I’ve been in the social media manager business for two years now and have varied clients ranging from car dealerships to graphic designers to businesses seeking a strong web presence.
My goals as a social media expert is to provide my clients with website design tips, blogging and above all getting them to utilize social media tools such as Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Google+.
The hardest part of being a social media manager is convincing clients the need social media attention in the first place!
Most businesses who are not Internet savvy feel the best way to reach their customers is via newspaper ads, radio and television spots but in reality, today’s savvy customer turn to the Web to find the products and services they seek.
At times, this convincing alone can take up a lot of my time so this part of the job is about a four on a scale of ten; but once they are convinced, the rest of my job is an absolute ten on the satisfaction scale.
One of the largest things independent social media experts face is dealing with firms offering services at ridiculous prices. These firms are hard to compete with but usually the end-user isn’t satisfied and will turn to me to fix mistakes. It would be nice if they’d understand a good social media manager may cost them as much as $2,000 to $3,000 per month depending on the size of their business and the services I provide.
Though social media seems like an easy vocation, sometimes it’s not! You will have customers who want change after change so make sure you nail down the amount of changes they can make in a formal contract agreement.
My desire to learn more about the Internet was all I needed to get a jump start on becoming a social media manager. From there, a few online classes and some optimization of my own website and a little HTML coding experience was all I needed.
As I look back, I might have focused a little more on Google and what their algorithms do and how they can change—very fast meaning the social media efforts you offer your clients start to slow down and require immediate attention.
While online SEO and social media training did help me, I’ve learned larger companies want experts who have a full bachelor’s degree in marketing or a related field. Because I’m void of a bachelor’s degree, sometimes it makes it difficult in convincing clients I can do the job.
A funny thing that happened to me with one client when I asked if he would be willing to share his screen with me via an Internet sharing tool. Once he agreed and I sent him the link so we could connect, I was able to see his screen right away and let’s just say the websites he was browsing were of the adult type! He was very embarrassed!
One advantage of being a social media manager is you do get to perform most of you job at home. While I do meet with clients from time to time, the telecommuting offers me a chance to follow another passion I have—fostering dogs from shelters until they can be adopted!
On the other side of that coin, if a client wants you ASAP, you need to be prepared to leave in a flash so you really can’t work in your pajamas all day long.
I’ve never felt too stressed being a social media manager unless I have a horrible and demanding client. I have, however, turned down some clients just from analyzing them in our initial meeting—sometimes you can tell right off if a client will be good or bad.
I still recommend those wanting to break into the social media manager world should obtain bachelor’s degree, as I wish I had. I think I would have landed more clients right off instead of contacting client after client and proving myself.
So far, I can happily say I’m making between $30,000 to $40,000 a year but this is working 24/7 and being there when my clients need me.
If you think helping any organization gain clients via the Internet sounds like a great job, a social media manager may be the right profession for you. Some of my friends are a little jealous they must follow a 9-5 schedule that is strictly regimented where I can set my own hours.
Five years from now I’d like to have my own company, hire some social media managers and take a vacation!
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