Listen to your clients!

Tim Priebe, T&S Online Marketing

Not long after I transitioned to full-time at T&S Online Marketing, I saw an opportunity to train people in emerging social media platforms. We didn’t offer ongoing social media services, but we did provide one-time service setup, one-on-one training, and group training.

Our start in social media management originated directly out of client need, and I’m glad I was paying attention! Demand for our social media training continued to grow. It didn’t even occur to me to start offering social media management, though—I was too busy looking for referral partners.

Our clients were saying that they didn’t want to be responsible for their social media on an ongoing basis, and since we set up their accounts and trained them on the platforms, I wanted to be able to send them somewhere I felt confident about.

I must have looked into at least a dozen different companies that offered ongoing social media management. Either I didn’t like the way they were doing the social media, or I couldn’t imagine their business model working long-term. Only one of them is still around, as a matter of fact.

Needless to say, I didn’t feel comfortable offering any of those options to our clients.

But it turns out, of course, that leaders know how they want to spend their time—they want to focus on being the CEO and the responsibilities that come with it. Making consistent social media posts was understandably overshadowed by managing employees and fine-tuning operations.

I wish I could say it occurred to me all on my own that we should offer social media management. But the biggest catalyst for adding that service was a bit of a surprise to me.

I was meeting with a client about something unrelated one day, and he stopped me. He told me, “Look, I want to do social media advertising. I think it’s going to be successful, and I want you to do it. I have X amount of money that I’m spending on traditional advertising and I’m ready to put it all into this new thing.”

I told him I’d look into it and get back to him with a couple of options. I did about 48 hours of marathon research. When I was done, I was able to offer him a social media management package that worked for him.

Fortunately for us, that client made his needs known in a very straightforward way. We’ve been offering social media management on an increasing basis ever since, eventually adding blogging and email newsletter management as well. And we’ve kept our clients’ needs top-of-mind as we do.

How can paying attention to your clients’ needs help your business grow?

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