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Surviving a Recession as a Social Media Marketing Agency/Consultant

Social media marketing agencies and consultants stand in a very unique position during this recession, and there is no reason why they shouldn’t survive this recession and even come out bigger.

Every time there’s an economic recession, companies tend to reprioritize their spending, and media/advertising usually takes a hit — the social media marketing industry hasn’t been left out during these times of COVID-19. Luckily, and the biggest online advertising platforms have responded appropriately, creating resource centers and lowering CPMs. However, another factor comes into play: brands are hesitant to advertise since they do not know what exactly they should be saying during these times of crisis. The million-dollar question, however, is what social media marketers can do to remain relevant during these confusing times and weather – maybe even thrive through – the coming storm?

1.     Lower your fees

This one is quite obvious. With the economy showing the first signs of recession, it is past time to revise your social media marketing consultation/agency charges.

2.     Charge on commission basis

Most social media marketing agencies charge on retainer basis with separate fees for consulting. Your agency should consider creating a second pricing plan based partly on commission and present that to your prospects as an alternative to exclusive retainers. The second plan allows you to charge for a smaller retainer but can still be supplemented by commissions from successful client campaigns. In a cash crunch, clients will appreciate an agency that charges them less upfront, and commissions incentivize them to find creative ways to drive up revenues.

3.     Offer more value for the same price

If you’re not keen on lowering your fees, you will have to justify your prices through other means. You can do so by offering free consultancy to your clients on other services that they’re not paying you for, or extending the current scope of your work by a set margin. Every agency is different, so you’ll have to decide what you can offer more that won’t cost you so much.

Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook

I’ve always been a big believer of “under-promise and over-deliver”. While the freemium model has been around for quite some time, our current time requires us to give more. Some prolific internet marketers are already doing it, with Neil Patel making more features of Ubersuggest available for free, and the likes of Tai Lopez bundling multiple offering at a discounted with invaluable free bonuses to boot.

4.     Give services/resources for free

We may not own proprietary software like Neil Patel, but every marketer worth their salt brings something unique to the table. There are numerous ways you can share your knowledge with the world, and you need to start doing so.

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Give away your valuable information for free. Here’s a secret: most people won’t implement it anyway.

One such way to do so is to publish a white paper on an area that you’re an expert on – share it on LinkedIn and start a dialogue around it. On the backbone of that, you can start an exclusive monthly newsletter where you share your insights in a 6-page PDF that goes deep into the topic you’re detailing.

Another way is to share your knowledge in video format. Start with three 5-minute videos a week of you simply talking to the camera where you drop one gem on every clip. Share these on YouTube and LinkedIn, and keep at it. When done consistently, this kind of marketing works as a very powerful form of branding that brings massive returns over time. You won’t see the results now, maybe not even in a year, but once you hit critical mass the sky is the limit.

5.     Look for bigger clients

Like I pointed out in the beginning, companies tend to spend less on marketing during a recession. That doesn’t mean that marketing stops entirely. The unique advantage with the social media marketing industry is that we currently have a few things working for us:

Yes, a lot of small companies are ceasing advertising activities, but so are the larger corporations. The difference is where they spend their money. SMEs generally favour guerrilla and digital marketing because of cost implications, while corporations have larger budgets which they have been spending on traditional media for decades. The challenge for any decent Social Media Marketing Agency is to convince some of these larger companies – those whose marketing budgets have shrunk from 100 million to 10 million – that social media is a viable channel for them to not just connect with customers, but grow their business as well.

Above all, never forget that that marketing is always a priority for any serious organization. As a Social Media Marketer, if you can deliver your clients results – increase revenue & brand awareness – there is no reason why they shouldn’t hire your services.

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