How to get started as a freelance social media manager

How do you become a freelance social media manager? This handy guide lets you know everything needed to get yourself started in this career.

How to get started as a freelance social media manager

There are more than 60 million business pages on Facebook. Add to that all of the business accounts across Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, and more—and there are probably hundreds of millions of social media accounts belonging to businesses and brands. 

Guess what? All of these need to be managed. If you want to become a freelance social media manager, there is a sea of potential clients out there. 

However, getting started can be tough. Until you have built up a name for yourself, you may find that gaining new clients doesn't come easy. 

Fortunately, there are ways to fast track your journey to becoming a freelance social media manager. Get smart to steps involved and keep reading to find out how to become a freelancer in social media management. 

Get certified

The first thing you will need to think about when breaking into social media management and learning how to start freelancing is what you can show potential clients. 

How can you prove to them that you will steadily grow their presence and brand on social?

One way to gain trust from potential clients is to get certified or take a social media management course. Not only will this show that you have a thorough and professional understanding of social media management, but it'll also broaden your knowledge base. 

Build a portfolio

If you want to become a freelance social media manager, it's essential that you can show clients a portfolio of work. 

Unlike with a job interview, clients aren't interested in where you worked previously or where you went to college. They want to see tangible examples of the type of work you do and the results you can get. 

If you are just starting out, it can be hard to put together a portfolio from scratch. Pull from past experiences managing brand's accounts, even if it wasn't work that you were paid for or performed as a freelance social media manager.

One way to fill out your portfolio is by volunteering to manage a local fundraiser or charity's social channels. Not only will you be doing a good deed, but if you put time and effort in, you might grow their engagement and following substantially and net yourself a prize portfolio piece. 

You can also offer your friends and family complimentary social media services if they are trying to grow a presence. 

Create a website and social channels

Along with building a portfolio, you should also look at creating a website for your services. And not to get meta about it, but what freelance social media manager doesn't have any social accounts?

Take the time to set up branded accounts for your freelancing business and create a marketing plan for them from the get-go. These accounts and their numbers will essentially become a live portfolio piece, so the quicker you can grow them, the better. 

Define what sets you apart as a social media manager

Although there's a demand for social media managers—competition can be tough. Before you've built up a name, you might find yourself bidding on job after job without seeing results. 

One of the ways you can change this is by zeroing in on what sets you apart. What is unique about what you bring to the table?

For example, let's say you live in New York City. You are trying to start a career as a freelance social media manager, but you just don't land the jobs. One of the reasons for this might be that you're competing against freelancers in other countries that do similar work for a fraction of the cost.

However, just by living in NYC, you already have something that sets you apart. You have a unique insight into the lives and minds of New Yorkers. Because of this, you'd probably be more successful at running social channels for a New York-focussed business than someone far away. 

Setting your rates 

Another thing to consider in becoming a freelance social media manager is what you will charge. In the beginning, it's not a bad idea to do a little pro bono work to build your portfolio as mentioned but the key to freelancing is never work for free, so you'll want to establish your rates and start charging right away.

According to research, freelancers earn more than average workers in most countries. One reason for this is that freelancers have to cover things employees don't, such as sick days, vacation time, medical, etc. Keep this in mind when you set your rates. 

Also, remember to create your rates in accordance with what sets you apart. If you have a skill or attribute that few others have, charge for it. 

Think about specializing

Speaking of special skills and attributes, do you have one area that you excel in? Maybe a platform that you are an absolute maestro of? If so, you could think about specializing. 

Specializing can net you better rates and build your brand. However, don't specialize just for the sake of it and turn clients away. Only specialize if it makes sense for you. 

Be diligent about finding work

In the beginning, it will take more effort to land clients. To beat the odds and get the ball rolling, block out time every week (or day) for applying to freelance social media manager freelance gigs. 

Check online job boards, google terms like "freelance social media manager needed," and join Facebook groups and online freelance communities. Often, freelancers will pass along jobs or recommend each other, so don't ignore this tip. 

Besides networking and job board lurking, market yourself by creating content on your blog, as well as social media pages. You can also leverage paid ads across search engines and social networks.

Lastly, once you have a little experience, you can reach out to brands and businesses directly and pitch your services to them. 

Build your freelance social media manager business with the help of Hectic

Now you know how to freelance in the world of social media management. 

If you want to become a freelance social media manager, another thing you'll need to do is find a platform for managing your clients and projects. 

Running multiple social media campaigns can get complicated fast, which is why you need a way to manage this all from one place as well as track, bill, and professionally communicate with your clients. 

Hectic offers freelancers a one-stop dashboard for managing every aspect of their freelance business. From drag and drop proposal building to client discovery and more, Hectic has everything freelancers need to start or grow their freelance business all in one convenient spot. 

Sign up today and see for yourself how Hectic can take your freelance business to the next level.