and messages? Will you also be following other people for them and liking other people for them?
Those are areas that you want to take into consideration when you are offering your service, and that will help you determine your checklist. It’s based on what you’re providing for your client.
You’ll have a situation where one client may just want you to post. They may not want you to monitor their analytics. They’re going to take care of that. So you’ll find varying things. When you’re first getting started, you’re new, you’ll probably just be posting.
Until you can build your own community, I wouldn’t even offer that. If you’re just getting into social media for yourself, I wouldn’t offer building community to a client. Because guess what? Guess what community they’re going to go to first. Yours. They’re going to go to yours.
Some clients, not realizing that a virtual assistant who does social media for you does not always build your community. So you can’t go to her Facebook and say, “Oh, well, she just has 150 likes. How can she do my social media content?” There are people who look at that, so you want to build yours if you plan to offer building a community to someone else.
It’s kind of the like the people on Twitter that you see that are like, “I can help you get 10,000 Twitter followers,” and then you look and they have 5,000 Twitter followers. It’s like, okay, if you can get 10,000 for me, why didn’t you do that for yourself? Same concept.
Let me go over the seven areas again to make sure you get those down as far as what could be included with your social media manager services.
Some people call themselves social media managers. You’ll see social media content manager. You’ll see social media virtual assistant. These seven areas fit into that.
1. Where your service includes scheduling their posts. Or if you’re doing Instagram, it might be a live post. There aren’t any systems right now that will schedule to Instagram and it’s just based on how Instagram is set up right now. Anyway, number one, scheduling their posts.
2. Creating posts. So you’re writing content either from their content – that also includes when you have to shorten their content for Twitter. Sometimes you have clients give you the content, but realize it’s perfect for Facebook but way too long for Twitter, and you have to cut that down.
Creating content includes images, those wonderful graphics you see with quotes and things like that. They may want you to do that. Creating ads, like Facebook ads, Twitter ads, even Pinterest is doing ads. You can even say promotions on Instagram, even though it may not be an official ad.
So these are things to consider as far as what services will you provide as a social media manager. They will constitute what goes in your checklist.
3. Keeping up with their analytics and data, whether you’ll be monitoring that on a monthly basis, giving them a report. Facebook has insights. Twitter has the analytics. Pinterest has analytics. Before you offer the Pinterest analytics, you want to make sure they have their Pinterest account set up properly for analytics. If you’re not sure what all of that means, you want to do some searching on that.
4. You want to always stay current with what’s going on in social media. There are updates on a regular basis. What is the latest trend on social media? Are images the thing? Is text the thing? Is it a mix of both?
Great resources for you: Social Media Examiner, kimgarst.com. She’s also Kim Garst on Facebook. Ohsopinteresting.com and that’s Cynthia Sanchez. These three sites, they have resources. They have podcasts. They have courses, events, different things like that related to social media, not necessarily specific to being a social media manager.
But again, if you’re doing it for yourself and you’re keeping up with the trends and the updates and you’re activating these things, you can develop your checklist for yourself because it’s going to be different for all of us.
Then you’ve got to read the book by Scott Stratten. That’s his name. UnMarketing, and he’s UnMarketing on Facebook. He’s on YouTube. There are some excellent videos there. He has another book called UnSelling. UnMarketing, hands down was the best social media book that I’ve read this year.
There’s also Gary Vaynerchuk. I didn’t mention him earlier but Gary Vaynerchuk. Follow him on Facebook, Twitter, on his website, YouTube. Get his book Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook. In that book, he goes through, based on the platform, and tells you what’s best for each platform.
One thing about courses and books is once you’ve read it, you still want to stay up to date on current updates and trends on websites and podcasts, different things like that, because things change so quickly, and they change much faster than they can update the books, and courses as well.
You want to follow the top people in social media. They’re going to have the latest and greatest.
Also, be an excellent observer. See what they’re doing on their website. You’ll learn a lot by watching what they do. I promise you, you’ll learn a lot if you’re a great observer. If you can look at what they’re doing and see how they’re implementing a lot of the updates and tips that they are advising for us, see how they use it for themselves.
To get started with social media for yourself, make a note of what your numbers look like. What do your numbers look like now? It doesn’t matter what they are. Write it down so you have a starting point and you know where you’re going.
As a special gift because it’s Christmas, we’re almost a week away from Christmas, there’s another recording that I did on what virtual assistants should be doing on social media. In addition to posting on a regular basis, there are activities that we can do to find clients.
I haven’t decided if I want to make it podcast episode because this is actually a part of the paid training I did for the Virtual Assistant Summer E-Camp. It was one of the sessions that we did, and even then, I wasn’t sure. I thought it would be great for a podcast. So I’m going to look at that and let you guys know. What I may do is put a link in the show notes. I’m not sure.
But the biggest takeaway for this is to start being your own social media manager.
Start with posting on a regular basis. Start with staying current. Get up to date on Twitter and Facebook. Go into the resources mentioned during this episode. That will get you ahead so you’ll feel comfortable and you can create your own checklist.
Because if you’re just posting for your client and they’re on Facebook and Twitter only, then there’s really not much of a checklist. If they are providing the content for you and you can take a day or two out of the month and schedule it for them, there’s not much of a checklist.
So that is going to be client specific. It’s going to be you specific based on what you’re providing. However, if you get started as being your own social media manager and doing it for you, your number one client, you will then discover what’s important for your client. You’ll also learn what questions that you should be asking your future social media clients, and maybe that can be another thing that we talk about on the podcast. What questions should you ask a prospective client for social media services?
Well, I am going to wrap up this show. It has been an honor to answer your question, Sonya. I really appreciate it. This is some really juicy content because it’s making me think about a lot of other things that come into play with this. But we’re going to leave it at that so you can get started. Start in Twitter, start in Facebook.
Let me know if this has helped you. I’d love to hear from you guys. Let me know in the comments area. Send me a tweet. On Twitter, I’m @tiffanydparson. On Facebook, I am Tiffany Parson. I’d love to hear from you.
Thank you guys so much. You have a wonderful and fantastic day.
Thanks so much for tuning in. If you like what you heard, stay tuned. We’ll be back. Tell me what’s going on with you. Come on over the Facebook page: facebook.com/tiffanyparsonbiz, or if you prefer a little shorter message, come on over to Twitter: @tiffanydparson.
See you next time.
Image courtesy of khunaspix at FreeDigitalPhotos.net, modifications courtesy of moi!