5 ways to showcase your work without a social media portfolio

by | Oct 28, 2021

If we hear one question more than any other in our Facebook community groups it’s this… ‘How do I create a portfolio for my social media business?’

 

And the short answer is, DON’T!

 

We’re serious. Social media managers do NOT need a portfolio to show to future clients.

 

Why? Because the aims, objectives and goals of each business you work with are different. How one client’s feed looks is not relevant to another. And, without context, it’s meaningless.

Social media management is about so much more than aesthetics and follower numbers. It’s about the thing you can’t see – the strategy, the analytics, the leads, the sales.

 

‘But wait! What if a prospective client asks for examples of my work? What do I show them?’

 

Good question. Here’s what you need to do.

 

Be active on your own socials

As a professional social media manager, you should be using your own social accounts to showcase your skills and knowledge and to practice what you preach.

 

Make sure you’re using your platforms to speak directly to prospective clients and to explain what goes into getting them the results they long for.

 

Try these sample post ideas

  • What happens when you work with me
  • Why you need a social media strategy
  • Why follower numbers aren’t the be-all and end-all
  • I did X and got this result for my client
  • How to use X new feature to promote your {insert niche} business

 

Testimonials

You probably already post testimonials on your profiles but there are a few ways to make them work harder.

 

Firstly think about the quality of the testimonial itself. If it’s just telling people that you were a pleasure to work with, it’s useless. Being nice to work with should be a given!

 

Aim to extract more useful information from clients by asking specific questions. e.g. What improvements have you seen in your business since working with me? How has your life improved since working with me? How many more leads or sales have you achieved since working with me?

 

You’re looking for detailed data and hard facts here.

 

Secondly, put some more thought into the copy you write alongside your testimonials. If we had a pound for every caption that reads ‘Love getting feedback like this,’ or ‘thanks for the fab review @xxx.’

 

Instead, add context to the post. Share the story of why the client came to you and the problem you helped them overcome. This will give future clients something tangible to relate to. If they recognise themself in your existing client’s story they’ll be much more likely to get in touch.

 

Bonus points if you can ask clients to create video testimonials or to jump on a live with you.

 

Case studies

Long form content – such as case studies on your website – is a brilliant way to demonstrate the value you provide to businesses.

 

This is also a good place to show off the visual aspects of your work if that’s something that’s important to you.

 

Case studies essentially outline a story of transformation and include four key sections.

 

  • A short intro/description of your client’s business
  • The problem. Detail what your client was struggling with and how this was impacting their business or personal life
  • The solution: Here’s where you talk about the bespoke strategy you put into place to solve your client’s problem
  • The result: Make this section as stats-driven as possible. If your case study doesn’t lend itself to sales or follower growth data, look for other possible angles such as the number of hours saved a month on social media or a % increase in leads.

 

Now sure where to start? There’s a detailed guide to writing your own case studies in The Social Media Manager’s Toolkit.

 

Blogs

Blogs are another great way to promote your skills to potential new clients.

 

Let’s say you write a blog called How To Grow Your Instagram Following, within it you can include real examples and screengrabs of previous client work.

 

If you’re an ads strategist you might write a blog called 5 Reasons To A/B Test Your Ads. You can demonstrate how to do this by including screenshots of varying ad copy and creatives, as well as the stats which show which worked best.

 

If content creation is one of the services you offer, you could write a blog about how to create a consistent brand aesthetic and include before and after shots of a feed you’ve madeover. Don’t forget to include the why as well as the how.

 

Use blogs to answer all the questions potential clients ask you and include real success stories to evidence your abilities.

 

Emails

We’ve seen some great examples of social media managers sharing their expertise via their email lists and you can do the same.

 

Your list is your most targeted audience so make sure you use it to talk about your processes and to explain why you do things the way you do.

 

And remember, not everyone sees your social content so your email list is a great place to share your wins and learnings, giving live examples as you go.

 

In conclusion

Creating a visual portfolio isn’t necessary for social media managers because it doesn’t provide your potential clients with the context they need.

 

It’s your job to educate your audience that looks aren’t everything on social media – it’s the strategy inside that counts!