How to get started as a Social Media Manager
Dealing with social media can be overwhelming and very time-consuming for many businesses. It is also one of the many reasons businesses fail to upscale their marketing plans. As an aspiring Social Media Manager, this is where you come into the picture.
This blog post is for anyone who dreams about becoming a Social Media Manager but doesn't know how to get started. This blog will tell you everything you need to know about getting started as a social media manager, whether this is as a freelancer or employee.
What is a social media manager?
Typically, a social media manager is responsible for posting content on different channels, optimizing media strategies, engaging with customers, and analyzing metrics.
A social media manager has a lot of responsibility and the job requirements are quite demanding. The job requires basic marketing knowledge and the ability to think outside the box, but it also requires other skills, which will be explained below.
What skills do I need to become a social media manager?
Social media managers don't just post photos on Instagram and Facebook. Becoming a successful social media manager requires a diverse collection of skills and traits. A good social media manager will possess the following skills: Copywriting, Creativity, Customer Service, and Analytic.
A social media manager craft the messages that companies use in their social media posts. Writing engaging, educational, and entertaining posts is a big part of the role. Being able to write for different platforms and different audiences is a crucial skill.
As a social media manager, it is important to have a creative eye. Creating beautiful and esthetic content is a big part of your job, but you also need to be innovative, risk-taking, and willing to try new things. Social media is changing all the time. Therefore, you must be willing to experiment, try out new trends, and understand what sticks.
Customer service is not just for people within retail. As a social media manager, you need to provide efficient and effective customer service and support. Social media is, well, social. Therefore, a big part of managing social media platforms is to connect, nurture, and build relationships with your audience.
As a social media manager, you need to be analytical. You need to understand the data available and how to analyze it. Analytics is a powerful tool and gives you the ability to track progress, but it also helps you improve and optimize your marketing strategy.
How do I get started as a social media manager?
Build up your own platforms
One of the first steps in becoming a social media manager is to build your own social media platforms. You can use your social media presence to showcase your creativity and community skills for potential future clients. It will be your digital portfolio, but it will also be a gateway to connect with other people within your industry and even potential clients. It's of course not a must to have some great personal social media profiles, but it can only help you.
Find your favourite Social Media Management Tool
Before you get your first client, you need to at least have scouted out the different Social Media Management Tool and have found your favourite. Here's some of the best on the market:
Agorapulse and Sprout has some strong reports, while Later and Hootsuite have some great features for Instagram, such as Feed Preview and First Comment Hashtags. Take a look and choose your favourite.
Scout potential clients
The eternal struggle of every business is to find clients and of course being a SMM is no exception (unfortunately). So how do you find clients as a Social Media Manager? Here's a few places you can find clients:
Start by being on the lookout when you're browsing around social media and see if you come across brands, that looks like could need your help. Next step is to post, post, post tips, tricks and knowledge on your own social media - provide as much value to your audience as possible. This shows that you know what you're doing. I've gotten clients through Instagram and TikTok, simply because they came by my content and could see that I knew what I was doing.
The most common way that people find clients are through their own network. Post on your own social media and let your network know what you offer and ask if they know anyone who could use your services. And of course when we can actually go to events, make sure to pass out that business card (yes, you should get one).
Another way to find clients is on job boards. You can both look for part-time or full-time jobs for a Social Media Manager, or freelancer jobs on websites like remote.co, Upwork and Fiverr.
And of course there's always cold emailing. Find any company you think could use your help and pitch yourself by sending them an email. It might be a bit uncomfortable and you might have to send +100 emails before someone bites, but you'll be so happy that you're actively working towards your goals.
Your first priority when starting as a Social Media Manager should always be to find clients! Don't waste time on other non-money making activities.
Never expect clients to just magically dump into your lap.
Offer FREE or low paid help
Once you have established your social media presence consider offering your help to small businesses for free or almost free in exchange for testimonials. This is a great way to build your portfolio and track record. You must track your success by measuring metrics on the platform you manage, as this will be proof of your marketing impact. This experience will not only determine whether being a social media manager is a job for you but it will also give you the confidence you need to jumpstart your career as a full-time social media manager, whether that is as a freelancer or employee. By getting testimonials you also have written proof from customers, that they're happy with your work.
Show your proof
Once you've gotten your first clients, it's time to let that social proof and testimonials work for you! Post it on your website, your social media, anywhere you can, so that people can really see, that you are WORTH IT! That being said, you don't need to show experience and results to get clients - that's important for me to say! It helps of course, because results always speak for themselves, but until you can actually show your proof, don't sweat it.
Reel in those clients and grow!
There you have it, now you can take your first steps towards becoming a Social Media Manager! Work towards finding more and more clients and performing well for the ones you have, and watch your business grow in harmony with your dreams!
Never stop believing!
If you want a full framework on how to get started as a Social Media Manager, you can always check out my online course "Social Media Management Masters Class" - I'd love to see you in there and help you every step of the way!