How To Become A Freelance Social Media Manager

How to become a freelance social media marketing manager

Are you looking for guidance on how to become a freelance social media manager? I have been freelancing for over a year now and one of the foundations of my freelance journey was working as a digital marketing assistant for an agency.

This role involved carrying out the role of a social media manager. From this experience, I was able to start marketing this service to offer to other clients.

Here are some tips I have learnt along the way of how to become a freelance social media manager.

1. Identify Brands You’d Like To Work With

How to become a freelance social media: identify brands

There are two approaches you can take when starting out as a freelance social media manager. The first being to choose to broaden your options and try working with businesses in different fields. Or the latter being to focus on a specific type of business you’d like to focus on, in other words, finding your niche. Both have their benefits.

I started out with a broader mindset as I worked with an agency, but as time went on I began focusing more on clients in the black hair industry as that is a passion of mine.

But my experience working for an agency first, allowed me to gain the experience I needed so when it came to me offering services in black hair, I was able to offer both passion and experience.

So, it depends on your situation. If you already have some experience behind you, you could start focusing on your niche straight away. But if you need more experience, then perhaps opening your options to include other business types can be a good start.

2. Reach Out To Prospects

Social media manager outreach

Make sure you are marketing your services by reaching out to prospects via emailing and social media. You have to be consistent in sharing your services so that people know what you do.

Approaching via email is the ideal route as you can go into more detail about your proposal and maintain a professional manner throughout, which can lead you to land a client.

If you do reach out via social media, it should be a fairly brief enquiry. If there’s more you’d like to say, encourage the conversation to continue via email or phone call.

3. Build an Audience On Your Social Media Account

Social media manager following

You can use your social media account to be part of your portfolio as a social media manager.

This is a great way to start especially if you don’t have much experience behind you.

If you can show clients that you understand what branding is through your social media profile and you can build an engaged audience, this makes you stand out.

4. Follow Fellow Social Media Marketers

Social media manager connect

There are several accounts sharing tips on social media marketing. Following hashtags is a great way to discover these accounts. It will help you pick up tips and tricks in digital marketing, even whilst casually scrolling on social media.

Also connecting with other social media marketers is generally helpful, especially as a freelancer. We tend to do a lot of work alone, so having others in the same field can help build a sense of community.

5. Get Familiar With Social Media Platforms

Social media text

Learning how to navigate a wide range of social media platforms means you can offer more to your clients and identify which network would work best to reach their audience and market their business.

Facebook, Instagram and Twitter are the big 3, but there are also other networks. Snapchat and Pinterest being two others, for example.

Now, you don’t have to build a following on all of these accounts. However, creating a tester account for each of them, so you can at least get familiar with them may be a good shout.

This is especially true if you are starting out without a niche. You’ll have an array of options to choose for your clients.

Technology is rapidly evolving and being a social media manager means keeping up to date with the latest social media trends and best networks to use.

Some social networks work better for certain audiences and by being on these platforms, you can better decipher which works best for your clients.

6. Content Management Systems (CMS)

Social media manager schedule

Using CMS makes posting content much easier and organised!

No need to manually post. Instead, you can schedule through a third-party scheduler.

Hootsuite and Buffer, are amongst some that allow you to post for Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

7. Document Your Growth

Social media manager growth

Take note of the growth you have made on the social media accounts you manage. Most big social media platforms offer analytics features. Making use of them will help you observe the engagement on your accounts and understand where improvement can be made.

Keep note of these statistics so that when you approach clients, you can reference them, where necessary.

8. Plan Content Strategy

Social media marketing strategy

Planning is essential to keep things in order. It also helps free up more of your time.

Keeping a weekly or monthly content calendar takes the pressure off of you rushing to plan and post content.

A content calendar guides you in the process and you can use free resources like Google Spreadsheet to help you with this.

9. Graphic Skills

Social media manager graphic skills

You don’t need to be a professional graphic designer to be a freelance social media manager, but knowing basic graphic skills really helps as you’ll likely be creating posts that require this, particularly if using Instagram.

Canva is a great free graphic editing resource offering various dynamic templates to aid you in creating content for social media. It’s simple to use and download both on your phone and computer.

10. Video Editing

Video editing screen

Did you know that 81% of businesses use video marketing as a tool? Also, 6 out of 10 people would rather watch online videos than television.

These statistics show that video is increasingly becoming one of the most consumed online content. YouTube is also the second-largest search engine in the world, following Google.

So, with this being said, it’s definitely worth looking into developing some video editing skills. I use Adobe Premiere Pro for this. Again, you certainly don’t have to be a professional. But getting a basic level can really help you stand out as a social media manager and can also broaden your service to offer video editing services to YouTubers, for example.

11. Photography Skills

Man catching camera

As humans, we are naturally visual creatures, so it’s no surprise that photography is also a way to draw in your audience online.

There are several smartphones nowadays that have great camera quality for photos to be posted on social media.

However, if you would like to stand out more from the rest of your social media manager competitors, you could invest in a professional camera.

Developing photography skills means that your client may not always have to outsource a photographer as you have the resources to offer this service too.

Practice as much as you can with your own account to showcase examples to your prospects.

12. Learn About Sales Tools

Sales tools

Social media is a creative way to market but when you are working on a client’s brand, remember that the end goal is to gain sales.

So, take the time to familiarise yourself with sales terms such as CTA (call to action) and different avenues to market online, such as social media ads.

13. Subscribe To Digital Marketing Newsletters

How to become a freelance social media manager: digital marketing

Getting content delivered straight to your inbox can save you time from manually searching for information.

The Drum Magazine has a host of articles on the latest news in the digital marketing world. You can opt-in to receive a digest of articles they post on their site that go into more detail about digital marketing, than social media posts alone.

14. Share Testimonials

How to become a freelance social media manager: handshake

For every client you work with for social media managing, ask them for feedback and a quote of what their experience was like working with you.

This is particularly useful in the early stages of building your freelance brand, as it can add credibility and shows that you are actively working with people.

15. Home Office

Remi Reports home office

Being a freelance social media manager often means you work remotely. In the case where you do work at home, home office essentials are key.

My ergonomic chair has been a game-changer in the way I work, as my muscles are more at ease and I’m not lying down in bed, which can be tempting when working from home.

I hope these tips on how to become a freelance social media manager help you in your pursuit on this journey. If so we’d be endlessly grateful if you’d share them with those you know who would also be interested. Have a great day!

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