How To Never Give another free strategy session

How To Never Give Another Free (Social Media) Strategy Session

Reading Time: 4 minutes

New Leads = New Clients!


Well, not always! 

Social media managers want (and crave) new connections yet it so happens that not all leads lead to a new business relationship.

Some leads lead… nowhere!

And some of the time, new leads lead to wasted time, brain-picking sessions and lots of frustration.

In the article, we will explain

  • Why giving away your strategy is bad practice
  • How to stop giving away your expertise for free
  • How to politely decline any brain-picking session
  • What to do instead of meeting up ‘for a coffee’
  • How to get paid for strategy

Why You Should Not Give Social Media Strategy Away!

You are worth it!

While you might think in terms of time = money, you need to also think expertise = money

Nothing you’ve learned and know has come to you ‘free’. You paid for training, school or social media certification. You spent countless hours doing a job for minimum pay, to learn what you know now. 

Do not give that knowledge away for free! 

While we are it; don’t charge per hour, instead, get paid for the years you spent perfecting your skills.

How To Stop Yourself From Giving Strategy Away for Free

The first thing to do is to recognize that you are giving it away. 

You might not be aware because some ‘friends’ and family are really good at extracting information from you without you realizing they are. 

The best way to stop is to make the initial contact about the other person

Avoid talking about yourself; take control of the situation and be the one to ask questions about their new project or business. People love talking about themselves anyway, so that should be fairly easy! Ask about products, services, employees, business in general, issues, fun campaigns, community involvement. You get it. 

Getting someone to talk about themselves makes it so you aren’t required to talk about yourself and your knowledge. 

Stop Those Brain Picking Sessions Once and For All

The code words for someone wanting to pick your brain is ‘let’s meet for coffee’. 

If you hear this, run the other way!

Take it from one social media manager to another; it was a lesson learned the hard way! 

Seriously; meeting for coffee is the oldest trick in the book. 

Unless it is a long-lost highschool friend who is really interested in coffee, ‘meeting for coffee’ means “I am going to buy you a $4 drink and you are going to help me by giving me a social media marketing strategy.”

How to stop these brain-picking sessions once and for all? Here are some ideas.


  • ‘No’. In this case, no is a complete sentence. If they ask ‘why’ you can elaborate. If they don’t ask, don’t tell. 
  • ‘Let’s meet on Zoom instead. Here is the link to my online calendar for a free 15-minute consultation.’ That leaves it to them to book and for you to be in charge of the meeting since it’s yours to lead! 
  • ‘I don’t do coffee. Would you like to book a consultation with me?’ and give them the link to your online calendar. 

Never Meet For ‘Coffee’ Again; Do This Instead!

Instead of meeting up for a coffee, schedule online meetings aka ‘discovery calls’. It’s where you discover whether you want to work with this potential client, or not. 

It sets the tone for a professional relationship, even if you are friends, or closely related! 

To set the right expectations for these calls, remember that you are in charge. 

The client chose a time to meet with you based on your availability! Now they are committed. 

You need an agenda of sorts, a list of questions to ask as you will need answers in order to write up…

a personalized proposal! 

Not a strategy, not content ideas, not campaign descriptions, tool recommendations or anything else they might need! What this person needs is a proposal for your services to make an informed decision as to whether they want to work with you, or not. 

Even friends and family should be offered the courtesy of that discovery call.

Asking the right questions during a discovery call shows you are

  • Serious about your business
  • A true professional
  • An expert in your field
  • Knowledgeable about social media without giving away your strategy.

How To Get Paid for Social Media Strategy and Your Expertise!

All that is left then for you is to write up a proposal and close the sale! 

Once you’ve finished the discovery call, take the information given to you, crunch some numbers, and write up a proposal for services. 

Important: Deliver this proposal via email to the potential client, within 48 hours of the discovery call. In the email, be sure to state a day/time you will follow up.

Then sit back and wait. 

You will either:

  • Get hired and get paid, or
  • Not get hired and not get paid, but you’ve also not given away too much time and no expertise. 

You can do this! 

If you want to learn how the pros get paid for strategy, check out our Social Strategist Pro course!

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