I know you’d all like a little more insight into the kind of work that suits a freelance parent, and what a day in that working life might look like. Enter the new Freelance Parent Profile series, where I’ll hand over the reins to a parent who can tell you all about what they do, how it works and how you might get into that field. First up is Ginny – I’ll let her introduce herself.
Hi, I’m Ginny Carter and I’ve been working as a freelance social media manager for the past 2-3 years. Like you, I’ve got kids at home and I wanted work which was financially rewarding, flexible and regular – it seems like an impossible combination, doesn’t it, but with freelance social media management it’s become a reality.
A day in the life…
My day starts as soon as my kids are dropped off at school, when I check my client accounts for any activity during the evening before. Then I make sure the day’s content is posted and scheduled, before moving on to other projects. After lunch I check the social platforms I’m posting on, and engage with my audiences – answering questions, dealing with issues and proactively chatting with people online.
I’ve got a schedule that I follow each day, which I’ve devised to combine maximum effectiveness on the platforms with the flexibility I need to rush off to do the school pick up at 3pm. School play in the afternoon? No problem, I’ll just do some extra the night before so I’ve got time in the bank. It’s so lovely not to have to ask the boss for time off!
So what is freelance social media management?
Chances are, if you work for yourself, you’re active on social media to promote your own business. Ever gained a client on Twitter? Got a lead on Linkedin? Forged a business relationship on Facebook or Google+? Social media management is where you manage clients’ social media accounts as if you were ‘them’. Where you use the experience and skills you’ve built up in the social media world to earn more money by adding it as a service to what you already do. Where instead of potentially wasting some of your skills, you’re making good use of them. It’s funny how we often overlook the skills that are under our nose, isn’t it?
You can focus on the platforms you’re most successful and comfortable with right now, and do as much or as little as you like.
So what’s so great about freelance social media management?
Let me start you off:
- We’re in a golden moment right now, where businesses are seeing the need to promote themselves on social channels but aren’t sure how to do it effectively. Or if they do know, they don’t have the time. This is where you come in (before it’s too late).
- What’s more, companies still have marketing budgets, but they don’t want to spend them in the traditional ways. They want to spend them where their customers are – online and on social platforms.
- BUT there aren’t a huge number of people out there offering freelance social media management. Sure, there are digital agencies (with their pricey overheads) and people who dabble in it. But not many who focus on offering a consistent and specialised service. You’ll be a big player in a small pond.
- WHICH LEADS TO … the final but most important reason: it’s well paid and as flexible as you want it to be. You can add it to your existing work, or it can take over (as it did with me!).
So who’s social media management for?
It’s for you if:
- You’re reasonably confident with social media (no need to be a ‘guru’ – more on that below).
- You’re frustrated at getting by on odd jobs from clients and would love a regular and reliable income (freelance social media managers get paid every month by their clients!).
- You want to earn a living doing something fun and flexible, which fits in with your life. Social media is exciting – it’s fast moving, interesting and you get to learn all sorts of things while you’re doing it. And you can preschedule your work to fit in with your other responsibilities – whether they be kids, other work, or even a paid job.
‘But wait a minute’, I can hear you thinking, ‘I’m not a social media guru’.
That’s ok – you don’t need to be. If you feel you need to brush up on your skills, there are plenty of online courses to help you. But in truth you probably already know much more than you think.
All you need to start off with, is a working knowledge of one or more social networks, a client focused attitude, and the drive to boost your income. Oh, and you’ll need to set yourself up, know which are the right clients to go for (very important), how to sell yourself to them, how to package up your services, how to keep up to date with social media changes, and how to do the work quickly and easily.
Ginny Carter is a freelance social media manager and mum of two. She manages clients’ social media platforms on their behalf, and trains and consults on social media for businesses who need support.