Life as a Social Media Manager is great: you get to work for yourself, you can decide where and when you work and there's never a boring day. But how can you get started? In this blog post, I'll explain the step-by-step process that I would follow if I wanted to become a Social Media Manager in 2022.
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Step #1: Learn social media marketing:
There are a lot of people in the social media industry who claim to be experts but they have no credentials whatsoever nor do they have the right experience to be managing someone else's page. In order for you to be a successful Social Media Manager, you really need to first learn how to do social media marketing.
There are plenty of ways how you can learn how to do social media marketing. There are lots of online courses around, for example, my former client Ellen's course Dishing Up Digital School. Meta itself offers a lot of certifications as well. I have recently been certified as a Community Manager directly with Meta. Check out this page for more info on that.
You can also watch YouTube videos, listen to podcasts or study what content seems to work in different industries. I studied Marketing at university and specialized in Digital Marketing but you don't necessarily have to go to university to start managing social media accounts. Don't get me wrong, a university degree is definitely helpful but it's not necessary. In fact, the most important thing is for you to understand certain concepts, how the algorithms work, what kind of content works, and then try to put that into practice as soon as possible which brings me to step #2.
Step #2: Start building your social media presence:
Get yourself an Instagram business account and start posting as soon as you can. This is going to help you with two things:
1) You're going to learn how to use the platforms
I know it doesn't seem too difficult to post on Instagram but posting as a private person versus posting as a business is something completely different. In fact, if I were to hire a Social Media Manager for my own business, I would first go to their profile. If there is already no profile, that would be the first big red flag for me. I would then have a look if they know how to use all the different features that they will then use for my business account. If I see that they have never posted a Reel, I'm not going to ask them to edit my videos for me or post my Reels because I'm not sure if they know how to do that. Try to use all the different features and showcase that you have knowledge of the platform.
2) You'll get seen by potential clients
Get yourself visible to potential clients by posting valuable content. Valuable content that is going to get you clients is not something that they can just google. I see a lot of new Social Media Managers post a lot of social media facts and tips that most business owners already know and it's actually really easy to find out for themselves. For example, "3 reasons why you should market your business on Instagram". This is not really something that they didn't already know before, right?
You want to make content that, first of all, other people are not really making because this is going to help you stand out from the crowd. And secondly, you want to make content that positions you as the expert that you are. Content that helps you do that is:
Talking about controversial topics
Forecasting what is likely to happen in your niche
Pointing out mistakes that potential clients are making
Step #3: What are you going to offer?
Now you need to figure out what your services are going to be. I would recommend starting out with one main service - in this case, Social Media Management - and getting really good at that. Then, start to spin off new services like coaching or launch packages but first get really, really good at that main one.
What you want to do as well is think of some packages already. You can find lots of packages on SMM FB groups or Google as a reference. That being said, what you can charge for your Social Media Management services highly depends on your skills, your experience, your location, and how good you are at selling yourself.
Step #4: Get your first client:
I don't want this to sound harsh but as long as you haven't made a single dollar in your business, it's not a business, it's a hobby. The most important thing for your business and also for your confidence is to get yourself clients so that you can put what you have learned into practice and get your first results which will then get you testimonials and hopefully referrals.
How can you get yourself a first client?
There are a lot of different ways out there on how you could approach this but probably the most common ways are to either apply to job opportunities in business owner Facebook groups or platforms like HireHer here in New Zealand and Australia. A second option would be to approach businesses yourself that you think would make a good client, that you would enjoy making content for, and that you think can afford a Social Media Manager.
Don't get discouraged if your first 10 applications for a position don't get accepted or if you don't get a reply from a business. Keep going until you have your first client!
If you really want to first get testimonials or a portfolio built up, you can offer your services at a discounted rate or even for free. You could offer a $500 package at a discounted rate of $300 for the first three months and then review the package after you have produced the first results for them.
Ideally, you then start working with a client and you can ask them for a testimonial. You can start posting on your social media about this client and showcase what you're doing with them. I'm sure that from there things will start to take off!
I hope this blog post serves you as a starting point on your journey to becoming a Social Media Manager yourself! If you still have questions and want to work with someone who has gone through that whole journey herself already, book yourself a Zoom session in my calendar! We can work on a personalised plan for you, you can ask me all of your questions and I will give you my best tips and tricks!