Social Media strategist, Andrea Jones is our guest for the 177th episode of The Copywriter Club Podcast. We were interested in this topic because we are so bad at using social media in our own businesses and for The Copywriter Club. If you’ve struggled to find a way to maximize social media to help you find clients you’ll want to listen to this. We asked Andrea about:
• how she became a social media strategist—she started doing posts for $5
• what she did to meet her husband (he was annoying her on Youtube)
• what’s going on in social media today and the rise of video
• how to understand your audience so you serve them
• where you should start if you’re overwhelmed by social media
• the importance—or non-importance—of design and “the grid”
• the bare minimum you should be sharing on social media
• how to build your audience and get the attention of your best prospects
• how to turn social media into a lead generation tool for your biz
• the mistakes people make on social media that you don’t want to make
• the “right” approach to your brand voice on social media
• when you should be working with a team and when you shouldn’t
• what it costs to hire a social media consultant
• the #1 thing she’s done to take her business to the next level
• the future of social media… and how you can get ahead of it
This episode is available wherever great podcasts are found (like iTunes and Stitcher). Or you can simply click the play button below. There’s also a transcript for anyone who scrolls down.
The people and stuff we mentioned on the show:The Life Coach School
The Copywriter Club Facebook Group
The Copywriter Underground
Kira: This episode is brought to you by The Copywriter Club In Real Life, our live event in San Diego, March 12th through the 14th. Get your tickets now at thecopywriterclub.com/tccirl.
Rob: What if you could hang out with seriously talented copywriters and other experts, ask them about their successes and failures, their work processes and their habits, then steal an idea or two to inspire your own work? That’s what Kira and I do every week at The Copywriter Club Podcast.
Kira: You’re invited to join the club for episode 177 as we chat with social media strategist, Andrea Jones about creating impact and social media channels like Instagram and LinkedIn, creating sales funnels that start in social media, why copywriters need to spend more time in this important channel and the things she’s done to up level her business.
Rob: Hey Andrea.
Andrea: Thank you so much for having me. I’m super excited to chat with you guys today.
Kira: I know we’re excited to talk about social media because we’ve done well in certain areas in media, but there are other areas where we are lacking in The Copywriter Club.
Rob: It’s so bad.
Kira: Super bad, because we’ve talked about it before, Andrea. So why don’t we start this off with your story and talk about how you ended up as a social media strategist.
Andrea: Yes. I love this question because, I met my husband on YouTube.
Rob: Social media is a game changer is what you’re saying.
Andrea: It literally has changed my life. But I am an early adapter to social media. I actually happen to like it and I started a blog back in 2004. I was making YouTube videos in 2007 way before it was cool and my friends thought I was insane. And so social media for me is just a really fun way for an introvert like myself to show up in a way that’s still doesn’t drain my energy. I started out on social media as fun, but it wasn’t until I actually moved to live with my YouTube husband in 2014 when I started the business. So with that move, I needed something to do. I moved to a completely different country from Atlanta, Georgia to Toronto, Canada.
And so that big move helped me launch my business. And I was amazed when I started digging into the freelancing world how many people didn’t understand social media since I had a natural love for it and how my clients were just grateful and thankful that they didn’t have to think about it anymore. So my start in this world came from a very organic space.
Rob: And tell us more about that. What were the things that you started doing as you were starting this business in social media?
Andrea: Yeah, I started off doing all of the things. I was actually doing a lot of things on Fiverr. You guys know Fiverr. So it was writing Facebook post for $5. Um, and that actually got my start into it. And once I was doing those kind of little piecemeal things, I noticed that there was a big space for people who needed this consistently. So it’s one of those things where it’s 24/7 clients need it all of the time. And so I really leaned into that and that’s where I got my start building out a monthly retainer package and really helping clients that way. So I started off doing kind of random little things but ended up kind of settling in to something that was more of a long term plan.
Kira: So I want to know how you met your husband on YouTube. Let’s talk about that first. How did you meet your husband on YouTube? Just tell us the love story there.
Andrea: So I was making these like Vlog style videos about my life and he was doing these comedy, like angry ranting videos. And at the time we were both looking to grow our little YouTube communities. And so we were collaborating with different people much like we’re doing today on this podcast episode. And so we did a YouTube video together virtually, and then we just kept talking and I thought he was actually kind of annoying at first. I was like, ‘Why does he keep talking to me?’ But yeah, the rest that they say is history. I went to visit him in Toronto first and then he came to Atlanta to visit me. And we moved fairly quickly from the time that we met to the time that I moved in was about like eight months.
Kira: Wow. That’s fast.
Rob: But it works. So let’s define social media just a little bit because I have a feeling that it’s a little bit broader than what we often think about Facebook, Instagram, maybe Twitter, YouTube. How broad does it go and what does it include? Would you include like email and webinars and all this kind of stuff, or where do you draw the lines?
Andrea: Yeah, so for me, social media is really a public communities online. So you’re absolutely right with things like Facebook and Instagram and Twitter. Things that are on the line or like YouTube and Pinterest, they’re almost a little bit of a search engine more than a social media network, but they’re still kind of included in that bundle. Even platforms like TikTok or Snapchat are still considered social media because you’re connecting with people. But in a more public fashion, I think once we start getting into email and webinars, it’s kind of like further down the funnel and it’s still considered digital marketing. But I wouldn’t necessarily consider it social media.
Kira: All right. So I’d love to hear more of a state of the union on social media today, just as far as like your perspective on how it’s evolved even just over the last year or two because it’s changed dramatically and just like where it is today, what’s working today for your clients, what we should know about where social media is today, especially if we haven’t used it in our business and we’re like on there occasionally, socially in our own personal lives.
Andrea: So I think with this kind of digital world that we live in, social media is a great opportunity to reach a lot of people but still make it feel custom. So you’re still making it feel like you understand the people in your community intimately and you’re able to connect with them in that way. So one of the biggest shifts I’ve seen in social media today is that it’s not like a billboard where you’re trying to reach as many people as possible. It’s not like a television commercial where it’s so neutral. You’re trying not to offend anybody, but where social media, you can get really specific in your vertical and specifically talk to individual people. And so I think that’s one of the biggest shifts that’s happened recently in the past year or so. And a lot of people are using things like video and Instagram stories to kind of dictate that shift and really help people feel really connected to them and their message.
Rob: How do you do that? If the key change to social media is really understanding your audience, what are the things that you can do to understand all of these people who say follow you? So for example, we have an Instagram for The Copywriter Club, we’re terrible at posting there, but I know that there are several hundred or a couple of thousand people who have opted in to follow us, but we don’t always know who they are or what they’re thinking other than they’ve expressed an interest in following our page. So how do we get to know them? What are their tools or is it just a long game of back and forth conversations? What can we do to increase that engagement?
Andrea: Yeah, absolutely. I like to use the analogy of dating here where like when you first meet someone, sometimes it’s that little awkward dance like, ‘Is this going to work?’ So I think social media can feel like that sometimes. But the reason that things like dating works, like how do you find your person, is there’s almost like an energetic match with that person. Like even if you don’t fully understand whether they prefer chocolate or vanilla ice cream, you kind of relate to them on an energetic level. So I think if you’re looking at your own Instagram account and you’re obviously attracting copywriters start to post things that really connect and resonate with the copywriting world, specifically look at the feeling behind some of the challenges that they have and the feeling behind some of the successes that they have. So as a copywriter for instance, you may be able to look at something that recently happened and add commentary on top of it that relates to copywriters.
So maybe there was like a TV commercial that had a faux pas in it that copywriters would never make. And so you could put that on social media because it’s very relatable to your space. Or maybe you could talk about the feeling of like sitting down and opening up your Google doc to write something and your mind goes blank. And where do you draw your inspiration from? We’ve all had those moments. And so by being able to use those moments almost like those commonalities on social media, you can open the door to connecting with your community in such a unique way that makes them feel heard and that makes them feel like they’re a part of something because you’re all kind of feeling the same thing. Does that make sense?
Kira: No, it totally makes sense. So let’s say that you’re working with a new client and it happens to be a copywriter, how do you advise them? How do you work with them and help them figure out where to start? Because I think that biggest issue for me is just the overwhelm kicks in. I actually think social media can be fun. I love Instagram. It’s just overwhelm kicks in where everything else feels like a priority and pulls me away. So if I could only focus on one channel, maybe that’s the best approach. What do you recommend for clients, copywriters who are coming in and trying to make this improvement and change and start showing up, but feel that overwhelm too?
Andrea: Yeah, absolutely. We all feel it, number one. Even those of us who do social media for the living, we all feel it. I’ll use another analogy like working out. So if you’re going to go to the gym, I don’t know about you guys, but I feel completely overwhelmed by just the number of machines that are at the gym. I’m always like, ‘How do I know what I’m working on today?’ And what really helps for me is to have a plan to get someone to show me how to use the machines, that sort of thing. So the same thing works for social media. If you can give yourself a plan or something to work towards, then that can be very helpful. But a lot like going to the gym, you’re not going to see muscles at the end of the very first day at the gym.
Even if you spend five hours at the gym, you’re not going to get all of those muscles. It’s like a daily practice. That’s how you build up your muscle. So it’s the same for social media. And so oftentimes with my clients and with my students, I recommend giving yourself a time limit of one hour a week to create your social media content. So the first time you sit down to do that, one hour a week, you may just get one social media post done. That’s fine. That’s like lifting a five pound weight. Great. Good for you. You started, you got somewhere. So the next time you’re going to like increase that and see how much farther you can go. And before you know it, you’ll be getting three posts a week out and five posts a week out. And so by kind of batching your social media content creation, you’re allowing yourself to build up the muscles of consistently creating.
Now within that one hour, there’s quite a few things you can do. So I usually recommend starting with a balance of posts. So start with something that showcases your expertise. Usually that’s a good piece of advice, like a tip, or you can share a story from a client. So it’s a really great place to start a fair service based business like a copywriter. The other thing you can do is ask for a next step. So for instance, if you are a copywriter and you’re looking for clients, you can ask for people to actually book a consult call with you or book or email you for instance if they want to book with you. But in order to get that you need the help them understand the transformation. So you probably understand that as a copywriter helping people understand their needs and how what you provide solve those needs.
So break that down into like a little bite size version, like a mini cupcake version of that and put that on social media. And so those two types of posts are really good place to start. And if you could start building up the habit of posting those things consistently, you can start layering some other advanced strategies as you go.
Rob: So I can see myself trying this in a couple of different social media, but it’s probably going to be different, right? So LinkedIn for example, is going to be maybe more tech space and Instagram is going to be maybe more image-based. And especially when I think about Instagram, I think about the grid and how there are so many nice Instagrams out there that they have this beautiful grid where they stagger sometimes it’s a photo post versus words and it’s so well designed. At what point does design really come into play here, or should we just launch and get started with messaging and not worry about that?
Andrea: Yeah. So I have mixed feelings about the grid. And I think a lot of people may disagree with me, but I just don’t think it’s as important. I do think you need to have a theme to what you’re doing. Absolutely. And so a lot of my clients and students who are just starting out, I recommend using something like Canva.com and create a few different styles of tech space designs that you can use, almost like mini flyers that you can use on Instagram. And that’s usually a really good place to start. But the actual grid, not as important as your message. But if you’re excited about that and you really want to go into creating and designing a beautiful grid, absolutely go for it. Just make sure your message is clear first and then you can go into designing the grid. And there’s a lot of tools that can help you lay it out.
One of my favorites is Later.com where you can actually plan your social media posts based on how it’s going to look on the Instagram grid. Just remember that the people who are looking at your grid, so the people who actually click on over to your profile to view it that way, typically are potential followers. So they found you through a hashtag or through someone else, or there are people looking for that link in the bio. So they’re already following you and they’re looking to click the link. So if it’s important to those two people for the grid to look great, then go for it. But otherwise, most of the time, 90% of the time people are looking at your posts in the feed mixed in with other posts.
Kira: And what is the bare minimum you feel we could post and share maybe on different channels, walking through a couple of the different channels because I could post once a week, but at some point I’m like, ‘it’s not even worth it because it was just once a week,’ so why do it at all? But maybe the bare minimum once a week is better than nothing. So, what would that look like on Facebook versus LinkedIn versus Instagram versus whatever else you want to share?
Andrea: Yeah, so that’s a good question. And I think that once a week is actually okay as long as you’re consistent about it. So a lot of these platforms are looking for consistent posting consistency. On a platform like LinkedIn, you can actually get away with a lot less posts, just tend to kind of live a lot longer on that platform. So if you’re posting on something like Facebook and Instagram, you may notice like the first day or two your post is getting likes and comments and then after that you don’t really see any action on your posts. But on LinkedIn you may still see action on your post after like four or five days. So once a week is okay, it’s a good place to start, but I’d like for you to try to move up in weights.
It’s almost like staying at the five pound weight forever. It’s okay, it’s a good place to start, but eventually you want to start getting to 10 pounds and 20 pounds and moving on up.
Kira: Do I? I don’t know, I don’t know.
Andrea: If you want muscles, it’s almost like seeing a five pound weight and being like, ‘Man, I’m not getting any muscles.’ It’s like, ‘Well you’re getting what you’re putting into it,’ you know?
Kira: Yeah. Makes sense.
Rob: So are there things that we should be doing then that will work better, that will garner more attention or that we can do in order to grow our audience as we get started?
Andrea: Yes. So audience growth is a lot like the dating analogy. So you’re putting yourself out there. And so oftentimes when we’re approaching social media, we get really excited about our own content and we post that and then we sit back and wait for people to notice it. When often times on social media we kind of have to put ourselves out there, if we’re talking about the dating analogy, it’s like sitting and waiting and hoping that the mailman is your one person because they’re the only person showing up and knocking at your door.
Rob: That’s not going to go very well.
Andrea: Put yourself out there. And there’s a number of ways you can do this. On platforms like Instagram, it’s maybe scrolling through some hashtags and trying to find people to connect or even better looking at someone is an authority in your space. So an example for me would be maybe like Amy Porterfield, going and looking at her latest post and who’s commenting and connecting with her, who are her audience members because they’re likely also going to be interested in what I have to offer. So how can I get their attention? And again, similar to dating, we’re not like running up to them and going, ‘Marry me. You’re the one,’ because that’s a bit aggressive. But we’re just saying, ‘Hey, we’re here, you’re here, let’s at least make some eye contact first or exchange numbers first before we hop into bed with each other or whatever the case may be.’
So take it slow, start meeting people and start putting yourself out there on social media. And it is a long game. You want to do this in little bits every day so that you don’t exhaust yourself with it. I find this better too, because I’m introverted. There’s only so much connecting I can do in one day. So I usually spend no more than 30 minutes a day just proactively looking for people who could potentially be interested in what I have to offer.
Kira: I know some copywriters are skeptical and more contrarian like me and I know social media is important and that’s why we’re talking to you. But there are all these voices in my head that just like click in and say, ‘No one actually cares about your Instagram post in that story.’ So there was that voice that I know it’s common. And then there’s the other voice. It’s just like, ‘Okay, everyone kind of looks the same. They’re talking about the same stuff. They’re using the same pictures.’ And I know that’s not true for everyone. But there is this look especially on Instagram and like voice and tone of voice on LinkedIn. So I guess what would you say to those two voices about who cares what I have to say and then also everyone looks the same, what’s the point, how do you actually stand out on social media so people pay attention?
Andrea: Yeah, absolutely. I think that voice almost comes from a place of fear. That’s what I would guess is that you’re comparing yourself to other people on social media and saying, ‘What do I have to offer that’s different from them?’ And it almost sounds a little bit like a reflection on the business. There are so many copywriters out there, why would someone hire you? And so if you can think about yourself as being different and as having something different to offer, I think that could be very valuable to you on social media. In the technical way, I think this shows up as just sharing stories that you’ve experienced. So yes, things can look the same on Instagram. There is a certain aesthetic to it that kind of feels a little bit repetitive, so how can you bring something different to the table in your message, in the actual caption?
Another way to do this is using things like video or Instagram stories where people are connecting with you because they see your face, they’re connecting with you because of you. And so if you can show up and share a perspective, even if it’s similar to the next person, but you’re sharing it in your own voice, that can actually help set you apart from everything else that’s in the feed. So I hope that helps answer that question for you.
Rob: Yeah, I think that’s a solid answer. So obviously we can be on social media, we can garner the attention, we can build an audience, but ultimately for at least most of our listeners and certainly for us, we want this to lead the business. So how do we turn social media into a lead generation vehicle for our businesses or what do we need to do in order to create a funnel or a campaign out of the things that we’re doing on social media?
Andrea: Yes. So there’s a few aspects to building out a social media funnel. And oftentimes for service based business owners like ourselves, we’re actually using our funnel for partnerships. So I don’t know about you guys, but my ideal client does not have time for social media. That’s why they hire me. So oftentimes they’re not on social media at all. And so for me, I’m looking for the people who are servicing those same clients. So web designers, copywriters like yourselves, PR strategists, people who have the same clients as me, and for me, it’s getting them on a call. So my funnel looks like, I’m going out and finding them, letting them know that I’m an expert in my field by posting consistently on my topic, and then getting to know them a little bit. Usually I like to respond to Instagram stories, if they’re posting stories, I’ll try to respond to their stories through direct messages.
And then at some point I’ll say, ‘Hey, let’s hop on a coffee chat. I think we have the same clients. I’d like to get to know you better.’ So again, a lot like dating. So if you’re a copywriter and you’re thinking about how to use social media to get more clients, consider the partnership angle. Sometimes that doesn’t feel as aggressive as going directly after your ideal client. Now if you are going after your ideal client through social media, one thing I would recommend is just having it very clear what you want that client to do. How should they contact you to work with you? And it may seem very obvious, but social media is almost like an interruption game. We’re interrupting people with our posts, they weren’t looking for us. So if they do find our posts, how can we make it so very crystal clear on what they’re supposed to do with this information?
And this is what I call the next step. So again, that can be booking a call with you. It could be sending you an email, but it also could be as simple as sending you a direct message. So if you’re writing a post about what you offer, and again, highlighting that transformation, just really make sure you have it crystal clear, like direct message me if this sounds something you’re interested or if you have questions or anything like that. And so those are kind of some of the pieces of building out that sales funnel. The final piece of the sales funnel that I do want to highlight is the phase that I call the advocate phase. And this is where you can eventually sit back and relax. And this is where we’re all going, we’re all aiming for this phase because yes, it does sound like a lot of work, similar to building muscles. Like yes, you still have to go to the gym when you already have muscles.
It’s almost like a maintenance mode, right? So what’s the maintenance mode version of doing your social media strategy? It’s actually having your clients do it for you. So if you can have testimonials on platforms like LinkedIn and recommendations on Facebook, or you can have your clients give you shout outs and Instagram stories that will actually start to feed your funnel for you and so you can kind of take a break a little bit on doing a lot of these kind of networking and outreach strategies.
Kira: Yeah, I love those ideas. And especially thinking about reaching out to partners on social media rather than clients because you’re right most of the clients I would reach out to aren’t their team members are running their social media they’re not actually running it. So once you get a potential partner on a call with you, how do you handle that conversation so that it is successful? And I know this is getting into the weeds here, but what does a script like that look like for you?
Andrea: So I did this recently looking for partners in the podcasting space. So I developed a framework that works really well with podcasters. And so I just started reaching out to editors. I started reaching out to people who book people on podcasts and I just wanted to say, ‘Hey, we have the same clients. How can we send clients to each other?’ And this is actually how I hired my own editor. We had such a great conversation. I was like, ‘I need to hire you. I know I’m supposed to be like talking about sending you clients, but I’m going to be your client.’
And so just going into those conversations with a little bit of openness can help. And I will say be prepared for rejection. Um, I would say like nine out of 10 of those conversations didn’t go anywhere, that’s okay. Again like dating actually. But it’s just that one conversation that I needed where I have a referral partner who consistently sends me so much business, we send each other business that it made those other nine conversations that didn’t go anywhere totally fine. I’m totally fine with it because the one conversation worked out. I don’t really have a script per se, but I would say just go into it with a sense of openness and be ready to give as well as to receive.
Rob: I want to ask where does the stuff go wrong, Andrea, where have you seen your mistake? Short of people posting inappropriate things in social media or saying dumb things like what are the pitfalls that we really need to look out for and avoid?
Andrea: Some of the pitfalls that are extremely common are spending too much time on social media. So there’s almost a little bit of like a law of diminishing returns when it comes to social media. After a certain point, it’s just not worth it. I had a student recently go through one of my courses, really excited, spent the whole weekend on Instagram, going through hashtags, liking, commenting. And she was exhausted by the end of the weekend was like, ‘I got two followers. This doesn’t make any sense.’ And I was like, ‘Yeah, that’s too much. You’re doing way too much.’ Sometimes it is a pitfall to do too much for social media. So I do want you to think about that pace yourself. Too much of a good thing can be bad.
Some of the other things that I’ve seen as well is that that fuzzy line between sharing something that’s personal on social media versus something that is professional. So it does kind of depend on your own level of comfort, but sometimes we can go too far with the personal shares on social media and it can backfire, especially in today’s climate. It’s very politically charged. There’s a lot of sensitivity happening right now online. So you just have to be very careful about what you say. And for me personally, I just like to keep it professional and I don’t kind of get involved in anything like that. But if you do, just kind of go slowly, be very careful about the things that you say.
Kira: Okay. Can we also talk about different styles of showing up on social media? Because again, I think this is what holds some people back, even just like introverts oftentimes where they see a certain style showing up and it could be an extrovert who’s just sharing a ton of information or people who have bigger personalities, really strong bold voices, but not everyone has a similar voice. So do you have almost like different archetypes of personalities that show up on social media, just to show that there’s not one way of doing it? There are multiple ways you can approach it?
Andrea: Yeah, absolutely. So I just like to say, if you feel like Gary V is like an awesome representation of what can happen on social… I’m not going to teach you that method. I don’t know where he gets his-
Kira: And that works for some people.
Rob: The team of 40 people.
Kira: Some people right?
Kira: That helped.
Andrea: I think that that method of showing up online absolutely works for some people. But if they feel like that’s natural for them, they oftentimes don’t need guidance on social media. The people who need help are usually my introverts or the people who their mind goes blank when they open up the Instagram app and they don’t know what to say. Those are my people. And so I just kind of only help category of people at that makes sense. And it sounds like a lot of listeners may relate to that. And so if you do relate to that, I want to just let you know that you don’t have to put your face on social media. You don’t have to take a selfie. You don’t have to hop on Instagram stories and point the camera at your face. You don’t have to do any of those things. So it’s okay, you don’t have to do that. But instead of showing your face, I want you to see if you can share your perspective through words.
And I actually think as copywriters you have an advantage over everyone else because this is your skillset. So how can you show up through words? And there’s a lot you can do even with platforms like Instagram where you can maybe use some text on even just a white background and say a powerful phrase. And that way you don’t even need a stock photo or anything like that. You’re just using the power of words and there’s a lot of connection that’s still available to you without having to be Gary V.
Rob: So Andrea as you’re working with clients, how deeply do you go into brand voice as they start to engage on social media? And I’m thinking about some maybe really well known examples like say the Wendy’s Twitter account, which is incredibly snarky and maybe even off putting at some point versus some of the very personal things that people share on Instagram and Twitter when they’re getting very vulnerable. What is the process for thinking through what is the voice for my social media account? And does that differ depending on how personally businesses or the kind of business that I want to grow?
Andrea: Yeah, absolutely. So I’ll say like the Wendy’s and the Taco Bells of the world, they have like a team of comedy writers behind those accounts. I don’t try to compete on that level, but there is a challenge sometimes getting into the voice of the clients, which is why my recent campaign I mentioned going after podcasters because you guys have your voice on your show and you just haven’t figured out how to harness that into social media posts yet. So for me, going after a client who has that, almost like a pillar content piece, a podcast, a Facebook live show, a YouTube show, a blog even. I’m able to go in and study that in such a way that I can identify their key phrases, identify things that are of value to them and are important to them and use that to fuel social media posts.
So a kind of real life example, one of my clients is the Life Coach School and Brooke Castillo has a very distinct perspective on the world and she teaches things in a very distinct way. And so my team and I actually went through and combed through her podcast archives to be able to show up on social media in such a way that people think that they’re talking to Brooke even though they’re talking to a social media agency. So it’s things like that that can really help illustrate voice on social media as if you’ve got that kind of pillar content piece. If you don’t, it is a challenge. It is very hard to kind of get into the minds of clients. And you guys may relate to this as copywriters and there’s a lot of things we can do through intake forms and that sort of thing. But oftentimes it’s just having a lot of conversations with the clients to really understand their perspective and get their voice.
Kira: Okay, so let’s say my business is growing. I’m a copywriter, I’ve got revenue, I can make some investments. When should I outsource my social media? When is a really good time to think about it if I’m someone who wants to outsource it, which by the way, I am someone who wants to outsource it? Sign me up. That sounds great. So what is that sweet spot where you could start thinking about it and then of course I have a bunch of questions about how much that costs working with the team and we can get into the weeds, but-
Andrea: Yeah, so typically it’s best to actually invest in other areas first. So I know I’m kind of talking myself out of job a little bit, but there are some areas that are almost more important to invest in first before social media. Things like PR or even a Facebook ad strategist, is kind of a good first step for an investment. So if you’re already investing in those areas, then I would say yes, it’s a good time to start looking at investing in social media as well. If you still need to outsource it, I would look at first like getting someone on your team to help like maybe a VA or maybe a an OBM or someone who can just help streamline things for you. And so there’s a few people who I actually recommend them kind of that one hour of week, like just brain dumping into a Google doc and then having a VA go in and put it where it needs to go.
Sometimes that’s a really good first step. So it’s still your voice, it’s still your words on social media, but you don’t actually have to remember to go post it to Instagram or you don’t have to actually create a graphic to go with it. Sometimes those little things can help. But if you’re ready to outsource it, look at your own systems as well. So do you have a process in place for creating content consistently? Is your website complete and is there a way that someone can look at it and easily understand what you do? Because those are some of the elements that you’ll need to have in place in order for someone else to come in and be able to basically be you on social media.
Kira: Okay. And then what should I look for when hiring a social media strategist? Let’s say I’m beyond my VA posting, so I’m at the next level. What should I look for in a social media strategist or in a team? And what are some numbers, I know it’s all over, but what should I expect as far as paying someone to manage my social media?
Andrea: Yeah. So if you’re ready to start, the first thing I’d like to see as an example of what they’ve done, even if it’s their own accounts, they should be able to show something. And so that’s a really good first step. There are NDAs in place and I get that, but there’s still a way you should be able to showcase your work in some way. The second thing is about the numbers. Just forget anything you’ve ever heard about numbers. There’s no way to predict it. I’ve had clients in the exact same industry who get wildly different results on social media. So oftentimes I’m comparing a client to themselves. So when we’re first starting and I’m looking at their own data and then making an educated guess based on that. So if someone said, says they can get you a certain number of followers or a certain number of leads, I would just be a little bit weary about it unless they’re very familiar with the industry and familiar with this space and math that you feel confident to move forward with them.
The last thing I would look for is less tangible and that’s just an energetic connection with the person or the team who’s going to be helping you on social media. So they are your first point of contact oftentimes with your audience, especially new audience members. So Kira, Rob, let’s say you go on and be a guest on another podcast and someone listens to you, they’re probably going to go to your Facebook or your Instagram to check out The Copywriter Club. So whoever’s running those accounts has to kind of get you guys. And so that’s a really great way to know if you have the right person is if they kind of understand you and you feel like you have a connection with them because they’re going to be your first line of defense for new people coming in. And so you want to make sure that that person kind of represents you in a really good way.
Rob: And what should we expect to pay a social media consultant to help us? I tend to be relatively cheap and so I want to spend as little as possible, but I can imagine that that could actually hurt my strategy going forward. In fact, I might not only start with somebody who’s a beginner, but somebody who may not have any idea of what they’re doing. What does an engagement look like and what would we get for a typical engagement? And I know this is also all over the board, that there are different size packages and that kind of thing, but if we we’re just starting out, what should we expect there?
Andrea: Yeah. So there’s almost different levels or tiers to this. And so if you’re looking at someone who is maybe like a VA who’s trained in social media, you’re going to have to give them a lot of guidance, but that’s going to come at a less cost. So you’re maybe looking at between 500 to a 1000 a month. If you’re looking at a social media manager, so they’re going to completely take over your accounts, you’re looking at a thousand plus a month. I consider myself a strategist, so I oftentimes am playing a lot with entire marketing teams and making sure that social media aligns with Facebook ads, aligns with email marketing. I analyze things like Google analytics to make sure that what we’re doing on social media is actually translating into results for the clients. And so that comes out a little bit higher class, so my packages for instance, start at 1500 a month and go up from there.
So it really just depends on what that other person is bringing to the table. And you really want to make sure when they’re presenting their packages that you understand that because if you’re paying more than 1500 a month for social media and you still have to tell someone what to post, you’re paying too much. They should not be that involved as a client. You should be able to go, ‘Here’s my big idea,’ and then the social media manager or strategist should be able to take that and run with it. You don’t have to babysit them. So it’s kind of a sliding scale depending on where you are in that range.
Kira: I’d love to hear more about your team, just checking out your website. It looks like you have a big team. You’re working with big name clients like Brooke Castillo. So can you talk about the structure of your team and also just advice for growing and managing a team?
Andrea: Yes. So I learned this the hard way. Highly do not recommend doing what I did, but I feel like I spent all of 2017, it was like the dark days of my business, hiring and firing. Being that all of my team is virtual, I found that the energetic match is way more important than the skill set. So there was a lot of people who I hired in the beginning who were talented, but we butted heads. They did not want to do the things the same way that I wanted to do them. And I hired people who were very affordable, but to get them to show up for work was nearly impossible, especially if I’m not in the same spaces. So I found a really good kind of level, people who were smart, maybe they didn’t know everything about social media, but I can teach them that, but they’re willing to show up and work hard and they care about our clients just as much as I do.
And that’s not something I can train. So for me it’s starting out with that in mind. So I hired, I fired a lot. I found that it helps to just have a really good job description. Like write out everything you need. I actually had to start putting in job descriptions. If you ever say that’s not part of my job description, it’s not a good fit because I need people who are chameleons who can put on a million different hats cause we do a lot of things for our clients. And if you ever say that’s not part of my job then I’m sorry you’re not going to be a good fit on the team. Um, so that’s kind of helped me find the right people. So my team, how it’s structured now is I’ve got two account managers who are amazing. One’s been with me since 2016.
One’s been with me since 2017 and they handle a lot of the day to day aspects of our client work. They manage a lot of communication with the client. I get to be the strategist so I get to be the big picture visionary. I help put together the clients strategies and that sort of thing and their reports, and then my team implements. So we also have a project manager who helps make sure that we’re not missing any of the moving pieces. We’ve got a social media assistant who helps kind of manage an inbox and all the comments that come in. And she helps us actually post the post as well. And we’ve got a graphic designer and a writer, a video editor as well. And so that took quite a few years to put together a team of that size. But I’m really proud of where we are today. That’s my team in a nutshell.
Rob: And in addition to getting the right people on your team, what else have you done in your business that has really taken you to the next level?
Andrea: Masterminding. I can not say masterminding enough because being in the room with people who get it and having a mentor who’s walked the same space that you’re about to walk is so, so valuable. It’s more valuable than a course. It’s more valuable than anything else. And so that’s the one thing that I always recommend to anyone as they’re going through any stage of their business is see if you can get into a group setting. Yes, I like one-on-one work that can be very helpful. But there’s something about learning in a group setting that’s just so, so, so powerful. And it’s how I’ve made some of the biggest moves I’ve ever made in my business is just by being connected to the right people and kind of learning and growing with them.
Kira: All right. So my last question for you. I know we’re running out of time and we have a bunch of other questions to ask, but what does the future of social media look like to you?
Andrea: I see actually a lot of people shifting more into direct messaging. I think that just like some of the fears you brought up today is that we’re going to start pulling away from posting so much online and we’re going to kind of go back to one to one conversation. And so I see the future of social media really kind of diving into that and any of these platforms that are tuned into that are going to be the most successful one. So something like Facebook Messenger, they’re starting to add in a lot of features or something like even Instagram Messenger where you can send voice messages to people where it feels like you’re like walkie-talkie talking back to me back and forth with each other. I think those kinds of things are going to be very powerful and I’m excited to see how some of these platforms involve their social media even more.
Rob: So. Andrea, what’s next in your business? You’ve built this great team, you’re working with fantastic clients. What comes next?
Andrea: Yes, so my pet project right now is my membership site. It’s called the Savvy Social School. And I teach social media strategies. But within that, we are working on a program specifically for social media managers. So as I mentioned the past two years, I developed a framework that works really well with our clients. They’re very happy when we kind of take our framework and apply it to their accounts. And I’ve had a lot of social media managers reach out and say, ‘Hey, how can I do the same thing for my clients?’ So that’s what we’re developing next. I’m really excited for that. It’s probably going to come out Q2 of 2020. But it’s still in development and that’s kind of what I’m working on next.
Kira: All right. So if our listeners want to get in touch with you or want to just check out your programs in your membership, where should they go?
Andrea: Yes, you can find me online at onlinedrea.com, and I’m also on Instagram at onlinedrea. That’s where I tend to hang out the most, especially stories. And if you message me, I will send you a voice message back. That’s kind of like my favorite thing. Yes.
Rob: I’m going to go message you right now. I want a voice message.
Kira: This podcast is our voice message. All right Andrea, thank you so much. I feel like this is just another reminder that Rob and I need to step it up with our social media. But this is really helpful and some really practical advice to help us do that, to help other copywriters. So thank you for taking the time to spend with us today.
Rob: Thanks Andrea.
Andrea: Thank you so much for having me.
You’ve been listening to The Copywriter Club Podcast with Kira Hug and Rob Marsh. Music for the show is a clip from Gravity by Whitest Boy Alive available at iTunes. If you like what you’ve heard, you can help us spread the word by subscribing in iTunes and by leaving a review for show notes, a full transcript and links to our free Facebook community. Visit thecopywriterclub.com. We’ll see you in the next episode.
Like what you've seen so far?
There's plenty more where that came from. Sign up for The Copywriter Club email newsletter today and we'll send you the unpublished Doberman Dan interview (plus several other awesome resources) in addition to regular updates about what's going on in the club.The only way to get these resources is to drop your email in the box and hit "gimme!".