As a relatively new marketing channel, social media professionals have had their work cut out sharing their own expertise and knowledge in a fairly unknown space. Learning her own value as a social media specialist has been an important part of her freelance career, as Natalie Grover shares her own experience defining her role within the marketing industry.
Having worked as a freelancer for the last six years within a relatively new field, Social Media Specialist Natalie Grover has been booking briefs via YunoJuno since we first launched and has enjoyed being part of our own growth as well as hers;
I remember the launch over in a fancy Soho hotel many moons ago after being invited to the platform by a fellow freelancer. I was struck by how down-to-earth, passionate, and friendly the founding team was. I was at the starting point of my freelance career at that point, so it took a while to build up my skills and reputation before I signed off any briefs and roles on the platform. Since then, I haven’t looked back with regular and repeat bookings from various clients.
When it comes to starting a new social media project, the brief is one of the most important features. We asked Natalie what she looks for initially from a brief and what clients could do to help create more engaging ones;
A complete breakdown of the job role rather than a few bullet points. However, I would say that I often see roles that combine about four different job roles into one. For example, paid, organic, influencer marketing, PR, and strategy. Those roles immediately turn me off because although I can do the majority well, you know the position may be stressful trying to put on many hats simultaneously. Time constraints can also mean one or two areas are carried out well while others may suffer. You will often find those disciplines split into different job roles in an integrated agency. It’s a model I have seen work best without burning people out.
With so much emphasis on a great brief, we asked Natalie what she felt clients could do to help prepare their own teams for working with freelance social media professionals;
Having a formal scope of work brief is so crucial. So often, I will interview for a role where half the detail might be unearthed in an informal chat with the client on a campaign before a piece of work begins. Therefore, before working with a Social Specialist, it’s essential to unearth a client's expectations regarding campaign outcome, audience, insights, and ideal results. After a formal client brief, then a meeting with all stakeholders and ideally the freelancer to ensure everyone is on the same page can ensure any issues are addressed early on. Equally, if a client's brief changes halfway through, you can reference the original brief and align additional costs for changes and redevelopment.
A big part of social media marketing is reporting and metrics which Natalie shares;
It’s inevitable that not all campaigns or content streams perform. That can be down to many factors, including cuts in budgets, platform and algorithm changes or more newsworthy activity high-jacking the social space. Being open and transparent with a client on what could have caused different results is critical.
That being said, Natalie is more positive when it comes to bringing her clients on a journey with the data she shares, helping to make recommendations for the future can help use the learnings for good. In addition, using A/B testing can help identify what is resonating with an audience early on. Unearthing insights at the beginning of content or social strategy are also powerful for ensuring you target the right audience with relevant content.
We asked Natalie to share some of the best advice she’d been given whilst working as a freelance social media specialist;
Never devalue your skills or your day rate. I have gained a good reputation in the industry and have been repeatedly booked back to various agencies time and again. Therefore, once you have built up some projects, ensure that your daily rate reflects that experience. Ask other freelancers about their day rate if you are unsure how to benchmark. You’ll soon see the kind of briefs that come through and if their budgets are realistic based on the scope of work required against other briefs out in the market. You’d be surprised how many clients' bulk in a handful of job roles into one for a low day rate!
Continuing on the theme of sharing her valuable advice, we asked Natalie to share her own tips for anyone looking to branch out into social media marketing;
First, show you are passionate about the projects you have loved working on through imagery, campaign background and results (NDA dependent). A good client quote and testimonial or reference from a team member will also help to amplify your involvement. YunoJuno has the option for clients to give references on your profile, so reach out to previous colleagues and businesses and see if they will write you a reference to help support your previous work.
And finally, we asked Natalie what it meant to her as a freelancer to be a finalist in the Freelancer Awards 2021;
Elated! It is the third year I have been nominated for the award. I have a genuine love for the platform, so just being nominated is an honour when you are amongst some of the best talents in the market.