How does one become a successful freelance social media manager? Is it something that requires a degree? Or years of social media background which has culminated in an expert knowledge of social media, its various platforms and what each social media platform’s audience requires?
If you truly believe all of that, then you are crudely mistaken. Becoming a successful freelance social media manager only requires two things: patience (vitally important) and a keen understanding of these various aspects of becoming a successful freelance social media manager.
Development of Skills Relevant to the Role
Like any job, you must become a student of the craft to truly comprehend what it takes to become a master of the craft. The role of a social media manager is no different; you just need to understand what it takes to succeed. You will need to gain a comprehensive understanding of social media so that you become an expert and, long term, better than potential competitors. Achieving this is simple, you just need to continuously keep up to date on the latest trends and features on some of the bigger social media platforms (the smaller ones will copy these, so understanding the bigger means you understand the smaller), such as Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, X and so forth.
Develop an understanding of how to make engaging, evergreen content that doesn’t just get “likes” but comments, too. Engagement is crucial but also difficult, so if you master this, you are ahead of the game.
Lastly, learn how to read analytics and the trends of them. Learn how to reverse negative correlations and best connect with an audience that engages with your content and, in-turn, ensures your success.
Craft a Strong Portfolio to Become a Freelance Social Media Manager
Social media is now decades old. What does this mean? Well, it means that there are already thousands (if not hundreds of thousands) of freelance social media managers out there. Don’t panic, though, as social media is evolving and what worked ten years ago might not work now. Understanding the present trends of social media is far more beneficial than having years of social media management experience without keeping up to date with present trends within the realm of social media. Learn how to create and promote examples of your work in the form of an eye-catching portfolio (LinkedIn is perhaps best for this) that tells any employer that you have a sound knowledge of present-day social media and what it takes to succeed in this domain.
You might even make use of some of the analytical data – taking screenshots of data that showcases your social media manager talent in a positive light will only endear you further to social media employers looking for a freelance social media manager. Show off those positive trends; make use of that increased follower count and demonstrate to employers why you are successful and what they would be gaining by employing you to manage their social media.
Find a Niche
It is one of the oldest sayings in business: “Find a niche”. If you are tired of this expression then, unfortunately for you, you are about to hear it again. Finding your niche is essential; as a freelance social media manager, you want to showcase your talents to employers by demonstrating which aspects of social media management you truly specialise in. For example, do you work best with food posts? Are you a meme expert? Do you make engaging, professional video content that social media bosses can only dream of? Additionally, are you a Facebook expert? Are you a King/Queen of Instagram? Or are you someone who has mastered the art of X, formerly known as Twitter?
Finding a niche for yourself and then occupying this space will only benefit you and prove to potential employers that you are one of the best, if not the best, within this niche of social media.
Choose Your Services and Pricing to Become a Social Media Manager
Let’s be straightforward: you need to set clear services and pricing if you want to have any hope of becoming a freelance social media manager. You must be able to demonstrate to employers the services you provide and the prices of said services and stand firm in this area. You can’t afford to regularly change prices (whether higher or lower) or offer one price to one employer and a different price to another. This will only be of great detriment to yourself and your business. Additionally, decide on how you will define yourself: are you a content creator? A social media strategist, a community manager, or a combination of all? Think of an effective description of the services you provide.
Furthermore, you must decide on an hourly rate (or a per post price, if possible) and stick with it until you have the resume to back up a higher price.
Excellent Customer Service
To conclude, our shortest step is providing excellent customer service. Not only to the audience who interacts with your social media posts but to the businesses who have given you the opportunity to be a freelance social media manager with their business. Treat them with respect and courtesy and they will be the ones to speak up for you when you apply for other freelance work in the niche community you have carved for yourself.
It is of paramount importance to remember that success in freelancing is crafted by the dedication and persistence of a committed, continuously improving freelancer who knows their worth and, perhaps more importantly, their niche. Over time, you will build upon your reputation (and your client base) and will be sure to find further opportunities in the social media management business you have chosen to conquer.
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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Ques. What is social media management?
Ans. Social media management is the creation and optimization of the planning of content across various social media platforms (or potentially one) to craft and sustain an online presence.
Ques. What is freelance work?
Ans. A freelance worker is self-employed and provides their skills, business etc, to potential clients wishing to make use of these skills. Examples might be a substitute teacher, a freelance journalist, or, traditionally, a mercenary.
Ques. What qualifications do I need to become a social media manager?
Ans. None! An astute knowledge of social media trends is typically preferred to any professional qualification. Though a combination is beneficial.