Freelancing

How To Get Started As A Freelance Social Media Marketer

There are currently around 40.58 million social network users in the UK – which means almost 41 million potential customers. As social media creeps into every aspect of our social and professional lives, businesses are recruiting more and more professionals to keep those pages, groups, and adverts running.  Social media marketing roles are fast becoming one of the top choices for graduates in Great Britain – could one of them be right for you?

What is a Social Media Marketer?

I know what you’re thinking – I’ll get paid to spend my days flicking through Facebook and perusing Pinterest; sign me up!  Sadly, there’s quite a bit more to it than that.  The Social Media Marketer is responsible for maintaining all of a business’s social channels.  Although the role can vary quite a lot from business to business, a typical Social Media Marketer role involves responsibility for:

  • Creating content including posts, shared articles and adverts
  • Recruiting and engaging with followers
  • Creating and scheduling paid adverts
  • Making sure that content is SEO rich
  • Recruiting influencers to champion the brand
  • Reporting on the performance of posts and adverts
  • Responding to queries and complaints through Messenger
  • Analysis, including sentiment analysis

In this highly creative role, the Social Media Marketer is expected to consistently produce engaging and relevant copy with a strong call to action in order to keep followers interested.  As a freelance Social Media Marketer, you’ll most likely be working from home, although some visits to clients’ offices may be required from time to time.

What’s the pay packet?

As with any other kind of freelance work, you are responsible for setting your own rates.  Many freelance Social Media Marketers earn £50,000 – 60,000 per annum, working out to around £25 per hour, however,  earnings tend to be restricted to the more experienced marketer.  Whilst you’re getting started, it’s advisable to begin with a more modest rate; you can always increase this once you’ve established yourself.  As a newbie, some businesses may insist on a results-based fee – so it’s a really good idea to have a realistic idea of what you can achieve before agreeing to this.

Equipped for the job

In terms of actual equipment, you need very little to get started as a freelance Social Media Marketer.  To begin with, a reliable laptop and internet connection will usually be enough.  However, later on you may want to add some tools to your bag of tricks.  These can include keyword generation tools and sentiment analysis software amongst others.

Looking good on paper – or not

Until fairly recently, professionals tended to land social media jobs through experience only.  However, as these roles become much more desirable, many businesses are looking for candidates with a degree in digital marketing, public relations or advertising.  As a freelancer, evidence of solid results will take you further than actual qualifications so, you’ll need to make sure that you build up an impressive portfolio!  Offer your services free or at discounted rates to help you build your portfolio and demonstrate solid results.

Getting social

It should go without saying that building a network is of paramount importance. Join forums and attend networking events in order to connect with useful contacts and keep up to date with the latest trends.  

Do your homework

As long as you have an internet connection, you have access to countless resources for research and advice.  Many sites such as Hongkiat are a great place to find free ebooks to download and keep.   When it comes to finding freelance work as a Social Media Marketer, there’s plenty to be had on sites such as Yungojuno,  Just UX Jobs, People Per Hour, Codepen, and Upwork. You can also target companies in your local area by email or by post.

Becoming a freelance Social Media Marketer is to delve into an incredibly competitive market – and one which demands results.  Take the time to really get to know the ins and outs of all the social media platforms and then put in the work on building your portfolio and wooing those clients. Happy freelancing!

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