5 phases of hiring a social media specialist and Picasso value of time

5 phases of hiring a social media specialist and Picasso value of time

This conversation is becoming more and more common…

  • Client: “Hey. I hear you can help with my business with Social Media Strategy, Execution and Direction”
  • Me: “Absolutely. That’s what I do!”
  • Client: “So what do you think we should do ?”
  • Me: “I have attached a proposal where I defined the scope of work and the price”
  • Client: “oh. Why so much? I can get it cheaper”


This always reminds of the following story:

Pablo Picasso was sitting in the park sketching away as he usually does. A women approached him and asked him to paint her portrait and would not take no for an answer. Picasso spent a couple of minutes looking at the woman and with a single pencil sketched her image perfectly. The woman was ecstatic as to how lifelike the image was and how it captured her essence. Then Picasso handed  her his bill. “$5000 ! how can you charge $5000 for a couple of minutes work?!”  to which Picasso replied “Madam, that took me my entire life time”

Whenever a client hire any knowledge based person such as consultant, freelance writer, influencer, blogger, marketers social media strategist, lawyer, plumber, accountant they seem to go through phases.

The 5 phases of hiring a social media specialist

Phase 1 –  The I can do it all Phase

Client is on Facebook and they post and share family photos and funny cat-memes so client says: “I am on Facebook already. I know how to post and share. I know what I am doing so why should I spend money getting someone in just to do what I am doing?”

Phase 2 –  The Self Research Phase

Client looks at visits to website, visits to Facebook page and can’t really see increase despite all the posting or sharing they has been doing so client says “hmmm I am not really getting results with my efforts. But I can Google to see what I am doing wrong- how hard can it be?”

Phase 3 – The Admission Phase

Client is getting frustrated by the amount of time it takes to read, research, try and adapt different techniques so client says “I don’t have time for this  ‘How to do this social media’ thing, I need some help. Let me get someone in.”

Phase 4 – The Amnesia Phase

Client hires Social Media Strategist who makes changes and begins to really harness the power of social media. Client sees improvement in stats as more people are being exposed to the client’s product/ service.  But this is where amnesia starts to kick in forgetting the previous phases so client says :” I see what the consultant is doing but that doesn’t look so complicated. In fact he/ she is doing exactly the same thing I was doing. Besides he/she hasn’t made much difference. I was fine before he/ she came along. Maybe there is a cheaper option out there ?”

Phase 5 –  The Cheap Phase

Client fires Consultant, find a cheaper resource online who promises to deliver way more than the old consultant at a fraction of the price. Client hires cheap resource and gets no result so client says: “I knew these consultants were all the same. I will just do it myself. Besides; I can do it all –  how hard could it be?”

Price is what you pay; value is what you get

Much like the woman in the Picasso story, the client who goes through these phases doesn’t  understand that he/she  is not paying for Picasso’s time but for his knowledge. Knowledge that takes years to accumulate. Knowledge that saves the client time and money by avoiding mistakes.

What I usually say to the same client: “If you think its expensive hiring a professional – wait until you hire an amateur…

Liron Segev - TheTechieGuy

Liron Segev - TheTechieGuy

Liron Segev is an award-winning tech blogger, YouTube strategist, and Podcaster. He helps brands tell their stories in an engaging way that non-techies can relate to. He also drinks way too much coffee! @Liron_Segev on Twitter