Welcome back to the Changing Careers Series! Each week, I’m going to handle a different freelance career: A profession typically performed by people who have their own business, and work from home – or anywhere else. This week is all about freelance community managers. Let’s get started!

Social Media Manager

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What does a freelance community manager do?

A freelance community manager takes care of all social media accounts of her customers. They can write posts on social platforms, answer questions or comments, and try to create and maintain a relationship with the different social media networks’ users. Although their tasks are different, community managers are often also known as social media managers, who are rather in charge of creating social media strategies. For the sake of uncomplicating things, I’m going to be treating them as one and only person 🙂

Some examples of freelance community managers’ work:

Writing posts for different social media networks, like Facebook and Twitter.

Uploading images on visual social media networks, like Instagram and Pinterest.

Scheduling all social media activities on social media tools, like Hootsuite or Planoly.

Tracking and analyzing all social media activities related to the brand they’re representing.

How to become a freelance community manager

 You have to be very familiar with – at least – one social media network. If you would like to specialize only in one, do it – it’s actually an awesome idea!!

 You should be acquainted not only with the general social media functions but also with its advertisement options.

 Although it isn’t compulsory, I’d  suggest you take up a community management course to understand how the job and the industry work. If you wouldn’t like to spend any money on such courses, read as much info as you can about every relevant social media platform. Start with one, like Facebook, and once you master all of its options, go for the next one.

 Social media platforms usually have their own blog – or Facebook group. Join them and be the first to hear about new changes and services. Don’t let your customer tell you about it 😉

 As a freelance community manager, you’ll typically have 3 types of customers:

 Companies – If they have already a strong online presence, they’ll also have some social media guidelines. Study them by heart and keep on working on their social media accounts to allow a seamless transition to the new community manager – you!! However, if you notice there’s room for improvement, don’t hesitate to let them know 😉

 Small firms & startups – It’s very probable that they haven’t done anything yet, but you’d better ask for guidelines. Ask as many questions as come to your mind about their company philosophy, goals, strategy and style. The more questions you ask upfront, the better! Are you responsible for creating their social media profiles? What have they done so far? What do they want to achieve with their social media strategy?

 Freelancers & bloggers – There are 2 common reasons for a freelancer or a blogger to hire a community manager: Either they have no idea about how it all works, or they are completely overwhelmed with all the tasks social media marketing involves – on top of other things they have to accomplish.
My advice: Ask them for all their social network login details. Have a look at all of them. Analyze them and evaluate the positive stuff and the not so positive stuff 😉 Think of tone of voice, style, branding, activity frequency, post times… Offer your customer to implement your new strategy, maybe even new social platforms. Match it up with analytics… And she’ll never ever want to let you go 😉

Some additional notes about freelance social media managers’ work

 Working on social media marketing can drive you nuts if you don’t have a plan, so you’d rather test some social media scheduling tools before choosing the one which you feel more comfortable with. They usually offer a free testing period, so take advantage of it 😉

 After choosing your social media scheduling tools, create a strategy for yourself. How are you going to distribute your time to serve – hopefully – so many customers??
These posts about social media strategy may be of help:

3 Steps to Manage Social Media without Going Cray-Cray
How to Choose the Best Time-Saving Tools

The key factor to have great success as a community manager is having a good organization talent AND high doses of communication and diplomatic skills. Think of social media trolls!! You have to be well aware that you’re the voice of your customer, which means that you’re going to have to think twice before you hit publish 😉

How can I work as a freelance community manager if I have no experience?

The good news about social media is that everyone can learn it for free, right? You can show off your experience at social media giving potential clients a link to your profiles. You only have to show your numbers 😉

But that’s also the bad news… You can’t pretend or hide anything: So you’d better start creating a solid online presence. That should be your priority #1 if you want to get working as a social media or community manager 😉 Check out this post about how to plan and build a strong online presence.

Think big. Don’t limit yourself to local customers. Your target market is the Internet = the world. Just don’t forget different time zones 😉

Equipment I need as a freelance translator

Good PC or laptop
 High-speed Internet connection – You’re going to have to be online A LOT.
 Social media scheduling tools. Choose one of them, but get to know all of them! You don’t wanna get caught uncharged!
 Check out this post about practical tools & equipment for freelancers you could be getting for special dates, like Christmas or Black Friday 😉

Interested? Questions?

Let me know your thoughts about freelancing as a social media or community manager. Do you have any questions you’d like me to address? Go for it 😉

Are you born to freelance?
Born to Freelance

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Other posts in this series:
Freelance Translator
Freelance Virtual Assistant
Freelance Visual Designer
Freelance Photographer
Freelance Online Teacher
Freelance Writer
Freelance Ghostwriter

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Social Media Manager