Being a freelance social media manager can be a great way to make a living. There aren’t all that many jobs you can do from home, that work around the kids, allow you to choose your clients and earn a decent amount of money.
But it’s not quite as simple as doing a course, starting a Facebook page and watching the money roll in! If it was I’d be sitting on a beach in St Tropez right now!
So how did I build a successful social media management business?
The short answer: I invested in myself!
The long answer: It took time.
NB. Our blogs contain affiliate links – these won’t affect your purchase.
The 4 key things I did to become a successful social media manager.
1. I invested in training.
We both invested money in training but if I’m honest, generic social media training isn’t what made a difference to our businesses, it was the platform specific training that helped more than anything.
One of the best training courses I have EVER done was a Facebook specific course with American expert (affiliate link) Rachel Miller. What I learnt on her (affiliate link) Moolah Marketing course enabled me to grow my first clients Facebook page by 70k in 2 years organically. The results were instant, and my client gave me incredible reviews, just like this one…
“Laura has been instrumental in growing my Facebook following by over 400% in a year. This phenomenal growth is largely down to her creative and considered social strategies. Through consistent posting imaginative content and a wealth of content and experience. Laura has sky rocketed my online presence. Without doubt, Laura’s energy and genuine enthusiasm for social media has been vital to my success this year.
THAT was what got me started as a Social Media Manager. These testimonials and results made other businesses sit up and listen.
Because of those results my own social media following grew, my enquiries grew and I hit capacity all within 12 months of finishing the course.
It didn’t stop there, I used this knowledge to offer training and 1:1’s and was invited to speak at business and networking events. This was the best course I did, and well worth the investment. A lot of training is transferable to other platforms and i’ve been able to apply elements of the course to all clients.
It was an investment but it paid for itself.
Here are a couple of free downloads from Rachel that I still follow and advise clients to look at. (includes affiliate links):
2. I took my time
Laura and I spent a lot of time learning the specifics. We have both been using social media for marketing purposes for years but things change all the time. So to keep on top of things we both have test pages and test accounts setup, on every platform.
We don’t wait to be told how a new feature works – we go and spend time figuring it out for ourselves. We press every button there is to press to understand how platforms work!
Why? Because we want to be the experts in our field. If we’re able to quickly get to know how new features work we can be the first to inform our audiences. This means we can position ourselves as experts. People like experts, people trust experts!
The key to becoming a successful freelance social media manager is to become an expert and to focus.
3. I niched, by growing my offer.
Laura and I have both invested in training to increase what we can offer to clients. We both recently chose to niche into Facebook Ads, mainly because we are massive Facebook geeks.
I have taken various Facebook Ads courses over the years. My knowledge of ads has grown from my first Ad back in 2012. A lot from trial and error. A lot from courses. I found Gavin Bell’s Ads knowledge and Emma Van Heusen’s were some of the best.
It highlighted to me that, until I’d up-skilled, I’d only been able to offer half the job for many of my clients. Clients who expected the results of paid ads from their organic content. I’m now able to give the results they longed for (with a little more investment obviously).
Once I had focussed on my learning I was even able to generate leads which resulted in £1.2million of sales on an investment of less than £1000.
Niching and growing my offer increased my income massively. Facebook ads are a sought after skill so it is a great area to invest in training whether you want to become a Facebook ads manager or offer it as an additional service to your social media clients.
Laura and I have both trained lots of social media managers and business owners in Facebook Ads either 1:1 or in group workshops. We have since launched an Online Facebook Ads training course. (You can register your interest here. Make sure you’re on the list as when we open for bookings it sells out in a matter of hours!)
But Facebook ads aren’t for everyone. Instead you could look to extend your knowledge to Google Ads, SEO, copy writing, email marketing etc. The sky is the limit!
When people say “oh you need to speak to xxxx as she knows EVERYTHING”, make sure they are talking about you!
4. I don’t work hard! I work smart!
Both Laura and I had our own businesses in the past. So we already knew how difficult it is to build a business when you don’t have effective systems and processes in place.
We now are the queens of systems and we pride ourselves on the use of professional looking client on-boarding documents, the expert way we record our finances, the way we strategically approach our PR and Marketing.
We are so proud in fact that this became the backbone of our popular digital toolkit for social media managers which you can check out here.
5. I drink Gin…
And lots of it!
by Laura Davis
Laura is the co-creator of The Social Media Managers Toolkit and also runs her own business as a Facebook ads strategist for home, interior and lifestyle brands.