How to Become a Freelance Social Media Manager

How to Become a Freelance Social Media Manager

Are you looking for ways to work from home and make your own hours? Do you have a passion for social media? If you answered yes to both of those questions, freelance social media management might be the perfect career for you!

The demand for high quality content that has the ability to captivate customers is at an all time high and social media management is a quickly growing field.  Being a social media manager is not always as glamorous as it seems but can be a very flexible and rewarding career!  It requires both creative and data-driven skills, serious time management, an ability to be highly adaptable and quick problem solving skills!

A Day in The Life of A Social Media Manager

Have you ever wondered what the day in the life of a social media manager looks like?

Although everyday will look a little different, building a flexible schedule will help you be successful in your career!

  • But first, coffee. Start your morning off strong!  Whether it's meditation, a morning walk, sitting with your coffee or reading the news- you want to feel fully awake before you start tackling work!  Right off the bat you will be communicating with clients so you always want to give yourself the tools you need to be successful, starting with a positive and productive morning.

  • Make a list for the day.  Make yourself a list of content you need to review, clients you need to reach out to and content you need to create that day!  This list will vary day to day and week to week and it’s important to stay on top of your deadlines and not to fall behind on your content.

  • Connect with your clients. Be it emails, meetings or another form of communication make sure to check in with your clients in the morning to leave ample time to address any issues they may have during the day!

  • Take a break.  Schedule yourself a midday break to stretch, refuel and reset for the afternoon.

  • Create, create, create!   Create your content for the day!  Make sure to always give yourself time to proofread content and make alterations before it needs to be posted!

  • Schedule posts.  Once you are done creating content, schedule all your finished posts and send them out for approval ASAP.

  • Review and wrap up.  Check in with your morning list at the end of the day- note whether or not you have finished all your tasks for the day and make sure to prioritize anything you were not able to finish the next day.

  • Commit to signing off at an appropriate time.  As a social media manager, we tend to be passionate about our work and our clients- especially considering we have a direct relationship with them.  Make sure you set yourself work hours and stick to them as much as possible!  Create an evening routine to help you switch out of work mode and into personal mode once your work day is done.

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Working as a freelance social media manager can be a great way to make money and work from home. Follow these steps to get started!

Step 1: Research the field and understand the demands of the job!  

If you are looking to become a social media manager there are a few key skills you will need to have: 

  • A thorough understanding of key social media platforms.  Understanding the characteristics, demographics and how to create content for different platforms is imperative to being a successful account manager.  Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn and TikTok are the most popular platforms and you will need to be able to create platform specific content for each.

  • Writing.  From writing catchy tweets to long form educational posts and blog posts, as a social media manager you will be copywriting everyday!  Being able to write for social media is more than just great grammar and spelling- you will need to be able to capture the essence of a brand and relay their key messaging to an audience with every post you create.

  • Time management.  Working as a social media manager requires a high level of discipline and time management.  Being able to meet deadlines will make or break your career!  You will need to make and stick to a content schedule in order to provide your clients with timely, high quality content for their accounts!  A certain amount of flexibility is necessary in your schedule to make sure you have time to communicate with your clients and make adjustments to their content as needed.

  • Graphic Design.  From picking the perfect color scheme to finding a great stock photo and creating eye catching infographics- great visuals will capture the attention of your clients!  Regardless of how good your copywriting skills are, without great visuals to pull people’s attention while scrolling your posts will not be effective!

  • Understanding and monitoring analytics:  Social media analytics go beyond counting likes, posts and comments.  As a social media manager, being able to track and examine post data and use it to create future content will determine the success of the accounts and campaigns you work on.

If you are just getting started as a social media manager consider taking an online course to build your skillset and a portfolio you can use to apply for jobs! 

While there are degree options available (Digital Marketing, Creative Marketing, Communications and Social Media) there are also a number of great online courses you can invest in to refine your skills.  We suggest checking out SkillShare, HubSpot, LinkedIn Learning, Google Analytics courses and Social Ads 101.

Step 2: Build a portfolio!

Whether you are reaching out to clients or agencies for freelance work, you will need to have a strong portfolio!  Your portfolio should be diverse and include examples of content you have created for a variety of accounts and platforms.

Writing great copy is an important part of your portfolio.  Your writing should be platform specific and should be able to capture the essence of a brand- sometimes in very few characters. The ability to write engaging, authentic copy that will not only reach potential customers but help them connect with the brands you are writing for can be a difficult skill to learn.  

When you are writing for social media, here are a few points to keep in mind: 

  • Break up long captions.  Most people skim through social media and want to easily find the information they are looking for.  Use headings, subheadings and short paragraphs to keep people interested and engaged.

  • Research, research, research!  Writing good quality, informative copy is the best way to keep your audience engaged in your accounts.  You want to aim to help people solve problems they may have and answer questions they may be asking.  One of the most important skills great copywriters have is the ability to effectively research different topics and create educational content regardless of the account they are working on.

  • Include a Call to Action (CTA). Whether you’re advertising a service or a product- the goal of any social media content is to encourage customers to invest in your brand.  While not every post needs to include outright advertising such as “buy now” or “sign up here” your posts should always work to bridge the gap between what your customers need and what your brand provides.

  • Encourage your audience to join a conversation.  Opening a two-way conversation with your audience will allow them to share their experiences, ideas, wants and needs with a brand!  Include your customers in the process of building and improving a brand and use your content to build trust and communicate with your customers.

  • Lean into emotional content. People want to connect with content on a personal level.  When you are writing copy, lean into what makes a brand special and personable!  Use your voice and personality to spice up your copy.  Regardless of the type of post you are creating, you should always be leaning into what makes a brand unique and why customers should trust and invest in this brand.  Get to know your clients and use their personal values and story to connect with their audience and build trust.

A great way to build a portfolio is to reach out to friends and family that have their own business or side hustle and offer to make them some content!  Like anything else, learning to create great social media content takes lots of practice.  Be open to constructive criticism and always approach content with a mindset of growth and learning.  There is no such thing as perfect content, don’t forget your goal as a social media manager is to create content that your clients love and sometimes that means your personal opinions need to take a backseat! 

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Step 3: Establish Rates.

When you are starting out it can be difficult to establish appropriate rates, your rates should directly correlate to your experience in the industry.  

If you are struggling to establish rates for yourself, here are some key questions to look into:

  • Am I charging per post or per hour?

  • How much responsibility do I have for this account?

  • What is my experience level?

  • How much time am I allocating to each account?

  • What size business is my ideal client?

  • How do my rates compare to my competitors?

Take the time to create pricing packages you can easily send your clients.  These should include base pricing for a certain amount of posts and hours of account management.  It is always helpful to pre-price certain add-ons such as extra hours, stories, carousel posts, message responses, gifs and video content!

Know your worth and set your boundaries before you decide to take on clients, always make sure to have all agreed upon prices and a payment deadline in writing before you start working on an account!

Step 4: Market Yourself

Once you have done all the research, created a portfolio and set pricing you are ready to start taking on clients!  There are many ways to market yourself, it is up to you to decide which ones work best for your business.

Spend time creating a strong social media presence for your business.  Use all of the available platforms to market yourself.  Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and TikTok each provide a unique opportunity to network and market your business.  

Creating a great website and a blog are also great ways to build interest in your brand!  Your website should have eye-catching graphics, be easy to navigate and very clearly outline what you offer and at what price.  Make sure to link all of your socials to your website along with your contact information.  These should all be easy to find and access from the moment a prospective customer visits your website!

Make sure to be constantly following relevant accounts on social media, regularly share content and interact with other accounts!  Engage in discussions, leave comments, like posts and send messages to accounts you would like to work with or learn from! 

It can be intimidating at first, but remember, the worst you can hear is no!  When you work freelance, there may be a lot of no’s before you get a yes.  It’s all part of the gig. Keep focusing on continuing to create high quality, stand-out content that will wow your clients!

Working with MixBloom!

Working with MixBloom provides a unique opportunity to grow and learn quickly as a social media manager!  When you work with MixBloom you have the freedom to work from anywhere in the world and to control your client list.  We work with a wide variety of clients in industries from tech and finance to health and wellness to veterinary clinics and animal rescues!  

The structure of MixBloom is designed to help our writers succeed and grow at their own pace.  Our customer success manager and lead content strategist are always there to help our writers communicate with their clients and create great content!

As a writer on our team you have access to all of our tools to help you create, schedule and post content and communicate with your clients.

We provide everything you need to be successful as a social media manager!  This includes the platform you use to create content, a breakdown of how many posts each client will need per month, when to invoice, how much you are paid per account and when you will get paid!  This creates an atmosphere that balances professional freedom with the security of knowing where your next paycheck is coming from.

We value work-life balance, high quality content, love for our industry and flexibility and always aim to stay true to our core company beliefs as we continue to expand our team!

Working as a social media manager is an ever-evolving, fast paced job.  If you love to be creative, working with people and are looking for flexibility in your career, you can apply to join our team here! https://jobs.mixbloom.com/

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