As an entrepreneur, marketing is one of the most important parts of your business. Over the last decade, social media has “liked” and “favorited” its way into being a critical means to reach an online audience, regardless of industry. Rather than hiring on another full time W-2 employee, consider hiring a social media freelancer to help unlock your brand’s social power.
Work your network
More than ever, there are people qualified to manage social media channels for a small business. There are most likely people within your own network to work along with, especially freelancers who handle multiple clients. Feel free to use sites like odesk.com or freelancer.com, but a referral is always best.
You Aren’t Their One and Only
This is critical. Although your freelancer shouldn’t have dozens of customers, any social expert worth their salt is going to have a handful. Be honest before hiring about how many hours they expect to work a week, especially if you’re paying them a monthly fee. This will also help determine how much they’re (approximately) making per hour.
Off-site is OK
Of all the positions in a small business, social media professional may be the easiest to manage off-site. As with any position, the key is constant communication. From the start, make sure you’re having regularly scheduled calls or meetings with your freelancer. This keeps your new hire in the loop regarding important marketing efforts, new customers, or other cool stuff that’s happening at your company.
Post Hire Tips
Teach Your Brand
It isn’t reasonable to expect the freelancer to know all of the ins and outs of your industry, let alone the reasons why your company is best. Be a constant mentor, sending thoughts and ideas that he or she wouldn’t be aware of otherwise. The faster and more in-depth your social media expert understands your brand, the more comfortable they feel creating worthwhile content.
Have a Middle-Man (or Woman)
If you’re hiring someone for the first time, it’s easy to come up with the fresh ideas. What’s difficult, however, is to come up with new content over an extended period of time.
Whether your team is large or small, designate one person as the “go-to” in the office to collect and forward pertinent information (such as testimonials or customer photos) when it becomes available.
Know Their Flow
Although sales from social marketing efforts can be set up within Google Analytics, social ROI can still be difficult to track. As a result, it’s often difficult to get a sense of the time and effort your new freelancer is putting in – especially if they’re looking to build connections outside of your social channels. One solution is to have them put together a daily recap of their day, including screenshots of different people/companies they’ve reached out to, as well as future content they’re preparing.
Hiring a freelance writer does require a different management style. However, with the right freelancer and constant communication, your brand can be forging new relationships each day.
Ben Camerota is the President of MVP Visuals, suppliers of high-impact visuals and custom displays for trade shows, retail promotion and corporate events. Ben is passionate about delivering excellent customer service, while building businesses, relationships and experiences. Find him at www.mvpvisuals.com.