If you are an avid internet user with essential knowledge of social media platforms, offering your skills to businesses to help run their social media accounts can be a great way to earn an income.
As more and more brands continue to rely on social media platforms to help grow their business, there is a growing demand for the presence of a social media manager.
Companies are on the search for professionals that can help increase their online presence, improve customer services, increase sales, perfect their branding and much more.
In this article, you will learn how to become a social media manager with no experience, the skills required, where to source for jobs and how you can position yourself to build a brand that attracts high paying clients.
What does a social media manager do?
A social media manager is key to helping a business establish its online presence across social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn.
To do that, they often have to wear many hats and offer different responsibilities.
Creating social media strategy
As a social media manager, you’re required to create a social media strategy across different channels targeted at establishing a strong media presence for your client.
To do this, you first have to consider the brand’s goals, budgets and how you can collaborate with other members of your team.
Content Creation for Social media
With a strategy in place, creating content becomes easier as you already understand what it is you are aiming for.
As a social media manager, you have to create content such as images and videos and post across all social media channels.
You are also required to come up with a robust social media editorial calendar and a posting schedule.
Social selling requires you to convert leads from your content into paying customers for the brand. As a social media manager, you are required to nurture the steady flow of leads to sell the products and services offered by the brand you work for.
Social Media results monitoring
A social media manager is also required to monitor and measure results from any social media strategy. This is where you measure KPIs that contribute to increased awareness, sales and leads.
You have to analyze and evaluate social media campaigns and provide detailed reports on the effectiveness of these campaigns.
Also, you are required to monitor trends in social media to help in developing relevant content and campaigns.
Other potential responsibilities include:
- Running company social media advertising campaigns
- Building brand awareness by engaging relevant influencers
- Responding to comments, messages and building relationship with the brand’s online communities
How to become a social media manager with no experience (8 tips)
#1 Learn Social Media Marketing
Although social media management doesn’t necessarily require having a formal degree, you still need to be trained in the field.
Because there is more that goes into social media management than just creating captions and putting up posts, you will need to take online social media marketing courses to become a qualified manager.
These are courses that help you in understanding the ins and outs of the different social media platforms, how to perform keyword research and how you can create relevant content for a specific target audience. You also need to learn how to run paid promotions across different channels.
For example, for Facebook, it is important that you learn how to create business pages and run paid and profitable advertisements using the business manager.
A social media platform like LinkedIn requires you to have knowledge of networking, collaboration and how you can post authoritative and high-value long-form posts.
Hubspot is a great platform for building up on your social media management knowledge. They offer a wide range of certified courses for free ranging from social media marketing courses to digital marketing courses.
Also, platforms such as Skillshare, Coursera and Udemy offer both free and paid courses that you can learn to build up your skills.
For example, Coursera offers a free complete social media management course that teaches everything from content creation and management skills to data insights and analytics.
#2 Build a strong social media presence
Even with little to no experience, the best way to attract new clients and establish your career as a social media manager is by building your own social media presence.
By establishing a strong media presence, you can use your social media accounts to build your skills and show clients what you can do.
To start, you want to open accounts across all social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, Pinterest, etc. You can then begin to post valuable content that attracts potential clients.
This will allow you to build upon skills such as blogging, search optimization, graphics design and email marketing.
A thriving social media presence is your best way to market yourself and your skills even if you have never worked with a client before.
Also, your own accounts are a great way to first test out new strategies and measure how they work.
The more you post relevant and high-quality content, the more awareness you create for your brand and the more potential clients can see you as an expert in your niche.
#3 Build your manager skills
As a social media manager, you might be required to fill in many roles ranging from copywriting, marketing, strategist, to customer service.
Managing all of these roles requires having both soft skills and hard skills. While hard skills such as copywriting and graphic design can be easily studied, it’s just as important to build up soft skills such as communications, time management, etc.
Here are some of the most important ones:
Social media is a communication platform and as a social media manager, you will be required to communicate on different platforms and change your tone to fit each audience.
As the voice of your brand for customers, you have to be able to fully represent your brand and speak in the brand’s tone and voice irrespective of the platform you are communicating on.
To learn communication skills, resources such as ted talks on communications can help in improving your conversations, digital communications and storytelling abilities.
A social media manager must be able to create content that is attention-grabbing, valuable and exciting and this requires getting your creative juices to work.
You must also be able to integrate humour and flow with the trends to allow you to develop innovative and risk-taking social media campaigns.
To help build your creative skills, you can take online courses on sites such as Skillshare or LinkedIn learning. These platforms offer courses on subjects such as writing, graphics design and mobile photography.
Time management and organization
As one who will be running the helm of many ships, you want to be able to manage your time effectively while staying organized. Using a social media calendar is one of the best ways to manage different projects at once.
With a calendar, you can plan your content and avoid being pressured to release content on the go.
Here is an example from Hootsuite. They also offer free templates and guides that you can easily use.
You can also use time management tools such as Calendar, Harvest, Top tracker etc to manage your time effectively between different projects.
Customer care is one of the key skills that a social media manager needs. You have to respond to different queries, handle complaints, listen to and understand the concerns of many customers.
Understanding customer care enables you to create a positive experience in the minds of customers. To help build your skills, you can read blogs on customer service, relationship and leadership. You can also take up free online courses to help build your skills.
Here are some free customer service courses from Alison.
The social media world is constantly changing and coming up with new trends. A great social media manager must be flexible enough to move with and adapt to the ever-changing trends.
You should be able to experiment with different strategies, be willing to change your strategies and adapt to new business trends and changes.
By learning from data, listening to feedback from customers and paying attention to trends, you stay in the loop and are well informed on required changes.
Pay attention to Twitter trends to help stay informed on emerging trends and topics. You can also use Google alerts to keep up with industry news and company mentions online.
#4 Learn how to use social media marketing tools
Your ability to thrive as a social media manager boils down to effective management of all the clients’ accounts you manage.
To help do that, you need to leverage social media management tools that allow you to perform duties such as bulk scheduling posts, management of different accounts in one platform, graphics design, planning and management of content and tracking of campaign performance.
Here are some of the most common tools:
Buffer: Buffer is a social media tool that allows you to bulk schedule and manage all your posts for all social media platforms.
You can easily measure and report on the performance of your content. It also allows you to respond to your audience comments and monitor post reactions all from a single dashboard.
Hootsuite: If you need a social media tool that helps in managing multiple campaigns, then HootSuite is a great choice.
With this tool, you can plan and schedule posts, collaborate with other team members and track post comments and reactions.
Canva: As a social media manager, you will be required to create simple graphics for your clients. You don’t have to be a professional graphics designer to get this done.
With a great tool such as Canva, you can create all kinds of designs using any of their ready-made templates.
Canva is free to use and allows you to easily edit and customize a template to fit any brand.
#5 Build your online portfolio
A portfolio is a collection of work samples that you can show to a potential client or post online. They provide evidence of the work you have done and are important in highlighting your skills and abilities.
Clients will be more willing to hire you if they can see a track record of projects you have successfully managed.
Your portfolio should include the services you offer, your skills, images of pages you have handled, analytics reports, etc.
As one with no experience, you can start building your portfolio by offering your skills for free to friends, families and non-profit organizations. Volunteering allows you to gather analytics and data that you can add to your portfolio.
Here are some templates from Flipsnack that you could easily customise when building your portfolio.
#6 Apply for social media jobs
Getting clients as a social media manager with no experience can be really difficult but not impossible.
As one just starting, you can build your resume by offering your service for free to non-profit organizations, etc.
You could also offer your services for free to family or friends so you can gather testimonials and build your resume.
The first step to getting clients to become interested in what you have to offer is by offering them value. You can do this by creating content that they will find valuable and distributing them using your blog and social media channels. What this does is that it positions you as an expert in your field.
Another way to get clients is by attending networking meetings on sites like meetup, conferences, job boards, social media groups, etc. This way, you can connect with business owners who are looking for social media help.
Also, you can get quality clients by using lead generation techniques. How does this work? You want to create a valuable piece of content like an ebook, webinar or how-guides in the form of videos, blog posts and downloads. You can then offer it for free to business owners and pitch your services at the end.
You could also use social media platforms such as Facebook, LinkedIn to connect with business owners and pitch your services to them by sending a cold email. Check out this guide on how you can cold email clients and get a response.
#7 Offer your services as a freelancer
Freelancing is a great way to start a career as a social media manager. It offers many advantages such as flexibility and being able to work anywhere at any time. As a freelancer, you can find clients and offer services that best represent your interests.
Finding a steady flow of clients as a freelancer requires a lot of proactiveness. You need to be able to reach and pitch to clients right where they are.
You can start by sending proposals and bidding for jobs on freelance sites such as Upwork, Fiverr, Flex jobs, etc.
On these freelance marketplaces, you can find jobs that you can apply for. Word of mouth recommendation is also a great way to find clients.
You want to make sure people around you know the services you are offering so they can recommend you to others.
#8 Establish your own social media agency
Having your own social media agency is a great way to establish your brand and build credibility. Even if you have no experience, you can hire a team of experienced social media managers and other relevant roles to handle clients for your agency. This will allow you to serve and handle more clients at a time.
When starting your own social media agency, you want to start by focusing on a niche. Your niche will be focused on platforms that you are comfortable working on.
For example, you could focus on Instagram marketing instead of Facebook and Snapchat. By focusing on just one platform, you can position yourself and your agency as an expert and provide your clients with the best experience possible.
You also want to niche down on specific industries that you are willing to work with. Clients prefer to hire specialists rather than generic agencies so focusing on a particular industry will not only establish you as an expert in that industry but also attract more clients.
Of course, you can always branch out as you grow and learn. For example, your agency could be primarily focused on running Instagram accounts and paid advertising for e-commerce sites.
Social media management is a profitable career as they are in such high demand more than ever before. To establish a great career, you must be willing to build up your skills and learn the ins and outs of different platforms.
It’s also important to learn the essentials of different management tools to help plan and organize your objects effectively.
The more you learn and offer your skills, the more you can grow in the digital marketing industry and gain more relevant experience.