Wondering how to become a social media manager?
Here’s the step by step guide that I took to start a successful social media management business.
When starting a business online, there are many options. One of those options is to freelance, where you provide other people and business with a service. It is probably the quickest way to make an income online and there are many options in which service you provide. You could freelance in writing, design, virtual assistant or social media manager. In this post, I’m going to outline how to become a social media manager. Just remember that everyone’s journey is different and this is just my experience.
Within my business, I specialise in social media management for businesses in the health and wellness space. The health industry is where I’ve spent all of my working career so it made sense to go down that path. Once I had decided that was where I wanted to go, I set about learning all that I could. I have to say that it was more in-depth than I realised but it has been fun!
Maybe it sounds great but you’re wondering exactly what social media manager actually does?
It can vary from business to business but most will create content (take photos, create graphics, source images and blog posts), create a strategy, schedule out the posts, engage with customers and potential customers, reach out to influencers, create email marketing campaigns and then report on what’s working and what can be improved on. Like I said though, it can vary quite a bit!
Interested in becoming a social media manager? It started my business and within 4 months I was booked out and generating extra income for my family.
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Recommended course: Social Monkey Business by Liz Benny. Liz’s free webinar is super valuable and I highly recommend it!
Here are the steps that I took to become a social media manager:
Some will say that this isn’t necessary but I really believe that it’s what set me apart from other social media managers. Having been working in the industry for 17 years, I was able to provide my clients with a greater understanding of what they wanted and what was needed to leverage their business. It was where my expertise was. Of course, I was interested in and had a good understanding of social media but primarily, I was an expert in health and health education.
From the beginning, I had something to offer that was different from my competitors. I stood out and attracted ideal clients from the beginning. From a business point of view, it made it easier for me as well. It really cut down on time research and sourcing content for different accounts. You can imagine if you have a butcher and a neurosurgeon. They are very different and it would be difficult doing both amazingly!
Become an expert in social media
Once I decided exactly what I wanted to offer, I set about learning all that I could. I had also enjoyed social media and seemed to be the ‘go-to girl’ for friends but I still felt I had some holes to fill before doing it professionally. I searched for courses to help me gain a better understanding of how to use social media for business.
My research pointed me to The Digital Picnic and their workshops. This course was designed for business owners to take so they could learn more about how to use social media for their business. The course covers social set up, which platforms to use for your business, a run through the main platforms, email marketing and blogging. As I said, it’s more business owners, not social media managers but I found it extremely useful!
Learn how to run a social media management business.
It’s one thing to be an expert in social media, it’s another thing to run a social media management business. There are a few things to consider, what are you going to offer, the need for a contract, how you’re going to handle payments and how you’re going to create systems to automate what you can to make your life easier.
When you’re working on your practice accounts, document what’s working and what needs to be improved on. Trial different programs and apps. Creating a workflow that is reproducible is key to a well run and profitable business.
When learning I found that the Social Monkey Business training to be invaluable. The course helps you create a business and systems to make it work well. They have templates, contact emails, content calendars and other spreadsheets that you can use within your business. The course also gives you ways to increase your revenue by up-selling and creating other services and products that serve your clients well. This course is on the more expensive side but I made it back from one client in the first month. A no brainer really!
Set up your online presence.
You’ve decided that this is what you want to do, create a social media management business. Firstly, you’ll need to decide on a name for your biz and then go about registering it, setting up your website and securing your social accounts.
Obviously, you can outsource the website setup but if you’re on a budget it’s definitely achievable to DIY. My suggestions would be to use Siteground, WordPress and the Divi Theme. This is by far the most cost-effective and will present so well for the cost.
Now, before you advertise your services you’ll need to work on your accounts and practising what you’ve learnt on them. Create a social media strategy and execute it. When I started my biz, I solely worked on my accounts for 3 months (I did have a baby in those 3 months so you could definitely spend a bit less time on them). I figured out what worked well, how to schedule the posts and created a system that I could then replicate with clients.
This process is daunting. You’re now putting yourself out there for business and I have to say that this was huge for me. If it’s hard for you, never fear you can do it!
My biggest tip for this step is to contact businesses that you think would really benefit from some help with their social media and give them a month or two for free. This is a win-win situation, you get to practice and refine your skills and they get some help with their marketing for nothing.
I contacted three businesses that I personally knew, from that, 2 clients are still paying clients. Once you have those first few clients, the others happen through your website and social media channels. Use those practice accounts as testimonials and examples of your work, promote them and how having someone manage their socials has enabled them to spend time working on their business, not in it.
Another tip, if you are thinking of adding any product, use this system. Put a call out for test accounts, give them value and you might be surprised, they often will continue to use your services.
Other places to look for clients are LinkedIn, Facebook groups and Instagram. Start connecting with people and creating proper relationships. You need to make sure that you’re giving value and genuinely contributing to the conversation. There’s no room for bots here!
Determine your rates and packages.
This is a never-ending question that newbies ask. How much to charge and how to create packages. I have done both. They both have their pros and cons and think you need to try them both and see what works for you and your industry.
I found that in the beginning, the packages were great because it was easy to communicate but they obviously don’t have the flexibility that working with an hourly rate. If you do work on an hourly basis, make sure you’re making it worth your while. Don’t lower your price (or underestimate the time taken) because you think you need to win a client. What you’re doing for your clients business is extremely valuable!
The main advice that I have for you here is to make sure you’re accounting for every minute you spend on a clients account. Get an app like Toggl and use it! You’ll probably underestimate initially but the quicker you get on it, the better and more profitable you’ll be!
Keep providing your clients with value.
Once you have some clients, make sure you keep exceeding their expectations (whilst billing them accordingly). Under-promise and over-deliver!
I have found that you become a bit of a business coach for your clients. They might not have much an idea about running businesses online and you have so much value to add to them.
You could suggest a digital product, affiliate programs, help them with blogging or email marketing or any other opportunities that you see out there. Don’t be afraid to suggest things!
You’ll soon start receiving referrals, more than you probably know what to do with! When you get to this point, you’ll want to hire a team to help you out. One tip I have for this step is to make sure you are systematising your work! Make it easy to train someone to do what you’re doing, then you can focus on getting more clients and exposure.
Then, rinse and repeat, whilst learning as much as you can along the way!
2 thoughts on “How to become a social media manager – a step by step guide”
Thank you for this post! I am thinking of adding this service to my business.
That’s so great! It’s a great service to add and one that’s in so much demand! And I think will only get bigger! Good luck with it x