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Become A Freelance Social Media Manager

How to become a social media manager freelance
This guide contains affiliate links to trusted partners!

Social Media is a vital part of every business today, and many have been using it to promote their products and services – thanks to a freelance social media manager. Businesses are recognizing the power of social media marketing, and some companies have even hired full-time employees to do this marketing.

Social Media Managers are tasked with managing the social media accounts for their business.

This blog will discuss what a social media manager does, how much they make and how to become a social media manager. 

Let’s Talk Basics – Understand What A Social Media Manager Is & What They Do 

A social media manager is a position that has been on the rise in recent years – especially with covid, it officially became a trend. While many assume it’s just creating content and scheduling it, there’s so much more about a real social media manager than just that.

Here’s what a social media manager or social media marketer does

  • Develop a content strategy
  • Integrate the marketing plan and marry it to the content
  • Design a brand that fits the company’s goals, missions, and, most importantly, message
  • Analyze competitors and their strategies
  • Optimize old and future content
  • Stay up-to-date on the latest updates on social media algorithms (hello IG, yes, I’m talking to you)
  • Analyze the pain points of the brand’s audience and find a solution to each one
  • Content creation
  • Content scheduling
  • Hashtag analysis
  • Social media engagement

While the basics of what a social media manager does include managing a company’s social media presence, developing and executing marketing campaigns, and monitoring the company’s online reputation is a big part of it.

While a social media manager often has a degree in marketing or communications, most social media managers have these self-taught skills to develop a whole marketing campaign targeting social media.

Yes, this means YOU can do this without going back to college.

You may be surprised, but you can actually learn many of the much-needed skills for free on several websites.

Read on, I’ll share them with you 😉

become a freelance social media manager

Photo: Golubovy from Getty Images Via Canva Pro

The Skills You Need As a Social Media Manager

Of course, to be successful in this field, you need to understand social media platforms and how to use them effectively. This means analyzing the company’s audience, creating content targeting pain points and solutions, scheduling social media posts, and engaging with followers on a personal level – this means you need to learn how to build a relationship with the company’s audience.

How to Develop A Social Media Strategy

The next step is to create a social media strategy once you understand how social media works (I’m talking algorithms, functions, targets). This will help you decide what kind of content to develop, when and where to publish it, how to connect with followers, and, most crucially, how to measure the success of your strategy. This will allow you to observe which articles receive the most attention and if your marketing campaigns are effective.

Integrate the marketing plan and marry it to the content

As businesses continue to integrate social media into their marketing plans, it is essential to marry the two together to create a cohesive strategy. This can be done by using a freelance social media manager, who can help strategize and plan content for various platforms and monitor and analyze data to determine which campaigns are most effective.

While the marketing strategy specifies the campaign’s or company’s short-term goals, it still has to be turned into content that influences the audience to think further. A talented and knowledgeable social media manager will be able to look at a business’s audience’s pain points and desires and envision them within the content while also presenting answers (and solutions that the company has) to the pain points.

Design a brand that fits the company’s goals, missions, and most importantly, their message

When creating content for social media, it is important to design a brand that fits the company’s goals and missions. A brand is what makes people feel and experience when they’re looking at it – it influences them indirectly as soon as they lay eyes on it.

While the brand may have a look already on the website, it will often vary to the social media accounts as the audience usually varies as well. Additionally, it is important to think about the company’s message and how it can be communicated through the content. All this is incorporated into the colors (consider color psychology), fonts, and even the types of designs one uses.

Analyze competitors and their strategies

Competitors are constantly analyzing their own and other businesses’ social media strategies to find new ways to outdo them. A company needs to have a clear message, target audience, and goals when creating social media content. Otherwise, the company’s content will likely be seen as copycatting instead of innovating.

A skilled freelance social media manager will be able to take all this information into account when creating content for their business’s social media accounts. They’ll also be able to see what other businesses are doing well and how they can improve upon it.

It’s not about copying a competitor and applying their strategies – what may work for them might not work for you. Do you know why? Because their brand is different from yours. You need a strategy and brand that aligns with your message and audience.

Does this all sound too overwhelming? Consider hiring a social media manager – I will give you 3 reasons why you should!

Optimize Old & Future Content

Once a social media manager has created content, it’s important to optimize it to see it by as many people as possible. This means using keywords and other SEO techniques to make the content more visible – yes, keywords also matter here.

It’s also important to keep the content fresh and engaging by posting new and timely information – this is especially important for Pinterest.

Going back and repurposing content is one of the main strategies to reinvent the old content and apply a fresh look to it and bring it back in front of the eyes of the audience. You may think that they will get sick of seeing it; however, the average person needs to see something 7x before they will start to really consider buying it (unless they’re impulsive).

Stay up-to-date on the latest updates on social media algorithms (Hello IG, yes, I’m talking to you)

One of the most important things that a freelance social media manager can do is stay up-to-date on the latest updates to algorithms. This means being aware of what posts are being seen by which audiences and ensuring that the content is optimized for visibility.

The best way to stay up-to-date with the latest social media algorithms is by following them on several platformsTwitter is usually one of the first to hear about it. Other ways are to follow social media gurus that work directly with the founders and 

You also need to be able to manage your own accounts and work collaboratively with other team members. To develop these skills, you should start by reading up on the different platforms and becoming familiar with their features. Then, start creating content relevant to your audience and share it on social media platforms. Finally, stay up-to-date on the latest trends so you can create engaging content that will keep your followers interested.

Photo: Atakan from Getty Images Signature Via Canva Pro

Analyze the pain points of the brand’s audience and find a solution to each one

When it comes to social media, one of the most important things that a manager can do is identify the audience’s pain points and find solutions. This means understanding what your audience is experiencing and coming up with ways to address them — the brand being the solution. 

Once you’ve identified the brand’s pain points, it’s important to create solutions that solve those problems with the brand’s message and offers. 

This could involve creating content that addresses people’s concerns, developing marketing campaigns that focus on solving people’s problems or partnering with other brands that share your audience’s interests.

By doing all of this, you’ll be able to create an effective social media strategy that will help your brand reach its goals.

Content creation As a Freelance Social Media Manager

As a social media manager, you’re also simultaneously becoming a social media content creator – two titles for one, yay! After all, content is what attracts followers and potential buyers.

Whether you’re not sure if this is for you and are considering becoming one, read why companies need social media freelancersit could just change your mind.

This part is so much more than just making pretty pictures with some inspirational quotes on them. 

When creating content for a brand, you need to think about what will engage your followers and keep them coming back. This means being creative and thinking outside of the box. Sometimes the best way to get people’s attention is by taking a different perspective on a topic or creating something not usually seen on social media.

For example, if you’re a clothing brand, you might want to share some of your customer’s favorite outfits or photos of alternative models wearing them. Or, if you’re an insurance company, you might want to post funny stories about customers who have fallen victim to scams or accidents – something relatable to people that will increase your like-know-trust factor.

By using exciting and captivating content and going off the beaten path, you’ll attract new followers and keep those interested in what you have to say.

On another note – people are often afraid to give away too much info for free online. I like to tell my clients that people can find everything literally online for free anyway; however, you want them to come to you for solutions.

If you’re giving out solutions that will solve more minor problems of theirs, what kind of problems would you solve if they pay you?

Hashtag Analysis

After creating content and before you schedule it, you want to analyze the type of hashtags you want to use. You will find various online systems for picking the right ones, some more complicated than others. Nonetheless, you want to make sure you choose one system and stick with it for a while. 

Whatever method you choose, Instagram, in particular, enjoys making the lives of social media managers extremely difficult by frequently changing its logarithm — just keep that in mind, so you won’t drive yourself crazy.

Social Media management strategy

Photo: Energyy from Getty Images Signature Via Canva Pro

Content scheduling

Once you have analyzed the hashtags you want to use and the type of content that will be relevant to your target audience, it’s time to schedule it. Instagram is an excellent platform because users can see new posts as they’re published, so you don’t have to worry about timing. However, if you’re publishing content on other platforms, it’s important to consider their posting schedules.

Once everything is scheduled, make sure to promote your content in a way that will get people talking!

There are various platforms to choose to schedule your content, my personal favorite is Planoly or OneUp.

Social Media Engagement

Once you’ve created great content and promoted it in the right way, the last thing you want to do is sleep on your laurels! You need to keep an eye on social media engagement to ensure that people are actually interacting with your posts.

This means:

– Engaging before you’re posting – IG likes organic natural use of the app, so you want to make sure to mimic it by regularly engaging before you post, so it’ll show your content to more people

– Engage after you post – Same as the reason above

– Engage randomly – Again, same reason as above

Freelance Social Media Manager

The difference between a freelance social media manager and an employee is simple — as a freelance social media manager, you can do it on your own time and usually also make more money on average than hourly. While it’s scary to pivot towards freelancing instead of the “safe” employment. However, how safe is your employment anyway? 

Here are some of the perks that I’ve been enjoying working for myself and freelance:

– Take as many breaks as you want – need to go do some laundry? Go ahead. Need to run some errands? Nobody cares. Or maybe you have a pool nearby and just want to hop in for a bit? Be my guest. 

– Freedom to travel – if you haven’t checked out my articles on How to Travel the World and Make a Bank, then do so here. Nobody cares whether you’re working on strategy, emails, or a blog at a café in Paris or in your living room. 

– You’re free to design the life you want and that works best. As a neurodivergent (severe ADHD), I often struggle (as many others) with high and low-energy days. Thanks to freelancing, I can design my days to function best throughout the week, even when I travel.

Has it piqued your interest to become a freelance social media manager? Make sure to subscribe, so you won’t miss out on any info about becoming a freelance social media manager.

This guide contains affiliate links to trusted partners!

Anna is a traveler, blogger, and entrepreneur who can’t keep herself still. She’s always on the move, whether working hard on a new passion project or exploring a new city as a part-time digital nomad. Dare to keep up? Check out The Tatted Nomad for everything digital nomad, social media marketing, mental health, and travel (and to see her latest addition, Novah, her service dog and travel companion). As a psychotherapist (to be) she also offers insights about your mental health related questions – anything you see that isn’t covered but you have questions about? Let her know!

Find me on: Web | Instagram

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