Updated: May 28
This day in age, people make things seem so easy. Especially when it comes to entrepreneurship. As an entrepreneur, in the field of social media management it’s been really fun yet interesting on a day to day basis. Over 90% of marketers use social media to attract new business, but less than 15% know how to attract business or barely even have the time to do it. Yesterday, I was prompted to write this blog post from a question I received on my Wix website. “Hi Danielle, I have a question. I want to become a social media manager and I was wondering what did I need to do to become a social media manager? Should I get a certificate?” At first I thought it was a joke, but then I put my professional mindset on and really considered reaching back out to tell the young lady an answer via email. Instead of answering via email only, I reached out to tell her that we should chat but then too I felt that this blog will help just about anyone wanting to start a business being a social media manager.
So first things first, the absolute necessity to become a social media manager is to have a passion for it. YOU MUST HAVE THE TALENT, if you don’t know how to create content you can forget it!!!! I say that with any business you’re starting off, it must be a passion and you must have some sort of expertise in it. It must be something one is passionate about and it has to be something that people need on a daily basis. If you sleep, eat, breathe, crave social media and are on it all the time and absolutely love each and everything it encompasses, then you’re in the right place. If you enjoy using social media, you can actually make money from it. Your passion and drive will fuel your business and the clientele will keep it going with their needs! Now that I got that off my mind, here’s the steps to become a social media manager. Keep in mind, these are the steps coming from me a freelancer who does this as a side hustle. Be sure to get the opinion of other social media managers as well until you are fully prepared to start your entrepreneurship.
Step 1: EDUCATION/EXPERIENCE | You will need to have your own social media accounts (and website/digital portfolio) setup – It’s literally your resume! You’d have to grow your own social media accounts to show that you have the talent other brands or businesses want. You can definitely build on this as you grow, but you’d want some sort of proof that you’re fully capable of the job you’re trying to gain or attract business for. You’d also need good organization skills and marketing skills, based on your clients’ needs you will have to juggle with multiple platforms so that’s where organization will come into play. You will need to know how to navigate each program and will need to be able to post to several different platforms without messing up your client’s work or posting for a different business on the wrong platform. It’s also important to know what SEO is and what skills you possess to get your clientele the reach they need. You will always have to do research and keep up with trends so that you don’t go into business blind. Never stop learning, always do classes or workshops – they are everywhere!
Step 2: BUSINESS PLAN | You will need to create a business plan, there’s several templates online. This is for you to outline everything you will need for your business. From the name of the business down to the finances for each and everything you will need to run your business. This plan can also include pricing for your services. Once you create this, keep it in a safe place! This is for your records and also for you to take a glance at every 6 months to a year just so that you can update or make changes to keep your business growing.
Step 3: LLC/ARTICLES OF INCORPORATION | Depending on where you reside you will want to get your business started with your state legally. You can talk to any tax professional or finance official about what’s needed in order to get legal registration for your business. Obtain your EIN as well!
Step 4: BANKING/FINANCES | Along with registering your business you need to open a business banking account. You will also need accounting software to receive payments and also take account of all of the transactions you have. This accounting software will keep everything organized for you so that during tax time you can print out profit and loss statements or anything else regarding taxes! Be sure to keep your business expenses and personal expenses separate so that it doesn’t bite you in the future! Please do your research! Also, know your worth, DO NOT CHARGE ANYTHING CHEAP!
Step 5: CONTRACTS | I can’t stress this enough. This is the core (outside of finances) that you need to cover yourself. ALWAYS have contracts in line so that you can tell your clients what you are willing to do at your set price for the duration of the contract. Always have them sign them while the 1st payment takes place. Be sure they have a copy of the contract as well. Be sure to speak with a copywriter with experience in this field so that your contracts make sense.
Step 6: TECHNOLOGY | Provided that you have everything else in order, you’d definitely need the technology to run your business. You must have the latest phones, tablets, laptops or computers, whatever suits your needs. I currently run my business with each, but while I’m on the go I use my phone and a tablet. When I’m at home I use my desktop computer or phone and tablet, the choice is ultimately yours as long as you can get the job done.
Step 7: SOFTWARE/APPS | You must also pay for software or apps in order to put together content for the social media accounts you will handle. The digression of apps/software you use is up to you! I did some research on YouTube to see what apps work for me and have a few of them that I personally use but it’s up to you and your preference on the apps to use. Along with whatever software you choose, be sure it has analytical tracking so that you know where your reach is. Numbers really help you understand where you stand when it comes to business, research research research this so that it will help your business in the long run. Challenge yourself when you start with low numbers to get higher numbers, find out ways to keep the numbers high.
Step 8: CLIENTELE/NETWORKING | So now that you have all of the financial, tax, registration information and you have your business plan, website, social media and you have contracts & technology, etc. you can now start grabbing the attention of clientele. Post to your social media about your business, you can look out for people or post to groups about your business or even attend events that have networking as a focus. Be sure to get marketing materials for yourself as well, whether it’s business cards or flyers to give out to people, but also be sure to be professional and have a nice little introduction of yourself and what you have to offer businesses when it comes to social media management.
Step 9: REACH | Always know that even though you are doing social media management for others, you have to do it for your business as well. Always post your projects and content to your page consistently. Even if it comes down to doing partnered/collaborative projects via their pages as well! SEO, hashtags and everything you use for your clients do it for yourself as well so that you have the reach you need to gain new clients. Look into Ads for yourself or even build a strategy when it comes to executing ways to gain more clients while marketing.
Step 10: GO GET IT | Start your business… That is the final step! Get out there and do the work. You’ll soon start receiving referrals, more than you’ll be able to control sometimes but hey the money is there! Once you get to that point in your business then you’ll want to hire a team of individuals who have the same drive as you! So start your business now, don’t wait!
Other than the 10 steps I provided you should follow influencers and big businesses on their social media platforms to track their trends with yours so that you keep up with things content/design wise. Once you expand and gain more followers you’ll get more engagement and aim your clients’ right into your direction for work and money! Always keep learning and researching, that is most important! I always learn something new when it comes to social media management and it always gives me the awareness of what I need to keep my business going. Learn new tools, learn to design/create your own content, learn advertising, learn SEO and always go out to networking events. You never know who you will bump into or what you’ll need to know when it comes to social media.
P.S. You don’t need certification, however if you want to attain the knowledge and get them for your traxking of success I say why not get them. No, it’s not mandatory but just get them to show off your accolades.