How to Become a Social Media Manager

If you are curious about starting a new career as a social media manager or consultant, this free Starter Kit is for you. Built by Andrea Vahl and Phyllis Khare, founders of Social Media Manager School, it has a tremendous amount of practical information and step-by-step instructions, including these titles and more:

The Social Media Manager Starter includes SIX of their best mini-training documents:

  1. 3 Steps to Earning $1000 Extra a Month as a Social Media Manager or Consultant
  2. 3 Steps to Finding the Right Clients for Your Business
  3. 3 Ways to Bring New Clients in the Door
  4. How to Find Your Corner of This Lucrative Market
  5. Infographic – Roadmap to Becoming a Well-Paid Social Media Manager
  6. Top Tools for Social Media Managers

I’m happy to tell you more about this as I am a member of their School and have joined their affiliate program to help more people start their own full or part-time work doing what they love.

A couple of times a year Social Media Manager School by Andrea Vahl and Phyllis Khare opens up.  It’s open for enrollment from October 9th to October 18th  this year.  Don’t worry if you don’t catch it this time around as there will be another chance later next year and there are plenty of ways to learn how to be a Social Media Manager.  However, I do recommend you take the class at some point.  Just because there is so much valuable information and resources that are part of the school.  But in the meantime, grab these great freebies to help you get started.

A vast majority of marketers use social media to attract new business.  However, only a handful actually know what they’re doing. Even fewer care to execute the social media duties needed to run a successful business.  That’s where social media managers come in.  There’s a huge market for freelancers. Businesses, bloggers, real estate agents, sales consultants, and many more are looking for social media managers. The good news is that you don’t need a degree or fancy education to work from home as a social media manager.

Social Media Duties

There are many aspects that go into being a Social Media Manager including content marketing, customer service, growth and management, public relations, and social media strategies.  To accomplish those aspects the job may include, scheduling content, engaging the community, responding to customers, creating campaigns and advertising, creating profiles, SEO, and more.

It is not necessary to offer all of these duties when freelancing.  In fact, some companies might not even know all the different task a social manager can do.  You may have to educate them.  However, if a company is advertising for a social manager position then more than likely they will have some knowledge about the duties involved.  As long as you are knowledgeable and can offer a good strategy then that will be enough. Minimally, you will want to be able to stay current and know the trends of the different social media platforms out there.

In other words don’t just master Facebook but know very little about Instagram.  You should at least shoot for learning the major players in social media like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google, and YouTube.  Be flexible and keep in mind that each company is different.  One company may be more into Snapchat and LinkedIn and want you to put your focus there while another may be more into Instagram.  Having a general knowledge of each type of platform will go a long way.

If you do not enjoy being on social media and interacting with others being a social media manager is not a good fit for you.  But if you are engaging and like sharing interesting information than this is the perfect job for you.

You will also have to be prompt in addressing emails from customers and looking out for any issues or concerns posted on the company page.  If you are genuine and care about the company you work for this will come naturally.  Responding to customers will help grow the community as the company’s reputation is established.  Reaching out to potential new customers and staying on top of the latest platforms, their best practices, and any changes and updates are key.

Bring fresh ideals to the company and for goodness sake, speak up if something isn’t working!  After all, you are the eyes and ears of the company.  They will respect your input if they are smart and adjust accordingly.  Be professional and consistent.

How much can social managers make

The pay scale can range for social media managers. And when I say range, I mean range!  It can range anywhere from $20,000-$100,000. Many factors go into the salary amount such as knowledge, skills, experience, range of duties, and the needs and requirements of the company.  Don’t let this discourage you if you have to start at the lower end of the pay scale.  As you get more experience and learn more, you can charge more. Remember to keep investing in yourself by taking courses and reading educational material.  Social Media managing is a very self-taught skill.

Skills and Goals

There may be some positions that require a formal education simply because the job is more complex and the company is big.  Don’t let that stop you from applying if you are social media savvy.  Many companies will take skills and experience over education if you can show them what you’re working with!  So although you may need formal training if working for a big company like Apple, it’s not set in stone. This doesn’t mean you don’t need to know a few things up front.

For instance you’ll need a good grasp of the English language and grammar. You should also know your way around the internet and where to go to research and find content.  If you’re a procrastinator and aren’t self-motivated this job won’t work for you.  Finally, being polite, courteous, and respectful is the only way to go when representing the company you work for. Remember everyone can read what you write online.

Another course I highly recommended is: How to become a kick-ass Social Media Manager in 2018
You want your training to be current and on point, and this one is both those things.

Here’s a free class on mastering social media marketing you might want to take.

Here are some goals you should have as a Social Media Manager:

Increasing brand awareness, driving traffic to the company’s website, generating new leads, boosting brand engagement, building a community, increasing “mentions”, growing revenue, increasing sales, increasing email list, and understanding the needs and wants of your target audience and customers.

Social Media Portfolio

One thing companies will want to take note of is your own social media presence.  If you aren’t already doing so, start building your own social media portfolios.  Companies won’t want to hire you if you aren’t on the social media platforms.  If you have a big personal following that may be enough to entice businesses to hire you.  However, also consider creating social profiles that showcase you as a social media manager and take it from there. This is a great way for you to learn and experiment with social media.  Plus, having these platforms in place is an easy way to start connecting with potential clients.  At the very least have at least 3 accounts with the major social media players.  Even if you don’t plan on heavily using a certain platform, still set up a profile and play around on it, just so you can become familiar with it.  You may not use the platform, but a business who’s interested in hiring you might.  So you want to learn how to use it.

Many companies still have not caught on just how profound of a social media platform Pinterest has become!  If you’re consistent on Pinterest it can grow your followers and awareness of your brand in leaps and bounds!  Seriously.  Pinterest is The Place to be right now and is bringing tons of traffic to websites.  Pinterest will introduce your business and blog to a whole new audience. If you want to take your own website or the companies you work for website to another level then get yourself or them on Pinterest.  Become a Pinterest Ninja if you want to take your traffic to new heights!   One thing I really love about this e-book is that the author updates it as Pinterest changes (which they’ve been doing a lot lately) and sends you a new copy of the updated eBook course each and every time!

Decide how you want to get paid

If you’re freelancing as a social media manager you may advertise your services on your website and set your own rates. Other times, a company may already have in mind the salary they are willing to pay and may not want to deviate from that too much. You can develop your own preset packages which list such information as specific tasks you will perform and whether you charge by the task or hour.  For instance, you may charge a set amount for a set number of updates and posts on Twitter per month.  Or you might charge a set amount for just whatever the company needs done on a certain platform each month. As an example you may charge something like $500 per month to be over someone’s Facebook account and choose how many post that includes such as 5 post per week.  Also, you may be responsible for finding content or the company may provide it for you.  You definitely should charge more if you’re the one finding the content.

Services such as creating email campaigns, Facebook ads, or Promoted pins on Pinterest warrant charging more since the skill level required to do those tasks is more advanced.

What’s your Strategy

The best social media managers already have a strategy in mind or in place to pitch to potential clients. Be clear on what types of content you plan on posting, the required skill level for different tasks, how much time those task take, and the frequency of those task.  Try to narrow your services down instead of being all over the place offering anything and everything that a social media manager might do.  That’s a sure way to fail.  Become an “expert” in a few areas as well.  Offering too many options will cause you to lose focus.

As you experiment and learn with your own profiles, you should see patterns, cycles, and trends that will help you become a better manager.  Meeting your client’s needs should be your main goal.

Let People Know

If you are serious about being a social media manager, you will want to use different avenues to get the word out about you and your services. You definitely should have a website although nothing fancy is required.  A standard website is fine.  At minimum you should have information about who you are, the services you offer, pricing, and how to contact you.

All you need is a domain (put some thought into this as your website name is your brand and represents you, hosting for your website, and a theme. It’s a breeze to set up and your hosting comes with a free domain name.  You can use a basic WordPress theme or purchase one if you have a certain look in mind.  There are many free WordPress themes that will work fine.

Don’t forget to add your website address to your social media profiles.

Finding Clients

I know what you’re thinking. This sounds all well and good and I’m interested but…where do I find clients!?

Here’s some places to get you started:

Indeed

Fiverr (advertise your services on here for free)

FlexJobs

Appen

Upwork

Mediabistro

Crispthinking.com

Adzuna

Don’t forget to also ask for referrals as you get work.  Your friends and family members may also know other looking for a social media managers.

Keep in mind that jobs in the field don’t always label the job as a social media manager. Some companies may advertise the job as a community manager or engagement coordinator so keep an eye out for variations as many of the positions incorporate the same types of duties.

After you have set up your social media profiles as a Social Media Manager (highly recommend instead of using your personal profiles), include the following on your social media profile:

Descriptions of your previous jobs (if related or closely related to a SMM)

Your niche or specialty

Links to your work

Charity work and Professional Affiliations

A photo of yourself

Tools and Resources

There are many softwares out there that will help you keep track of your client’s social media profiles by way of scheduling post, moderation capabilities, engagement analytics and more.

CoSchedule is an affordable tool for social media management. You can have up to 8 profiles and plans starts at $20 a month.

Hootsuite, Sendible, and Buffer are also good for scheduling.  Hootsuite and Buffer both offer free plans but remember that you may need to upgrade at some point as you become more social media savvy and develop your skills.  The paid versions offer more features and can make your social media tasks easier and save time.

Monitoring progress should be done on a regular basis.  That’s why using a social media tool is a good ideal.  A lot of them have analytics which will allow you to see if and how the company is growing.  Many times you can directly see how your efforts have grown followers, engagement, and more.

Stay in the Game

Once you land your first gig, don’t stop there!  You will need to keep learning and growing and stay current of the trends and ins and out of social media. In addition, taking classes on marketing, advertising, SEO, writing, creating videos, and creating visual images will be very beneficial.  Besides, the more skills and knowledge you bring to the table, the more you’ll be able to charge.

So there you have it.  It’s really not too hard to learn the ins and outs of social media and land your first job.  If you enjoy being on social media and connecting with others this can be a fun and lucrative job for you.  If you follow these steps you’ll be on your way to being a Social Media  Manager guru in no time.

 

 

 

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