So, you’re wondering how to become a social media manager with no experience?
Let me tell you how I did it. In May of 2018, I graduated with my Bachelor of Arts Degree in Political Science with a minor in History. From the time I entered college in 2014 until 2019, I ate, breathed, and dreamt politics.
During college, I…
- had internships with the Hispanic Federation, Republican Party of Florida, and Senator Bill Nelson
- worked as a legal assistant at a law firm for 3 years with hopes of going to law school after graduation
- was a member of 2 politically-focused clubs, which gave me the opportunity to travel to Washington D.C. a few times a year for conferences
- put on presentations to different campus organizations, registering college youth to vote during the 2016 election
At this point in my life — I expected to either be attending law school or working on Capitol Hill. Instead, I’m a social media manager and small business owner.
But — the craziest part? I became a social media manager and opened a marketing agency with no marketing degree and no real experience.
If you wanted to learn how to become a social media manager with no experience, you came to the right place.
Here’s how I did it and how you could do the same.
I did my research before switching career paths
Shortly after graduating with my Political Science Degree, I started a job on a political campaign. I hated it and ended up quitting. Shortly after, I started a job as a court reporter and hated that one even more. But, it was at my court reporting job that I learned the most about the freelancing world and what it takes to go full-time.
I listened to the Goal Digger Podcast by Jenna Kutcher to learn about becoming an entrepreneur. I followed freelance writers, social media managers, and virtual assistants on Instagram. I joined a Facebook group for aspiring virtual assistants and eventually bought a low-cost course.
Creating Pinterest Boards upon Pinterest Boards of blog posts with advice for becoming your own boss was my new hobby.
Moral of the story: Do some research about freelancing and the different work you can do, as well as what it takes to go full-time to make sure it’s something you even want to get into.
I started working as a freelance virtual assistant
When you first step into the freelance world, it can be overwhelming. There are many avenues you can go down, and I didn’t believe I had any skills that people would hire me for.So, I began my entrepreneur journey working as a freelance virtual assistant.
Given my research, the results showed that practically anyone could become a virtual assistant. I had worked for 3 years as a legal assistant, where I did a lot of administrative tasks. I figured this would be the most comfortable way for me to get started while I got my footing in the freelancing world.
I posted on my personal Facebook page and Instagram that I was now offering virtual assistant services and blabbered it to anyone that would listen. This method alone got me 2 clients right off the bat!
My first 2 clients were family food bloggers with substantial followings — Aggie’s Kitchen & The Little Kitchn. I was primarily editing & drafting blog posts on their websites, transcribing audio, doing data entry, and crafting Pinterest images.
I was working about 6 hours every 2 weeks total between them, making $17/hour for both. It wasn’t much, but it was a start while I learned and was still working a full-time 9–5 job. And I could finally say that I was making my own money.
I networked online & in person to expand my client base
My ultimate goal was to become a full-time freelancer so that I could quit my job as a court reporter. But, my job had other plans for me because they fired me about 2 months into my freelancing journey.
Hustle Mode: Activated.
I didn’t want to go back to another 9–5 job, so I went all-in on finding new clients. And do you want to know the best way to find new clients?
When I say networking, I don’t mean following 50+ “potential clients” on Instagram each day and sending them the same shady message, pitching your services. I mean genuine, intentional, authentic networking — either online or in person.
I may not have taken much from my academic learning in college, but one lesson I did learn is that it’s not about what you know, but about who you know — and this is something that rings tried and true in the freelancing world.
Here’s the thing: people will hire you if they trust you, and often, a common connection is enough to bridge that trust gap. You never know when someone you met at a Chamber of Commerce meeting refers you to his wife’s company that happens to be in the market for a social media manager or freelance writer for their website’s blog posts.
These days, you can network in lots of places — LinkedIn, Instagram, Twitter, Facebook groups, Chamber of Commerce Meetings, and lots more. By networking and connecting yourself to more people in a genuine and authentic way, you’ll be able to expand your client base.
I said yes to opportunities — even when I was uncomfortable
One of my first, high-paying clients, had 2 major needs. She needed someone to write blog posts for her business’ website, and she needed someone to manage her social media accounts.
Now I was down for the writing, but I didn’t know a lick about managing a business’s social media accounts. I had no idea what to share, how hashtags worked, or how to get more followers. But despite being uncomfortable about the new opportunity, I said yes.
Saying yes to this opportunity helped me expand my portfolio, gain more clients under my belt, and kick off my beginning as a social media manager. I discovered how much I liked social media marketing and how much of a need there is for freelance social media managers in the business world.
I hired a business coach
About a year into my freelancing journey, I hired a business coach. It was a big investment in myself and something I thought I’d never do — but it was 100% worth it.
I worked with my business coach for 8 weeks. In the 8 weeks, I learned;
- all about the Instagram algorithm,
- how to create compelling content for your business’ social media platforms
- how to engage your ideal audience/potential clients online to convert more sales
- how to price your services
My business coach was my savior for those 8 weeks. She taught me a lot about becoming an entrepreneur, owning your worth and pricing yourself accordingly, and the importance of offering a service/product that you are genuinely passionate about.
I started expanding my social media management jobs
Once I felt more comfortable managing social media accounts for small businesses, I began expanding my social media management jobs by working with lots of different clients.
Since starting, I’ve worked with the following types of businesses and entrepreneurs:
- Pet Sitting Business
- Insurance Agency
- Paintless Dent Repair Company
- Transformation Coach
- Food Bloggers
- Law Firm
I also began taking on more tasks in the social media realm, aside from just posting on the feed. I started performing hashtag & market research, posting stories, engaging with ideal clients, and launching various campaign initiatives to drive more sales at various quarterly points.
I added more services and raised my prices.
I quickly realized that running a bunch of social media accounts for businesses spanning across several niches is sort of exhausting.
So, I did what all entrepreneurs do in hard times: PIVOT.
The pivot for me meant adding more services and raising my prices. Know your worth, queens & kings.
In addition to offering social media management, I also started offering social media strategy consulting and Instagram makeovers. The additional services were lower-ticket offers compared to my social media management packages, but that and the price raise allowed me to earn more and work with people of all different needs.
I now own my own Social Media Agency
Back in March, I finally filed for an LLC to become #official. What, with my background in politics & law, you don’t think I know the importance of making sure I’m covered?
I now own my own Social Media Agency: The Social Rebel. I work with small businesses, entrepreneurs, online coaches, sole proprietors, and more to generate leads & drive more sales through organic, targeted social media marketing. Working as a social media manager is one of my primary income sources, bringing me in approximately $4,000 a month.
While I enjoy scrolling through social media as much as the next Millenial, it’s not something I ever thought I’d do for work. I never took a single Marketing class and didn’t think I had the creativity it took to succeed in such a field. I thought my political science degree was my end-all-be-all and that I’d be stuck in a career I hated forever.
But now, I earn a full-time living as a social media manager and owning my own social media marketing agency.
For any post-grad or individual ready to switch their career — you don’t need a degree or years of experience to do it. Everyone’s journey is different, but getting started and taking action towards your new goal will always lead you down the path you’re meant for.
That’s how to become a social media manager with no experience.