How to Become a Freelance Social Media Manager

By Rachael Gerron
Web Content Contributor

As a college student, it can be hard to find a job that doesn’t conflict with your school schedule. Especially with the COVID-19 virus, it can also feel unsafe to work an in-person job. If you haven’t had a part-time job for these reasons, or you just want to make extra money on the side- becoming a social media manager could be a good job for you.

I started working as a social media manager this summer after a neighbor posted on Facebook, looking for someone to help her manage social media accounts for her yoga business. I wasn’t quite sure what I was getting into at the time, but I applied and got the job!

I’ve been doing this for about seven months, so I’ve learned some things along the way. Here are some tips for anyone interested in becoming a social media manager.

  1. Find Someone Looking for Help!

My job kind of came to me but if this is something you are pursuing; you have to advertise yourself. A great way to do this is by promoting your services in Facebook groups. The great thing about this job is you can do it 100% remotely, so it doesn’t even have to be local- just put yourself out there!

You could also reach out to businesses via email or social media and ask if they would like your help to grow their brand.

  1. Prepare & Meet with Your Prospective Client

Going into this job, I had some experience with social media promotion and marketing, and chances are you do too. If you follow any social media influencers, you’ve seen social media marketing.

I would recommend taking notes on how the influencers you follow promote themselves and interact with their audience through social media. Think about why you follow them. This can help you come up with ideas to grow your client’s brand.

You should plan to meet with your prospective client (virtually or in-person) so that you can tell them your skills and see exactly what they need from you. Before this meeting, you should ask to look at their social media so you can brainstorm ways to improve their content and grow their audience.

  1. Rate

During this meeting, you should also come to an agreement on your rate. It can be hard at the beginning to feel that your skills are worth the pay, but they are! You are offering a legitimate service and you should be paid accordingly.

I would recommend setting your hourly rate at 15 dollars. With this kind of work, some weeks are less intense than others, so hourly pay is fair to you and your client. You should always keep track of your hours and every week or every two weeks; you can report your hours and be paid.

  1. Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook Formula

If you’re a Mass Communication major, you’ve likely heard of this, but for those who haven’t- this is the title of a book by entrepreneur, Gary Vaynerchuk (Garry Vee). This phrase is Vee’s business philosophy and it is basically a formula for success.

A jab in this metaphor is the value of the content you provide for your audience. Contrary to what many people think, your client needs to put out a lot of content that asks nothing of their followers. This builds trust and gives people a reason to follow your client.

For example, my client has many services she sells such as private yoga therapy sessions and workshops. But instead of promoting those all the time, I post graphics with quotes related to yoga, or meditation-videos- things that don’t ask the audience to do anything.

After a few jabs, you throw the right hook. This is a promotional post that is actually asking followers to purchase something or click on something- a call to action.

There are countless other strategies like this in the world of marketing, (more than I could mention in this article), so I would recommend looking further into it for this job!

  1. Plan & Post Content

Planning content is super important, especially when you’re following the “Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook” formula. You have to make sure the jab posts are different from each other and you need to make sure you post them before the right hook content.

As far as getting content to post; ask your client if they have any professional photos already taken. If not, you might suggest that they do that, or even offer to take pictures yourself.

You don’t need anything more than an iPhone camera and somewhat of an eye for photography to do this!

Once you have these pictures, use them sparingly. A mistake I made at the beginning was using the pictures from our photoshoot for every other post, and after a couple of weeks, the pictures were all used.

It’s good to post a variety of content: a picture of your client, a graphic of a quote, a video, a picture of a product, a picture of nature, etc. You shouldn’t limit your client’s content to one thing because you’ll run out of pictures eventually and it’s not interesting to their followers.

  1. Helpful Apps & Programs for Social Media Managers

An app I utilize all of the time is Canva. On Canva you can create flyers, logos, graphics, Instagram highlight covers and more. The app has tons of pre-made templates so all you have to do is insert your client’s information; however, I always like to customize them a little bit.

Another helpful app is Preview, which allows you to plan Instagram posts. The app shows your Instagram feed and allows you to see what your client’s feed would look like with more posts. For example; if you have three Instagram posts planned for a week, you can plan what order would look the best for their Instagram layout.

I would also highly recommend making your client a Link Tree account. With Link Tree, you can list all of your client’s links in one place- it’s almost like a virtual business card.

You can start with the basics (Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, website, YouTube), and then whenever your client has promotions for events, add those links to the Link Tree as well. Once the promotions are over, you can remove the links.

Link Tree is basically a loophole for adding multiple links to your client’s social media bios.

  1. What it’s Like Being a Social Media Manager

Being a social media manager mainly requires creativity, time management and the ability to adapt and learn. While I had a good foundation going into it, there were many things I didn’t know about marketing.

For example, my client wanted me to create newsletters for her, which I had never done before this job. But I spent a little bit of time figuring out the program, and now I can quickly create a newsletter for her every week.

This job is so new and for that reason, it can be a little nerve-racking going into it. However, there are lots of resources available online to help you learn more as you go. I would recommend joining a Facebook group where people share tips and tricks about social media management.

As long as you are creative, have a basic familiarity with technology and are willing to put in the work- you can become a social media manager too! If you have any questions, feel free to DM me on Instagram @rachael.gerron.

Hopefully, these tips helped to prepare you for this job, but if you want more of an insight into a day in the life of a social media manager, here are a few videos that I also found interesting.

Featured Image by Rachael Gerron

Share Your Thoughts

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s