Your value is determined by what you can provide for the client not by the rate in which you charge.
It is highly critical that from the very first conversations everyone is clear about what matters most to them. For the client and for yourself as the consultant.
I recently experienced a client that wanted to have BIG numbers. It didn’t matter what those big numbers were or where they were they just wanted to constantly see that arrow on the chart move up. This client in previous years had not done any record keeping of lead generations, they were not showcasing everything their business had to offer or generating revenue from social media. So when I started the conversation about what they were in need of I needed to include this one question.
What does success look like to you?
I’m learning that companies can have tons of needs and gaps that they would like to use digital marketing tool for. Digital Marketing can help fill those gaps very well, but if it doesn’t look and feel like what success looks and feels like to them, you have failed to deliver.
In this particular case, I was giving a fraction of their digital marketing to cover. Let me explain…In a typical digital marketing plan, there are about 8 primary elements to implement.
- VALUE MESSAGING.
- CONTENT TYPES.
- MARKETING AUTOMATION.
- SALES ENABLEMENT.
- CONTENT MANAGEMENT.
- SEO STRATEGY.
- SOCIAL MEDIA STRATEGY.
Each of these elements has a second layer. For example…
CONTENT TYPES INCLUDE:
- Case Studies.
- White papers.
For each content type, there needs to be a focus and call to action.
For this particular client, the focus was an annual trade show and the call to action was registration.
Broken down, I was only providing marketing for an eighth of a marketing plan.
The numbers were phenomenal to have just one-eighth of the elements to post and share. However, the only thing the client understood was the numbers were much higher with their previous social media manager.
The previous social media manager was able to cover all eight elements from the digital marketing plan. Covering one-eighth, my numbers were just lagging by 8 to 12% on any given platform. So when they compare the numbers from last year and all eight types of content to this year and one-eighth of the content they felt like the numbers were extremely low.
I tried to explain, often, the difference between a whole pie and an eighth of a pie. But they didn’t understand because to them success looks like bigger numbers than last year.
We added a registration portal for their largest annual event that wasn’t included in previous years and we were able to collect data about their attendees for this registration event to help us create highly effective social media post to get other attendees registered.
We engaged in messaging and tagging and emailing attendees and exhibitors for the event.
We also added an email marketing campaign that reached out to their very large membership population that included information about their annual event.
We started to collect data, and not just numerical, but we asked questions like “What’s your number one reason for attending? OR “Why did you come back? OR “Is this your first year and how did you find out about this event?” And yet, the fact remains every week they were disappointed when we had to present numbers of one-eighth of the pie.
Many hours were spent being strategic about the one-eighth strategy, that did not have any value to the client. They gave us a $500 a month ad budget. That I was determined to provide the same benefits for below budget. We reached thousands and thousands of people, more importantly, thousands of people that had never heard of the organization or this event. We knew that because of our strategic methods to engage and questionnaires. Our numbers would be amazing.
We were able to provide information that they would not have had had we not included it in our marketing campaign. And yet every week they were stressed when it was time to present numbers to the board because they were comparing apples and oranges or in this case a whole pie and one-eighth of a pie from last year’s data.
I could have saved a ton of trouble and simply paid for likes and impressions and engagement while maxing out on their budget each month.
By not asking the question and making the answer part of the contract and weekly discussion, way too many hours were spent providing analytics in different formats, defending the quality of work and stressful conversations.
Please make sure that when you are asking questions during the initial consultation, to ALWAYS include…
What does success look like to you?
Have you ever had to over give to a client that didn’t understand your value?
When you look back do you feel like the real issue was a lack of communication and understanding?