Working with Social Media Managers for Your Yoga Business: An Interview with Natalie Butka: Social Media Manager and Founder of butkacreative.com
Working on your social media platform takes effort. From planning a "post" calendar to creating content, editing footage, captioning posts, call-to-actions, and much more, it can take up a lot of time. Time we could be using to create classes, courses, and teach. For some or most of us, this is not our forte. If this is the case for you, then delegating the marketing side of your business might be the next step.
In my case, outsourcing is definitely a “must”. At this point in my life, I am juggling my work as a yoga teacher in a gym and studio, while building my brand. I need to create content for my website, construct paid courses, most importantly, teach in a live or online setting. The thing is, editing and knowing when to post content to capture leads or paying clients is a mystery and a pain to me. I don’t have time to take a social media management course so that I could do it all on my own. Which brought me into writing this article. If I feel this way, then surely, a lot of us are probably in the same predicament. If we are considering a third party for your marketing—how does that work? Who are we gonna call? A social media manager is the best solution for this dilemma. Sounds good? How do you work with them, how do you prepare for hiring one, and what will they do for you exactly?
To answer these questions, I interviewed Natalie Butka, a Social Media Manager with over 9 years of experience in the biz. She has worked with clients from Spain to the United States. As one of the hardest working women I know, I am very excited that she was able to share her knowledge with us in this article.
Interview with Natalie Butka Social Media Manager
So how would you describe your job?
I work as a social media manager. I am on a computer or my phone practically all day long answering direct messages, posting content, creating content, and following trends for my clients; as they’re in different sectors and industries. I also have to do a monthly analysis of their target market.
Do you specialize in managing a specific market?
No, I work with a variety of clients so I don’t get bored. :) I have worked with healthcare offices, cryptocurrency projects, NFT projects, insurance companies, retail, influencers (human and dog!), authors, car mechanics, gyms, and many others!
Have you done Social Media Management for fitness and yoga brands? If so, what was it like for you?
Fitness, yes. Yoga specifically, no. It was important to get content from the gym owner constantly so that their social media pages did not look generic but looked very community-based!
What should we expect as clients from a social media manager?
Consistency, discipline, and professionalism. If a social media manager knows what they’re doing, they’ll really only need to contact you once a month to ask for what they need. Aside from that, there can be a monthly update about how socials are going.
What expectations do you have when taking on a client?
Boundaries, STRONG boundaries and I also need the client to have clear goals for their social media presence. I do not like to be micromanaged and have been working as a social media manager successfully for over 9 years so I do know what I’m doing.
The door is open for a client to tell me how they envision their social media and discuss their goals… but it is then my job to carry out a social media strategy to get the client to those goals. I am also a freelancer, not a full-time employee so I am not available 24/7. I answer emails/texts/calls as I have availability. I am also very disciplined with my time so it’s important up front for me to know what YOU expect from your social media manager. At this point, it’s easy for me to be able to tell a potential client that we would not be a good fit for XYZ reason.
So, let’s say I would like to hire you for my business. How do we start this process and what is our professional relationship going to be like once we have an agreement?
I do a 15-minute call with potential clients so they can go over goals with me and ask me any questions they’d like. If things move forward from there, I set them up with access to my personal process so we can get started on content! More back and forth is normal in the first 1-3 months and at that point, I should have a clear understanding of the voice you’d like to present on social media.
I imagine you will not produce content for your clients. We have to provide you with it, yes? Do you direct us on the type of content we need to send you or will we be able to have some input on the content we will produce as well?
Yes to both questions. I can create some content dependent on the industry. Other industries require 100% content from my clients. I can give input on the content.
People often give social media managing tasks to Virtual Assistants. As an expert in your field, what is the difference between a Virtual Assistant that does social media work VS. a Dedicated Social Media Manager?
A VA can do a variety of tasks, admin, bookkeeping, organizational tasks, gatekeeper, scheduling for clients, booking flights, paying bills… the list goes on. A VA does NOT equal a social media manager. They’re two completely different fields. I have worked as both and someone looking for social media help should not expect expertise from a VA that has only worked as such. A dedicated social media manager knows the ins and outs of each social media platform.
What advice would you give to yoga teachers in need of a social media manager? How do we choose the right one for the job and how do we maintain a good working relationship with an SMM?
Be sure you have a monthly budget first. No one likes to talk about money but if you’re hiring out for help, you need to have a budget. At that point, then you will know which SMMs you can afford. From there I’d schedule calls with 5 different social media managers and see which one feels like a fit for your personal goals. Another important thing is to check out their portfolio, they should have one. Maintaining a good working relationship with anyone means respecting their boundaries. Each person should have them.
Okay, let’s recap!
A social media manager is a strategic planner, they are on trend and have a variety of clients and experience in moving different businesses on social media platforms. They create or receive content to be posted at the moments they are necessary to receive maximum traffic for the accounts they handle. As clients, we work with them. It is not a hierarchical relationship. They do not work for us. So they have the right to reject potential clients if they don’t feel the professional compatability between both parties. They are not virtual assistants that do a variety of jobs dedicated to your business. While a VA may be able to post on social media, they will not have the experience to know if the postings are the most effective approach to their boss’ brand.
A successful working relationship with a social media manager is that we take their professional process into account and vice versa. Once you have established a good working relationship with your SMM, a monthly status update may just be the only task you´ll both have to ensure the brand´s marketing strategy is on point.
To start things off, Have a budget and choose the SMM that will best fit your needs and your wallet. A social media manager comes at a price. Remember that you are spending money to acquire the expertise of this person for your venture. Make sure that your company can handle the retainer.
Next, a consultation is usually required so that both business and SMM can iron out the details of their agreement. At this stage we, as clients need to have a clear vision of what we want for our business. Like which platform we focus on, where we lead our potential customers to, etc. Have well-defined goals as to where you want your business to go. Lastly, Establishing trust and boundaries between both parties is very important because an effective SMM handles several other accounts and keeps their own hours.
Delegating tasks is necessary for most small businesses. As teachers, we have our strong suits and that is on the mat. It is our zone of excellence. While we may try to take on different operations in our studios or classes for any or every reason, we might not achieve the best results. Moreover, It will most likely burn us out. Which is something we teach students to avoid or to practice self-care to escape the arrival of this mental state.
If you feel any of this in your day-to-day professional life, then outsourcing a facet of your entrepreneurial activities to someone who knows what they're doing so that you may finally take a load off yourself is for you. Whatever your decision will be, I hope this article has served you well.