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heroToday’s myth is a common one for freelance writers who are hesitant to add social media to their list of services:

    “My clients – or the clients in my niche – don’t need social media. So I shouldn’t bother learning it.”

I disagree. They might not think they need social media. But as soon as you show them what it can do for their business (more leads and increased sales) – they’ll want it.

Remember the client I mentioned in this essay? He wanted to stick with the old way of doing things and thought social media was a fad that would quickly pass.

But when I convinced him to let me work on it for just one hour, he wound up making almost $1,000 – directly from Twitter. That was enough to convince him to keep using social media.

Some businesses might take more convincing. But even they soon won’t have a choice in the matter.

Social media is changing how businesses operate because customers are demanding it.

According to The Faces of Social Media, a 2010 study from Knowledge Networks and MediaPost Communication, an overwhelming 82 percent of the U.S. teen and adult population use social media.

They also found 15 percent of U.S. social media users said they’re more willing to buy from brands they can find in social media.

Having a social media presence is clearly a business advantage right now, but in the next few years, it will become as essential as having a website.

In my opinion, businesses should focus on the most popular social media networks first: Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. That may change soon, as Google+ becomes more popular. (As social media experts, it’s our job to keep an eye on social media and make changes to our clients’ strategies as needed.)

Companies who are just waiting for social media to go away are going to see their businesses decline at a rapid rate. Many of them won’t know why. And they’ll pour more and more money into yellow pages, billboards, and other advertising. Or they’ll blame the economy for their troubles.

You can be their hero.

You can show them how to play by the new rules to gain market share and raving fans, i.e., customers who buy again and again.

And you’ll be well compensated for it. Other social media experts are charging their clients $2,500–$12,000 per month to manage their social media accounts.

I’ll be claiming getting in on the action. How about you? Comment below to let me know …

If you need help convincing your clients they should give social media a chance, check out this article I wrote: “6 Things to Do When Clients Say They Don’t Need That ‘Social Media Stuff.’”

How about you? Are you already a social media consultant or considering becoming one? Comment below to join the discussion …