As a freelance social media marketer (or even a social media marketing agency), winning new clients can be a big investment of time and energy.
One of the best ways to speed up your customer journey and turn prospects into paying clients is to have the right documents in place. And one of the most valuable assets you can add to your social media agency is this: a stand-out social media proposal.
Here’s why: according to Vantage Point Performance and the Sales Management Association, companies with a clearly defined sales process drive an impressive 18% more revenue growth than businesses that don’t.
Not sure where to start? We’ve curated your step-by-step guide to creating a social media proposal (free template included!) that will convert potential clients on autopilot.
What is a freelance social media proposal?
In a nutshell, a social media proposal is a document used to sell your services, outline your scope of work and convert new social media management clients.
It sets out your expertise, explains how you can help a business elevate their social media presence and the specific tactics you’ll use to help them reach their goals.
Typically, a freelance social media proposal will be sent to a prospective client after you have an initial discovery call to find out their needs, goals, and pain points. This proposal should spell out the work you propose to do for the client, the investment and why this client should choose to work with you.
Where does this proposal fit into your client journey?
A social media proposal is an important step in your sales process as a freelancer or social media agency.
Typically, the proposal will be prepared and shared with a prospective client after you’ve spent some time getting to know their business and their goals for social media marketing.
By understanding their needs first, you’ll be able to tailor your proposal to drive the biggest impact for their business.
In tangible terms, here’s where your social media proposal will fit into your sales journey:
- Discovery call: this initial meeting will allow you to get a better insight into the needs of the prospect, the industry they’re working in and what they are looking to achieve through social media marketing.
- Research your potential client and their industry/competitors: after this call, it’s worth doing some extra research into the niche of your prospect and their competitors, scoping out how others in their industry are currently using their social media accounts.
- Create and share the proposal: now it’s time to use all of this information and insights to pull together your social media proposal.
- Discuss and amend the proposal as needed: to seal the deal, you may have to negotiate with your potential client on terms and tactics and refine your social media proposal.
- Sign off and kick-off: once the client is happy, it’s time to get them to sign on the dotted line and begin your social media management services.
Why is a social media proposal important as a freelance marketer?
While there are obvious benefits to creating a social media proposal for your clients, what are the advantages for you as a freelance social media manager?
Essentially, a social media proposal is your way of formalizing your sales process and getting a clear scope of work in place from the beginning with every new client.
Let’s run you through the key benefits of creating social media proposals for all of your prospects:
- Spells out your competitive advantage: your proposal gives you a chance to explain why clients should work with you and what makes you stand out against your competitors.
- Showcases your knowledge and expertise: by including testimonials and case studies from past clients, your proposal can reassure clients that you can deliver on the strategies you suggest.
- Puts a social media strategy in place with every client: the best results come from having a strategy in place. So, creating this proposal ensures you have a goal-driven social media plan for every client you work with.
- Clarify the scope of work from the beginning: to avoid scope creep and set expectations from day one, it’s important to formally spell out what services you will and won’t provide for clients at the proposal stage.
- Speeds up your sales process: a proposal is a powerful way to turn prospects into clients and reduce the time it takes for potential clients to get to ‘yes’.
This proposal is one of your biggest assets as a freelancer and can help you grow your social media management business into a successful social media agency.
Your free social media proposal template
Now, the part you’ve all been waiting for: a free social media proposal template you can swipe and start using today.
We’ve pulled together your step-by-step guide to creating a winning social media proposal that will convert your prospects on autopilot. So, let’s dive in.
Step 1: An introduction to yourself or your agency
First up, it’s important to introduce yourself (or your team members) and get your client familiar with who they’ll be working with. Kick-off with a brief introduction to yourself, highlight your experience and give a top-level summary of your freelance social media business.
Think about how you can showcase your expertise and points of difference here to win trust with your prospective clients. This could include:
- Your years of experience in digital marketing and social media marketing
- Your mission and vision statements for your small business (a.k.a. Why you exist)
- Who you’ve worked with and the names of a few of your current clients
- Highlighting any awards, accolades, or press mentions you’ve received
- A few fun facts about yourself to humanize your business proposal and build trust
Step 2: Recap the brief and outline the client’s goals and objectives
Next, it’s time to show that you’ve understood the goals and challenges your prospective client is facing with a recap. This section is all about summarizing all the information the prospect has shared with you and showing that you’ve prepared this marketing plan with the client’s needs in mind.
Here are a few key points to cover in this section:
- Outline a few key challenges the client is facing in their business
- Describe their pain points on social media and what’s stopping them from finding success or reaching their target audience
- Spell out the top three goals this client wants to achieve through social media marketing
At this stage, it’s also important to get specific with what you can help this business achieve on social media. By using the SMART goals framework (specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and time-bound), you can give tangible metrics to their big picture vision and clearly spell out how you can help.
Step 3: Outline the scope of work
Now, it’s time to bring your prospect’s social media marketing strategy to life. This section is all explaining the exact tactics and strategies you’ll be using to help reach their goals on social media.
In general terms, your scope of work section should cover:
- Posting schedule: what social media platforms are you going to use (such as Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn or TikTok), and why? How often are you going to be posting? What is the review and approval process for social media content?
- Content management (including asset creation, imagery curation and copywriting): this should explain how you’ll be using a social media content calendar to track and manage your content creation process.
- Social media analytics and reporting: how often will you be reporting on the client’s social media content performance? What metrics will you be focusing on, and what benchmarks are you setting to quantify performance?
- Social media management plan: how often will you be monitoring these social channels and responding to engagement? How much time are you dedicating per day or week?
Step 4: Reveal your ongoing milestone and deadlines
Depending on the social media goals you set for each client’s social media presence, you’ll need to also set milestones or deadlines to review your progress and results.
At a minimum, it’s worth spelling out your reporting cycle and how often you’ll be sharing social media reports.
Plus, if you’re running any specific social media campaigns or working to any time-bound goals, you should spell out your reporting milestones along the way.
Step 5: Provide proof and examples of your work with previous clients
This section is key to helping to convince and convert potential clients. While a social media strategy is an important part of your proposal, seeing and hearing from your happy clients is an even more convincing way to inspire conversion.
There are a bunch of different ways to structure this section, including:
- Sharing a list of testimonials from your current and past clients who can vouch for your expertise
- Creating 1-3 case studies that show the impact you had on your clients’ social media channels
- Showcasing the results you’ve helped your past and current clients achieve on social media
The key here is to be specific and use quotes, data and strategies to quantify your expertise.
Step 6: Spell out the terms of the agreement in a contract
Now, it’s time to share all the important details about how your partnership will work. Alongside your proposal, you should also create a contract and freelancer agreement that spells out:
- Your fee and whether you’re working on an hourly rate, project rate or retainer.
- Your billing cycle, your payment terms and whether you require an upfront deposit.
- Your ways of working and workflows, such as when you’ll be scheduling meetings and how to get in contact with you.
- Your notice period explains how much notice either party must give to end the agreement.
Having this agreement in place is key to protecting yourself and your business in the worst-case scenario.
Step 7: Explain the next steps
Last, but not least, you need to spell out the action you want your prospect to take. This could mean approving a quote, signing your contract or booking a call to discuss the proposal further.
Make it easy for your prospect to take action by adding clickable links (where possible) to streamline your path to conversion.
Five expert tips to take your social media marketing proposal to the next level
Want to supercharge your chances of success? Here are a few handy pointers to help you elevate your next social media proposal.
Link your social media recommendations back to specific business goals
The best social media strategies are driven by business goals. So, when pulling together your tactics and recommendations, make sure to tailor these to your client’s unique goals, target market and demographics.
Think back to the challenges or needs your client mentioned at the discovery call stage and find ways to weave this into your proposal and social media strategy.
This attention to detail will show your client you’re ready to go the extra mile to help them see tangible results from their social media marketing efforts.
Set KPIs and benchmarks to align on expectations from the beginning
The best thing you can do as a freelance social media marketer is to exceed your client’s expectations. So, that means setting realistic expectations from day one in your proposal.
Rather than setting lofty, unachievable benchmarks, it’s worth being more conservative. It’s your job to establish what is a realistic expectation and use your proposal to set these ground rules from the beginning.
Plus, you’ll be more likely to overdeliver and impress your client when using this approach too.
Spell out the tools you’ll be using as a social media manager
The best social media managers use all-in-one social media management tools (like Sked Social) to manage their clients.
So, show that you really know your stuff and have the right tools in place to service their needs. Highlighting the professional programs you’ll be using will give prospects that extra bit of confidence and assurance to convince them to work with you.
Design a branded presentation deck that is polished and professional
Take your social media proposal to the next level with a sleek branded presentation that shows you’re a creative social media professional.
Rather than simply spelling out your services and pricing in a Word document, put some extra time and effort into designing a custom branded template that you can use for your proposals.
Use your brand fonts and colours and design a presentation that’s polished, professional and visually engaging. This can give your proposal the edge against your competition.
Book a follow-up call to walk your prospect through the proposal
Want to really make sure your client understands the proposal you’ve created? Why not book a meeting to run through this presentation in real-time!
This meeting is a fantastic sales opportunity to bring your proposal to life and spell out your strategies and tactics. It’s also another chance to sell your approach and personality and build rapport with your prospect.
Plus, if any questions do crop up, you can easily answer and address them during the call, too. This exact step is all about helping your prospect to feel supported and at ease throughout the entire journey, and ensure they remember you and your freelance business when it comes time to pick their social media management agency.
And that’s a wrap! When it comes to designing a freelance social media proposal, it’s essential to tailor this sales document to the unique needs of each prospective client. By drawing on insights they’ve shared with you, you’ll be able to craft a compelling social media strategy and proposal that sells your services, showcases your expertise and wins clients on autopilot.