3 Smart Ways to Deal with Controlling Clients
You’ve just signed a contract for a digital marketing plan for a growing brand. After several long conversations and negotiations, you came to an agreement, and they have just sent over the login information for their social pages so you can administer them.
There’s just one hitch. They want to be able to post updates, too.
You can’t tell them not to post; the pages belong to their company, after all. But how do you stop them from double-posting content you’ve already scheduled? What happens if they send out a post with spelling errors or risky copy?
It can be challenging to get a new client to release their grip on their social profiles. Here’s how to work together, rather than against each other, when a client insists on posting on their own social channels, too.
1. Try to see the issue from their perspective.
If you are working with a new business that has just started to grow, they are probably used to doing everything themselves. Early-stage entrepreneurs have to be a jack-of-all-trades, taking on everything from managing their website to social media to sales, because there is no spare change to spend on these services. However, as a company begins to take off, there is no need to be so lean, but it can be hard for some business owners to let go.
One of the best ways to calm a controlling client’s nerves is to use a content approval tool, like GAIN, that ensures that every post passes through their hands before reaching their networks. With GAIN, your team can manage the schedule and copy, but your client still gets a final say before anything gets posted.
2. Train your client in basic digital marketing skills.
Sometimes, your clients will insist on being able to post whenever they want on their social channels. However, as an agency, you have the expertise to know that this situation might not translate to the most traction and engagement.
Rather than fight your client for control, help them become a benefit to you and your team. Take an hour or two to train them on the basics of copywriting, scheduling, and social media planning. Once they understand why you stick to a set schedule, you can work together to create a plan for sharing content together.
3. Invite them to be contributors on GAIN.
The easiest way to make sure your clients’ content gets posted regularly and with a consistent voice is to define a content workflow. By setting up an approval process, you can ensure that all of a company’s posts go through your team, and through the client or the client’s marketing manager, before they go public.
You can also add the business owners as both approvers and on GAIN, but suggest that they send posts to you for approval before hitting the publish button. If necessary, take some time to explain that you will not be eliminating their voice, but rather managing the channel and any copy so that the brand image stays consistent. Remind them that you want and appreciate their input, but that you might make slight tweaks to ensure that the brand grows and attracts the right audience.
You and your client are on the same team, but when they try to take control of their social networks, it can sometimes feel like a battle. You need to be able to manage their brand voice without making them think that they no longer have authority over their marketing.
The secret to nudging your client to work with you, rather than against you, is communication, and then more communication. Once they feel that you accurately represent their brand’s voice (maybe even better than they do!), most clients will let you manage their social networks without interference.