A couple of weeks ago I shared my schedule as a social media marketer and got a few questions on HOW to even find clients to work with. Good question! So I thought to share my experiences on getting clients together with tips for you to get your social media marketing clients!

If you want to know more about how I became a social media marketer, read this post with 10 moments, that got me to my dream life.

tropical-office-remotely-workingMy home office in Sri Lanka, Feb 2019

How I got my first social media job?

So my first social media job was Instagram managing and the brand actually reached out to me through Linkedin. I only had to meet them and say YES. So this is not a great lesson for you, but it’s a great reminder to update your Linkedin profile every once in a while. I’ve got job offers there later as well.

But I don’t at all believe in waiting for the client to come to you. This happens rarely. So I’ll let you in on how I got the first client that I actually approached myself:

The strategy I used, to get my first social media client

I count my first client the brand I got after I decided that I want to do freelance and work with different brands. This was exactly a year ago and here’s what I did:

Firstly, I wrote down the categories I was interested in and wanted to work with. As a social media marketer, you need to know a few things about the industry your clients are in. And it’s such a bonus if you are genuinely interested in the topics. So for me, it was food, coffee, design, fashion, jewelry, travelling, dogs and a healthy lifestyle.

Secondly, I started looking at Estonian brands’ Instagram pages in these categories. I wrote a list of brands who I felt needed guidance (and I believed that I could be the one guiding them). The ones, who were already doing a great job in my eyes, I didn’t contact, as most probably they already had an expert on board. But if you are genuinely interested in a brand, of course, you can still write to them. There’s always a chance…

Thirdly, I wrote an email to 10 brands I chose from the list. The email structure was as follows:

  • Personal and sweet greeting mentioning the brand’s name
  • A short introduction of myself and my connection to their brand (if it was a food place I mentioned when I went there or my favourite dish etc)
  • Then I told them, how I wanted to help them on Instagram (thought strategy and quality content) and what value it would give to their brand (awareness, engagement, community).
  • After that, I shared my related work experience and gave them one example of my success story growing another brand’s Instagram account (but the success story could also be your own Instagram or something done on an internship – it’s good if you have some kind of experience).
  • Then I told them to contact me, if they’d like to hear my ideas on growing and improving their account and attached my CV to the email.

I kept the email rather short because as an introduction I don’t believe in writing long paragraphs that no one is going to read. And at this point, I wasn’t even sure if the brands were at all interested. I got answers from I think 3 brands and one of them actually was interested in hearing what I had to say.

It’s always good to put yourself out there. One of the brands I contacted didn’t need my services back then, but they wrote to me 6 months later and I did a bit of consulting for them.

Fourthly, I did a full Instagram strategy for the brand that was interested in hearing my thoughts. This was even before they said yes or were willing to pay me anything, I put a lot of time and effort into it because I was genuinely interested in that project and I always try to follow the 51/49 rule: give more than you take. People are so much more collaborative if they see the value YOU bring, so make it about them, not about you. Especially when offering a service.

And it worked! We had a Skype call and after that, I was starting to bring my strategy to life with that brand’s Instagram.


How I got my other social media marketing clients

So this was my first client. But within the year after starting I’ve had a couple more different experiences of getting projects. Hopefully sharing these will inspire some of you as well!

#1 Social media marketing client from an Instagram job posting

One brand I’m still working with made an Instagram post that said they were looking for a freelance social media marketer. My bestie noticed this and sent the post to me. Thanks, Carolin. I contacted the brand and we had a connection right away. They loved my previous work and we shared a vision for the brand’s social media. For them, I also did a strategy before starting the work. So again the 51/49 rule.

Tip for you: tell your friends that you are looking for a job. They can keep their eyes open for job positions they see online. Four eyes are more than two, you know. You can also follow hashtags like #socialmediamarketingjobs #wearehiring etc, because brands, who are looking for an Instagram expert often do it on Instagram.

#2 Social media marketing client from my own Instagram presence

Another brand I’m currently working with contacted me through Instagram. The girl, who was doing their social media, had no time for that project and as she loved my style, she thought the job would fit me well. First I did some tropical social media photos for them (the perks of living in Bali) and then a couple of months later, I got their whole Instagram marketing for myself.

And I just had a similar situation – a girl, who was following me on Instagram, recommended me to her friend, who needed social media marketing help. And now we will be working together in January 2020. So exciting! I’ll never again underestimate the power of word of mouth.

Tip for you: if you want to work on Instagram, be on Instagram. Have a nice feed and show off your style or share the topics you like (can also be your love for social media marketing). Also, put in your BIO that you do social media marketing or have your web page linked to your profile. So potential clients can learn more about you.

And follow agencies and the brands you love in real life – they might just post a job offer.

#3 Social media marketing client from my portfolio

One time I got a new client by them reaching out to one of my current clients and asking them, who as doing their Instagram. So, in that case, my actually work brought me some new work.

Tip for you: while looking for clients or working even with some, don’t forget to always improve yourself and do your very best. At the end of the day one thing is getting the clients, but a whole another thing is keeping the clients. So your work must be good excellent and this way there’s also a chance others notice your effort.

#4 Social media marketing client from my connections

I’ve been working with my boyfriend’s brand Bold Tuesday for 1.5 years now. At first, I was there as a part-time employee and since a year ago I started offering them a service. No matter the details, it’s been great and I think you should never be afraid to ask for social media marketing projects from friends, family, and anyone you know.

Tip for you: use your contacts to your advantage. This is also great if you want to practice social media marketing – you can also ask to try it for free for a month and if they like what you do, they hire you.

#5 Social media marketing client from collaborating with people in the same industry

If you are starting out or already have clients, it’s also possible to work together with other freelancers. For example, I’m working together with Jenny and I help her do social media marketing for some of her clients. It’s so cool to work with someone as the freelancer’s life can get sometimes lonely.

Tip for you: connect with other like-minded people. If you are great at social media, maybe you can work with a freelancer project manager, who can help manage the clients or a freelance photographer for the content. You can share clients and marketing information. It’s super nice to connect with people in the same industry.

What should you do if you’re looking for clients to work with?

So to get it all together, here’s a list of things you should be trying if you’re looking for new clients as a social media marketer.

  • Send out emails to the brands you love (and that could use some help on their social media).
  • Work on your own Instagram (and add a CTA and a link to your bio).
  • Ask your friends and fam if they know someone, you could offer your services to.
  • Look through the #newjob #werehiring #socialmediamarketer etc hashtags on Instagram
  • Look at different social media and marketing Facebook groups (search for offers or post an offer yourself)
  • Look through marketing sites and job portals (don’t have a lot of belief in that, but it doesn’t hurt to look)
  • Try out freelancer sites – Have you heard of Upwork and Peopleperhour? I’ve been on both. The good side: there are thousands of job offers to look through. The bad side: there are also thousands of people, so getting a job is not that easy and also with sites like these it’s usually less-paid because there are always people willing to do the work cheaper. BUT for getting started and working on your portfolio it wouldn’t hurt to look and maybe get some small projects.
  • Be willing to work for free – if you don’t have a lot of experience or success stories to brag about, I suggest you make some. Go to an internship at an agency or to a brand you love. Maybe it grows out to a job, or maybe it’s just a one-time experience. Either way, you win.

Now get to work!

These were my tips for all starting social media marketers out there. I hope you find these valuable. Let me know if there’s anything else you’d love to read about regarding work as a social media marketer.

Sending good vibes from Bali,

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