I love my consulting work. I thrive playing the role of outsider looking in, offering suggestions and solutions. Fun fact: I was in a club in 7th grade at school called "Future Problem Solvers of America." (Yes, that was a thing-- I guess?) I've always been energized by coming up with solutions to problems. I do this regularly with my clients who need a fresh set of eyes on their brand, social presence, or overall marketing strategy.
But before I say "yes" to an opportunity to come alongside another organization, I ask a few questions. They give me clarity to know if I'm a right fit, to know if the leaders know what they want, and they help me determine exactly how to support that organization. Here are five questions I ask before I start any consulting gig.
5 Questions I Ask Every Client Before We Start Working Together
1. What are your goals? Getting "big" on social media is never the ultimate goal. It's what that influence can achieve. Clients need to be able to articulate what they want to accomplish through social media. Brand awareness? Lead generation? High profile relationships? We will never be sure that we have succeeded if we don’t have concrete goals set at the very beginning. So make it clear what you want to accomplish.
2. What are your pain points? As a consultant I need to know what your biggest problems are—this is likely why you called me in the first place. What aspects of a social media strategy make your head spin? Where do you want to make progress but the roadmap is a little fuzzy? What would you be happiest to outsource and never think of again? What keeps you up at night?
3. What does success look like for you? How will you know that the mission has been accomplished? Is it hitting a certain number of followers? A certain percentage of email opens? What needs to be accomplished in order for you to know that working with me was the right choice?
4. Which platforms are you currently on? I have to know the details of which social platforms you are on, when you joined, what kind of activity you've had, and if you've done any advertising on those platforms. To present a clear strategy moving forward, I have to know where you're coming from.
5. Who are you trying to reach? You’ve heard that you can’t not be on social media but do you know who you are trying to reach there? What time does your audience get online? What kind of purchases do they make online? Which social platform do they prefer? You have to have a clear picture of your target audience in order for me to help you reach them.
These are just a few of the questions I need answered up front in order to effectively help organizations maximize the potential that lies in social media and marketing online.