The best place to look for a social media manager starts close to home. No, not your fifteen-year-old—we mean asking colleagues and niche peers for recommendations.
If you are an online entrepreneur, your peers will also be online entrepreneurs. As such, they understand how outsourcing works, and that contractors regularly maintain more than one client. As such, many will actually recommend the best of the best to you, knowing you will return the favor in some way when the time comes.
So just ask!
You can also put the word out—and specifically ask for recommendations:
· At local business organization meetings
· Within niche-specific forums or membership sites you belong to
· Within closed Facebook business groups you belong to
· From your coach or mentor
· Your Virtual Assistant. Professional VA’s often are well connected with others in their industry and may know highly qualified candidates. He/she may provide this service as well.
Failing this, spend some time researching possible candidates on Google. (Hint: Look for websites rather than people).
A social media management website can allow you to check out criteria without the need for initial contact. You can check out rates commonly charged, look at portfolios to see if that person or company is a good fit, and read/check out—testimonials.
When you are finally ready to contact that person or company, you will have a clear picture of what to expect and how much to budget.
Social media management companies abound online—and fit almost every budget and company size. If you are going to go with a company that specializes strictly in social media, you will want to match the size of your budget, company and goals to the scope offered by the social media management company. (For example, if you’ve only just been in business a couple of years and you typically make about four thousand dollars a month, you can pretty much bet that a company who charges a flat fee of three thousand a month is too much fire-power for the way you operate: They are looking for larger celebrity marketers or bigger corporations.)
Two simple rules:
· Don’t hire someone whose prices and organizational set up feels out of your league. Even if they are the best of the best, this is like asking an Olympic rugby player to show you how to hold the ball. I.E. You’re most likely to get a slightly-astonished: “Uh… no.” (And even if that candidate said “yes”, you would be paying three thousand dollars for something your local beginner league could teach you for free.)
In other words, you’d be wasting their time and talents—not to mention your money.
· Don’t hire someone who knows less than you do. If your candidate is stumped when you ask her how she plans to measure your ROI, she is not the one for you!