So you want to start a social media marketing agency from home? Learn how to go from a freelance social media manager to a social media agency owner.
Social media marketing companies are in great demand today. Many small and large businesses in need of social media management prefer outsourcing social media services to a social media agency rather than managing it in-house.
What is social media management? It is more than just looking after the social media pages for small businesses. It’s a highly complicated, multi-faceted role that helps businesses achieve their social media marketing objectives.
You can think of a social media marketing expert as a standup comedian who needs to quickly understand the audience and engage them in a way they enjoy and respond to. You will have to constantly adapt to the audience and the environment while doing what you do best in real-time.
A social media manager will essentially be responsible for managing the brand’s social marketing and advertising while offering planning, goal setting, managing online reputation, increase brand awareness, content development, SEO and cultivate leads and consequent sales.
Dara Fontein defines the job of social media managers as professionals “who are responsible for developing and implementing marketing strategies for a business’s social media sites. This might include blogging, creating social media profiles, managing regular posts and responding to followers”.
Apart from that, social media managers must also stay updated with social media industry trends to come up with new and cutting-edge marketing strategies that govern follower gains, lead generation, brand recognition and reputation management.
They will also be the ones responsible for continuously evaluating the success of the business’s marketing efforts and tweaking their marketing strategy as needed.
This may require reading social media marketing articles on the best social media blogs, learning about social media case studies and social media marketing examples for knowledge of the best social media campaigns as well as participation in social media forums and attending social media events.
Because social media marketing trends change so quickly, many social media experts prefer to specialize in one or more social media careers like the ones below.
- Social media community manager
- Social media content writer
- Social media and content manager
- Instagram social media manager
- Social media manager for Facebook
- Social media manager for Twitter
- Social media advertising manager
- Website and social media manager
- Social media influencer manager
- Social media customer service manager
- Social media evaluator jobs
As a social media expert or social media strategist, you’ll be required know about all the various social media platforms and stay abreast of social media trends and changes on all the top social media sites and social media networks.
You’ll also need to understand social media monitoring, create a social media marketing strategy, social media plan and social media content calendar for your client. You’ll use social media tools and social media software to schedule social media posts and social media content for your clients.
As a social media account manager, you’ll be required to understand the social media guidelines required to plan a social media contest, understand how to use social media video marketing and boost social media engagement with social media advertising.
As a social media consultant, you will do social media optimization for social media branding and use the latest social media campaign ideas and social media marketing techniques in your social media promotions.
Finally, you must know how to use social media analytics tools to collate relevant social media metrics into a social media report that you’ll send to clients every month.
When looking for the perfect candidate fitting the profile of a social media manager, recruiters across industries look for these basic skills:
Imagery integrated into social media posts generates 94% more hits and views. For business and brands who are trying to target millennials, it is very important that social media managers have the ability to conceptualize and design eye-catching images along with textual content.
A good eye for design and basic image editing skills are always an advantage. But if you prefer to outsource your social media creatives, you can check out PromoRepublic’s social media management software for agencies.
You’ll get a set of 20 editable and reusable designs that speak your client’s brand’s voice, tailored especially for your business by a professional team.
PromoRepublic will also help you automate your client’s social media presence hassle-free, manage content relevant for local audiences, schedule with AI, run local ads and stay on top of the results with their intelligent products.
While highly advanced writing skills aren’t necessary, the ideal social media content manager or blogger should have a good command over the language and more importantly, be able to express their ideas in writing.
99% of all the communication that a social media manager does will be in writing and they would also be responsible for becoming the voice for the brand.
Customer handling ability:
Social media managers would be the representatives of a business on social handles and will be the ones in direct interaction with the end-users.
It’s not just about being witty and charming with your words (although that helps) but about understanding the requirements of a customer or user and responding ably to their queries.
Understanding of content marketing and SEO:
A social profile for a brand is also supposed to contribute to the SEO and content marketing for the brand. The ideal candidate should be able to work towards a bigger goal (optimization) while engaging the audience in a variety of social activities.
Experience in social advertising:
Candidates are expected, but not required, to have an understanding of how social advertising works.
Social ads come with their unique opportunities and challenges and are completely different from what we see on TV, newspapers or billboards. The social media manager should be able to learn how to utilize these social ads to create both engagement and leads.
Depending on whether you start out as a social media intern working for a social media agency in India, or a freelance social media manager, or have achieved the status of a social media expert, the amount of money you earn can vary widely, but here are some ballpark figures.
According to Payscale.com, a social media manager in India takes home an average salary of INR 328,300 annually. However, senior managers in top companies with more than 10 years of experience can hope to earn as much as INR 700,000 every year.
A social media manager salary is commensurate with experience. Entry-level social media managers with little or no experience can hope to earn an average remuneration of INR 306,059 annually. These social media jobs are generally for freshers or those who have switched from other digital marketing roles.
Entry-level social media managers with vast related experience who join social media companies can, however, expect to earn as much as INR 600,000 per year.
If you’re applying for a social media manager job, you must know the most common questions asked in an interview for the post of a social media manager.
Here are some common social media manager interview questions:
- How do you expect to help the company with social media management?
- What skills do you bring to the table as far as social media is concerned?
- On how many social media channels are you active and what are your follower counts?
- Do you write your own blog, and if so, what kind of engagement do you receive?
- How would you handle any kind of reputation crisis in social media?
- What would be the first goal if you were selected for the job?
- How would you tell a good story?
For most experts, social media marketing is a skill ‘learnt on the street’ and comes with experience. But you must do some social media manager training courses if you want to know how to be a social media manager for small business.
You can learn social media marketing free with this list of 25+ free digital marketing courses online, but there are also some low-cost social media courses that can help you learn social media skills.
Here are two low-cost social media courses that won’t break the bank.
Learn how to market on social media, start and manage a Facebook group, and start using social media for business.
Learn how to come up with social media content ideas consistently, so you’re never left wondering what content to post on social media.
You’ll also find a number of cheap social media marketing courses on Udemy to help you get certified and help you set up your own home business as a social media manager.
There are a number of social media marketing online courses that you can do to get social media manager certification. If you want to become a social media marketing expert, you need to understand other aspects of digital marketing too.
The digital marketing specialist masters course will transform you into a complete digital marketer with expertise in the top eight digital marketing domains — search engine optimization, social media, pay-per-click, conversion optimization, digital analytics, content, mobile and email marketing.
There are also some excellent social media courses offered by some of the best universities and online academies. Here are some social media marketing certification courses you can do:
- Hootsuite Academy Certification
- Hubspot’s Inbound Marketing Training Program And Certification
- Digital Vidya’s Social Media Marketing Certification
- Mediabistro Social Media Marketing Course
- Market Motive Social Media Marketing Training Course
- Rutgers Online Mini-MBA: Social Media Marketing
- UCLA Social Media Marketing
- OMI Social Media Marketing Certification
There are several companies that hire freelance social media managers to manage their social media pages. But if you want to work from home as a social media manager, it’s a good idea to start your own social media marketing agency.
There are some advantages and disadvantages to starting a social media agency. The advantage is that as an agency, your client will know that you’re serious about working as a social media manager.
You’ll instantly have more credibility and authority when offering social media management services and can command higher fees, as well as take payments in advance.
The disadvantage of starting a social media management company at home is that you’ll have to learn how to start your own company. Depending on how much you earn, you’ll have to apply for a GST number and ensure tax compliance.
Social media marketing agencies also need to create social media marketing packages for their social media marketing services and learn how to write a professional social media marketing proposal.
To make sure you’re paid on time, have your client sign a contract based on this Independent Contractor Contract Template to help you ensure that all your financial and legal interests are fully protected.
Once you’ve decided on starting a social media management agency, you need to build your own following on social media so you can establish credibility as a social media professional.
As the article here says, “There are lots of so-called social media ‘experts’ out there with just a few hundred Twitter followers. How can you trust someone to build a large Twitter following for you when they can’t even do it for themselves?”
You’ll have to spend strategic time on social media networks with the goal of building your own brand and generate leads so you can send them a social media proposal.
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Of course, it helps if you have been using social media for a number of years so that you have an understanding of how the internet has grown and changed.
You should also have a well-written and regularly updated blog with your own articles, so you can showcase your writing ability for companies looking for social media managers.
If you’re looking to work-from-home, you should also create a profile on sites like Fiverr and Upwork, where you can list your skills and get hired as a freelance social media manager or as a social media manager agency.
As you build your reputation and get excellent reviews as a social media marketing manager, you can bid for better and more lucrative projects from businesses looking for social media managers.
Whether you choose to offer social media manager services as a social media manager freelancer, look for full-time social media marketing jobs, or start your own social media marketing agency, we wish you great success with your social media career.
About the author:
Priya Florence Shah is the publisher of Naaree.com and runs a social media agency in Pune. Get her 21-step personal branding process to go from Unknown to Well-Known in her Free Personal Branding Email Course.
Disclosure: This blog contains affiliate links. For more information, read our disclosure.
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