How to Become a Freelance Social Media Manager

Working from anywhere in the world and living the digital nomad lifestyle is something that a lot of people are dreaming about. In this article, you’ll learn how to become a freelance social media manager to help you do just that.

Becoming a social media manager it’s an easy way to earn money while having tons of freedom. You are your own boss and you’re in charge of your own time and income.

The internet and the global pandemic have allowed businesses to start marketing themselves in entirely new ways meaning the demand for freelance social media managers has increased.

I’ve been freelancing as a social media manager for about 6 years now. In just one year I built a six-figure business when I started out as a freelancer and quit my 9-5 job.

Being a SMM is an amazing job, I can work from home and can schedule my own hours. Meaning that I get more time to spend with my family and live a flexible digital nomad lifestyle!

Starting your own social media manager business can be very lucrative if set up correctly. Let’s talk about how it works!

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What is a Social Media Manager

A social media manager is someone who manages a company’s social media accounts. They create original content for their audiences such as inspirational quotes, infographics, how-to videos, tutorials, blog posts, and Pinterest pins.

They also help develop strategies and post regular updates to engage customers on social media platforms.

Related article: The Ultimate Social Media Manager Checklist – Your Daily To-Do List

Why you Should Become a Social Media Manager

If you are interested in social media working as a social media manager can be an engaging and fun activity that lets your social side shine.

As you think about what you want to work with you might be torn. On the one hand, you like the idea of communicating in writing. You also like the idea of working with photographs, videos, and graphic design. But you also think business is interesting, in which you would work with hard facts and figures.

Social media management combines the best of all those worlds. 

The U.S. government estimates that the job category of advertising, promotions and marketing managers will grow 5-9 % annually through 2024 — faster than the average of all U.S. jobs. Social media is a segment of this, but it is likely to be on the high end, given the big decline of print media and the rapid rise in digital media.

Related: Services to Offer as a Social Media Manager

Why you Should Become a Freelance Social Media Manager

If you are an agency employee you have your commute to worry about. You have no choice over which clients you work for and you have to get every major decision about how you work approved by the board. You also make no extra money for doing extra work. If you take on a new client, that’s just more work for you with no reward.

As your own freelance social media manager, you have the ability to decide how you work, and each new client means more money for you.

If you decide to work on monthly contracts your income will be relatively stable and predictable. This makes social media management more reliable than other freelancing jobs such as copywriting or design, where you are always waiting on the next big job.

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    How To Become A Freelance Social Media Manager?

    Now you might wonder “how do I become a self-employed social media manager?”

    Learn how to become a social media manager and how to start a social media manager business

    I highly recommend you to check out my new signature course ‘The Social Media Manager Academy’ if you want to learn how to start and grow your own profitable SMM business. I have a waitlist HERE for you to be notified when the course is launched and to claim $200 off.

    Decide what social media platforms you want to use

    The next thing you have to do is decide what social media platforms you want to use. The more popular the better because there are plenty of clients out there!

    Related: How to Write a Social Media Marketing Business Plan for Your Social Media Business: A Step-by-Step Guide

    Learn everything about the platforms you decide to use

    Learn everything about the platforms you decide to use. There is plenty of digital marketing and social media courses you can buy. Should you take a course? Well, it’s really up to you. But make sure you’re doing it to expand your own knowledge and not because you’re trying to qualify yourself.

    Create a website for your business

    Create a simple website for your business and promote it on your own social channels.

    If you can’t make people interested in what you have to say online – how are you going to achieve that for your customers? If you’ve shown you can build up social media hype from nothing, you’ll look great.

    Related: How To Start A Blog: The Ultimate Blog Launch Checklist

    Finding clients

    Start by building up your profile/expertise on LinkedIn and onboard your first clients for free. Help out with running social media for your friends or families’ businesses. Volunteer for charities or start up local businesses so you can get your own campaigns in your portfolio. Make sure this is a time-limited offer so they don’t expect it to go on forever. 3-6 months would be enough time for you to start seeing some results. Once you have a good portfolio of work samples under your belt you can start applying for jobs in the field.

    Related: How to Find Clients as a Social Media Manager

    Related: 14 Client Red Flags Every Social Media Manager Should Be Aware Of

    How do I Become a Social Media Manager With no Experience?

    How to become a social media manager without a degree?

    Actually, you don’t need any experience or specific degree to become a SMM.

    As a nurse I didn’t have any experience at all within the social media world when I started out my career as a social media manager and still, I built a 6-figure business within a year.

    If you want to learn how I did this and how you can do the same I highly recommend you to join the SMM Academy!

    How do Freelance Social Media Managers Find Work?

    Now you might wonder where to find freelance social media manager jobs and how do freelance social media managers get clients?

    Simply search for freelance social media manager on one of these sites:

    1. Acadium
    2. LinkedIn
    3. Facebook
    4. Twitter
    5. Instagram
    6. Upwork
    7. Guru
    8. Hubstaff Talent
    9. Freelancer
    10. Fiverr
    11. People per Hour
    12. Cloud Peeps
    13. Authentic Jobs
    14. Simply Hired
    15. Google Jobs
    16. Working Nomads

    Apply to every job that looks interesting to you!

    Related: How to Make a Social Media Manager Portfolio: The Ultimate Guide

    Social Media Manager Services To Offer

    Here are some examples of services you can offer as a social media manager:

    1. social media strategy development

    2. social media account set-up and configuration

    3. social media content creation

    4. social media platform management (including engagement, scheduling and publishing content)

    5. social media advertising

    6. social media reporting and analytics

    7. community management

    8. influencer outreach

    9. social customer service

    10. crisis management

    Related: 13 Services to Offer as a Social Media Manager

    How Much Money Can You Make as a Freelance Social Media Manager?

    How much are social media managers paid? If you opt to go hourly, as a new social media manager salary can hover around $15-$50 per hour. For more intermediate social media marketers, they can make $50-100 per hour. And an experienced social media manager can make $120+ or much higher.

    Related: 8 Best Practices of What to Charge for Social Media Management

    What Skills Do You Need to Be a Social Media Manager?

    So what skills do you need to become a great social media manager? You don’t need any specific degree to become a SMM but it’s great if your personality type includes some of these skills:

    • Communication

    It’s important to have strong communication skills that can suit any platform, media, character count, or audience.

    • Writing

    While many skills can help get your message spread on social media, the core of communication always comes back to the written word.

    The best social media managers are great copywriters who enhance their brand’s voice on social. 

    • Creativity

    Differentiation is one of the biggest challenges for brands in the saturated social media world. As a social media manager you want to create content that’s exciting and valuable, but it takes creativity to come up with viral content and ideas that stand out

    • Efficiency & organization skills

    You can’t manage a social media strategy without managing your time wisely, making efficiency and organization two necessary social media skills.

    • Digital marketing

    Your ability to connect your social strategy to larger marketing and business goals is what will take your career to the next level. To create a social strategy with a business impact, it’s important to build an understanding of other digital marketing channels: email, events, lead generation, PR, and more. This will help you position social media within the larger context of how your brand reaches your customers, drives sales, and generates income.

    • Customer care

    Creating a customer care strategy is an important part of being a social media freelancer. Understanding customer care enables you to positively impact your community and help make an everyday interaction and turn it into an extra special moment.

    • Making connections

    One of the core purposes of social media is being inherently social. This means that establishing and building digital relationships is still a core aspect of any social media manager’s strategies.

    • Agility

    As we all know, social trends move fast and even the best-laid plans can quickly become irrelevant.

    The ability to quickly pivot and react to a new trend, opportunity, or crisis is a vital social media skill. Social strategies have to be as dynamic and flexible as the platforms they rely on.

    Is Being a Social Media Manager Hard?

     Any job in sales and marketing is high pressure. If you aren’t meeting your targets, you will get fired. And it’s not as easy to do your job reliably well as a sales or marketing person as it is for a job like admin. Even though some unexpected and challenging tasks are required, being a social media freelancer is a fun, rewarding job. You instantly see the results from hard work and it’s interesting to be part of an industry that is ever-changing.

    How to Become a Social Media Manager as a Teenager?

    As a teen, you can start as an intern managing social media accounts for start-ups who are looking for an extra hand. This can earn you a small income but the most important part of it is that you get experience and sharpen your skills.

    Your initial job is to manage social media for others and start tracking how things changed before/after you took over. In a few years, you’ll be able to make a lot more as an expert. If you do good enough work, they will recommend you to other professionals/business owners. You’ll get new clients very soon. All you have to do is start.

    Best Social Media Management Software

    I love to use Canva Pro for making social media graphics. You have access to a lot of stock photos, graphics, and fonts.

    Tailwind is in my opinion the best social media scheduler for Pinterest and Instagram.

    • Grammarly

    Grammarly is a great software for spelling and grammatical. A spelling mistake can get you into bother with your client and it may also end up being a PR failure.

    • Google Analytics

    One of the best and easiest ways to track the performance of your social campaigns is Google Analytics.

    Related: The Ultimate Social Media Manager Toolkit: 5 Tools for Managing Multiple Social Media Platforms


    I hope you found some useful information in this article on how to become a freelance social media manager. I wish you the best of luck in your career. Digital marketing is rapidly growing and desperately needs more talented people.

    Ho to be a social media manager with no experience
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