How to start social media management as a side hustle

How to start social media management as a side hustle

A decade ago, no one would’ve thought of the social media economy becoming a billion-dollar industry. But in recent years, we’ve seen how social media has proven to be one of the fastest-growing industries. As a result, Social Media Management has emerged as a career path that has built thousands of millionaire side hustles.

As of December 2022, 69% of the world’s population is using the internet, i.e., more than 4.9 billion people. Companies want customers; customers are online. Hence companies need to be online. But they don’t have the time or expertise to grow and manage social media.

This is where you can come to the rescue: a social media manager. But the path is overwhelming and saturated. Don’t worry, I’ll walk you through the steps to becoming a social media marketing manager. But first:

Who is a Social Media Marketing Manager?

Ugh, I almost forgot to tell you who exactly is a ‘social media marketing manager’. (Since you’re reading this blog, you already have the idea.) But I need to watch out for SEO too. Please be with me:

“A social media marketing manager is someone who manages social media for content creators and businesses. They help clients create and maintain an online presence on social media platforms. Their job ranges from content creation to everything in between.”

For example – Social media marketing managers create content to capture the attention of users. The content should increase brand visibility and encourage user engagement.

They also keep track of data and monitor the performance of marketing campaigns. This helps them make data-driven decisions to optimize SMM strategy.

I guess you’re wondering; it’s just some text, images, and ads. No! Social media management services involve many skills, and you need to learn more than one of them. I’ll show you the way:

How to Become a Freelance social media manager?

Let me put forth some good numbers for you:

The number of registered social media management businesses and freelancers is less than 100K. And the companies in need of these services are millions.

Now, before you start: Remember it all comes down to how well you do the basics. In this article, I’ll help you build the foundation; the rest of the building depends on your work.

STEP 1 – Learn Social Media Management

Learn Social Media Management

Duh! But no duh! See –

Social media management is a broad field and comprises of many skills. To get started with social media management, you first need to be aware of what you’re signing up for.

This job role requires you to have the following skills:

  • Copywriting – can’t do without it. Writing a persuasive copy that retains users’ attention is a necessity for social media management. The goal of copywriting is to compel the reader in taking action. It can be hitting the follow button, dropping a DM, or buying a product/service.
  • Proofreading and editing are also critical to ensuring the accuracy of the content. Imagine you wrote the best persuasion copy ever, but it has grammatical errors. Would that look good? Uhuh. Here’s a course for learning social media copywriting and editing: click here. You can also check out my favorite resource: Jacob McMillen Blog.
  • Content Creation. A social media marketing manager must have the ability to create attention-grabbing content. You should have a basic literacy to understand graphics, images, and posts. No need to be an expert, though. You only need to be good enough. Learn tools like Canva, and check out this course.
  • Analytics. As an SMM specialist, analyzing analytics is like oxygen to your body. You should be able to analyze and derive valuable data from multiple platforms. Interpreting all the available data helps you to make more optimized strategies for your client’s business. Get started with understanding marketing analytics by checking out this course: click here.
  • Social Media Platforms. A social media manager should be familiar with a platform’s functionality, algorithms, and trends. With the rise of AI, you should also be able to use various AI tools to fast-track brand management. Here’s a course about prompt engineering and ChatGPT for content creation. Check it out.

STEP 2 – Create a Portfolio

As a beginner, you must establish your credibility and reliability with potential clients. One of the best ways to do this is by developing a portfolio that showcases your expertise.

However, building a portfolio from scratch can be a daunting task. Especially when you haven’t worked with a real client. So, what can you do to beef up your portfolio?

One option is to include practice work that demonstrates your skills and abilities. For instance:

You can showcase a theme page that you created and grew on Instagram.

A sales copy or a landing page copy that you wrote for practice, or any other project that highlights your strengths.

Read this article to get portfolio inspiration.

STEP 3 – Set up a Website or a Landing Page.

Prospects will only approach you if they have a clear understanding of your skills. Set up a professional website or even a landing page. This will make it easier for prospects to know about your services.

But what should you have on the landing page? Remember that it’ll act like an extension of your qualifications, skills, and services. Here’s what you should include:

  1. Your offer (check the next step)
  2. A Call to Action
  3. Services and other details.
  4. Client testimonials (if any)/portfolio of work (links or screenshots)
  5. A call to action again.

Don’t worry; you don’t need to code anything. You can build websites with the help of no-code tools such as Webflow and Squarespace.

STEP 4 – Prepare a Unique Offer

To set yourself out from the crowd, create a one-of-a-kind deal. Your offer should focus on the benefits that your client will gain by working with you.

Your proposal should be result-oriented. Mention how you will provide promising results for your client if they choose to work with you.

For example:

Prepare a Unique Offer

This will benefit both you and your client by setting reasonable expectations for the transaction. Do me a favor, don’t copy the above offer. Introduce your unique element into your unique offer.

STEP 5 – Start Cold Outreach

Once you have your skills, portfolio, and website in place, start reaching out to different businesses and creators. To get your first client as a social media marketing manager, you can try different ways, such as –

  • Building or Learning in Public – As a social media management professional, you can post content on platforms like Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram about the skills you’re learning or the business you’re building. This will attract folks who share the same interests as yours, and anyone among them may be your future client.
  • Networking with your fellow managers – Start following others who are also involved in social media management. You can either mail them directly or interact with them by commenting on their posts. If you leave frequent comments on their posts, they will begin to recognize you. Make long-term connections with your fellow managers since you never know when they might refer you to a new client.
  • Cold Outreach – This is your golden ticket to getting first clients. Start approaching businesses and creators that you believe might be your potential clients. Pitch your services to them via email and personal messages. You could also tell them that you’re available in case they ever need help in the future.
  • Get Referrals – Once you have a network of managers that believe in your skills, Ask whether or not they would be willing to refer you to one of their known clients.

STEP 6 – Book a Client and Deliver Exceptional Results

The moment you book your first client, try your best to deliver quality results. Standing by your words will demonstrate your credibility to your client and delivering more than you’ve promised for always goes a long way. In fact, deliver more than you’ve promised. This will go a long way.

In this manner, your client will begin to trust you and may be willing to work with you on long-term projects. “Under promise and over deliver” is a good rule to live by while freelancing. Through this approach, your client may also refer you to their network, which will offer you more and more prospects.

Earning potential and freelancing rates

Why should you bother opting for this side hustle? The money, duh!

As a freelance social media marketing manager, your earnings are determined by a variety of parameters, such as your expertise, project duration, scope of work, client budget, and so on. You should proceed carefully and analyze all of the concerns that come to mind.

Before conveying a price to your client, you should try to figure out what they want out of this deal by interacting with them. This approach helps the client in determining whether or not you are a good fit for their needs.

But let’s have a look at how much a social media marketing manager can actually earn (just to give you some motivation).

According to Glassdoor, the average base pay for a freelance social media marketing manager in the United States is $48,439. Imagine earning the amount annually, sitting in India. Woohoo!!

Earning potential and freelancing rates

Why wait?

Starting out social media management is probably the easiest and most lucrative side-hustle business. Who doesn’t want that extra money or the option of financial independence? Exactly! This blog is tailored to help you achieve that. But you have to understand that it is just about the basics. What you make out of it depends upon your consistency and resilience.

One last piece of advice: in the times of high market saturation, remember to deliver unparalleled service, constantly learn and adapt, and be flexible.

Who knows you can start making four figures six-months down the lane. Maybe, even build a full-time business. Why wait? Stay FuelEd.

Sushrut is the key content strategist and writer for FuelEd Community. He is a content writer and content strategist with experience in domains like technology, freelancing, and side hustles.

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