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How to Become a Social Media Manager? (Freelance and Full-time)

Social Media Managers

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How to Become a Social Media Manager? (Freelance and Full-time)

In 2021, more than half of the world's population used social media.

Now more than ever, brands understand the value of hiring a social media specialist to manage their online presence due to its widespread use.

To find out what you'll need to be a social media manager, if you don't have any experience or a degree, continue reading.

Table of Contents


  1. How to become a freelance social media manager in 3 steps?
    1.1.Build your portfolio
    1.2.Grow your online community
    1.3.Develop and sharpen your skills

  2. How to become a social media manager without a degree?

  3. How to become a social media manager with no experience?
    3.1.Look for internships or traineeships
    3.2.Subscribe to newsletters to stay updated
    3.3.Be active on all relevant platforms
    3.4.Connect with more experienced marketers
    3.5.Listen to industry-related podcasts

1. How to become a freelance social media manager in three steps

Maybe you're a working professional who has discovered your current position isn't quite what you expected. Perhaps you're a college student and you're reconsidering your career options for the future.

Either way, you may have heard how trendy this job is nowadays and maybe you're curious about what a social media manager does daily and how to become one.

Whether you want to become a freelance social media manager or a full-time social media marketing manager, here are three things you need to do:

1.1 Build a portfolio

A portfolio can help you stand out from the crowd by enhancing who you are as a candidate.

Professional portfolios are an excellent way to demonstrate the skills you'd list on your resume or in an interview.

During a job search, portfolios help support your CV by demonstrating what you can do and how you work.

LinkedIn, Twitter, Pinterest, and even Instagram are excellent platforms for showcasing and promoting your work, whether through visual content or links to publications you've collaborated on.

Nicole Schmiedl, a former social media manager at The North Face, confesses that the job involves being responsive, culturally aware, and confident in making decisions on behalf of the company.

She also provided Socialinsider with some insider tips for prospective social media managers.

Nicole Schmiedl The North Face Social Media Manager Advice

1.2. Grown your online community

Today, any social media strategy must include digital networking and community-building.

Let's think about it.

Why are people on social media in the first place?

Individuals use social networks because they allow them to form relationships with people they might not otherwise be able to meet.

You also use social media websites and apps to connect with family, friends, and people who share your interests as you do.

This is called "social networking."

Cristian Florea, a social media strategist, feels that social media can no longer be overlooked when promoting a business. He says that many people use social media for advertising their brand while ignoring the primary goal of social media platforms, which is to connect with others.

Quote of social media strategist Cristian Florea

And while social media was initially designed to be used in your spare time, it has evolved into a professional tool for connecting with people in your sector worldwide.

Networking allows you to build a solid and trustworthy relationship with marketers alike. It also encourages people to become more involved with your brand.

Networking may help you build trust with marketers alike, but it can also help you leverage new career opportunities.

Also, attending professional events is another excellent way to share helpful information and knowledge with other marketers, whether online or in person.

The discussions during these meetings are often insightful and might lead to new ideas.

According to Albert Huisman, the founder of Y Content, it's always better to reach fewer people and convert the appropriate individuals than to have many likes and follows but not sell anything.

Quote of Albert Huisman founder of Y Content

1.3. Develop and sharpen your marketing skills

We had MySpace ten years ago. We now have TikTok.

Because social media networks come, go, or evolve, it's critical to stay updated, adaptable, and continue to sharpen your marketing skills.

Social media management is not just about following the latest news or creating engaging content. It's about using key skills to develop a data-driven marketing strategy across all platforms.

According to our study on the skills of a social media manager, these are some essential qualities you need to develop: communication, writing, customer service, data analysis, creativity, and design.

And according to Pascal Hoffman, social media manager at Tec4med, social media management is an excellent method to get your feet wet in the marketing world.

quote of pascal hoffman social media manager at tec4med

2. How to become a social media manager without a degree

We wanted to see if having a marketing-related degree is required for being a social media manager.

For our "The Life of a Social Media Manager" study, we interviewed 300 marketing experts and 11 social media managers.

We discovered that having a specific degree or a certain amount of experience is not essential but preferred. Because social media management is such a new field, all of the resources you may need are currently available on the internet.

Degree or no degree, experts believe that, as a social media manager, you'll need to set aside time to develop specific skills, learn about different tools and platforms, and keep up with the newest social media trends and changes to thrive in the industry.

Even if you don't have a certified degree in the field, you can start by managing your own personal brand's social media accounts.

First, make your website. Then, set up your social media networks to show off your graphic design, writing, and content creation skills.

Finally, join relevant marketing groups and engage with their content.

Alternative learning methods, such as online courses, webinars, or certificates, are also available for starters.

If you're looking for training materials but don't know where to start, we've compiled a library of educational webinars that will show you what's popular and how to use various social media platforms tools.

3. How to become a social media manager with no experience

We hear you.

You think our advice is brilliant.

But you have no prior expertise in the industry, no degree, and are baffled about how you can create a portfolio or community from scratch.

Why would anyone be interested in what you have to say? Why would anyone want to be part of your community?

Don't be concerned. We'll let you in on a bit of a secret.

All you have to do is put yourself out there, be curious, open to new possibilities, and consistent.

The process may be slow, but the impact is huge.

If you have no prior experience in the industry and want to stand out from the crowd, here are a few simple things you can do:

3.1. Look for internships or traineeships

Internships and traineeships allow young people to get their foot in the door of a particular industry by providing valuable and relevant work experience. Start by keeping an eye on LinkedIn and Indeed, two of the most well-known job-search portals in the world.

3.2. Subscribe to newsletters to stay updated

Newsletters are a quick and easy way to receive current information tailored to your specific interests. This way, you'll never miss important platform news, and you'll have access to more social media-related sources.

๐Ÿ“Œ Here are three newsletters to start your day with:

3.3. Be active on all relevant platforms

The more content you create or share, the more chances you have to get discovered.

If you're unsure what kind of material to post, start by making a social media content calendar for a fictional brand or organization you admire. Alternatively, you can share your favorite social media campaigns and explain why you like them or what you would change.

Rina A. Rasolofoniaina, senior social media manager at ONE Championship, confirms that following trends and strategizing are significant, but nothing beats the grind of daily using the platforms.

quote of rina rasolofoniaina social media manager at one championship

3.4. Connect with more experienced marketers

Follow social media professionals who have established an online community already and interact with their content.

This can boost your online exposure and lead to new career opportunities.

๐Ÿ“Œ Here are three social media experts you need to engage with right now:

3.5. Listen to industry-related podcasts

A social media manager never stops learning. And, if you don't fancy the idea of searching for information all the time, you can let the news come to you.

Podcasts are an excellent approach to passively learning new information. You can fill up the extra time and turn it into more active and productive learning.

๐Ÿ“Œ Here are three podcasts to listen to when on the move:


If you still feel like you need help getting a handle on the social media manager role, you might find Socialinsider's Social Media Insights Hub and SocialMediaPro's training resources helpful.

Final thoughts

As a social media professional, keep in mind that it starts with you.

You'll need to promote yourself as a specialist before advertising to others.

To do so, you'll need to learn about blogging, email marketing, SEO, and graphic design and make profiles on all major social media platforms.

Then, to generate a sense of trust among your community and potential clients, you'll need to build a solid social media presence around your brand.

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Anda Radulescu

Anda Radulescu

I am exploring with headlines that cut through the noise & content that naturally flows as you scroll. Contact me at [email protected]

How to Become a Social Media Manager? (Freelance and Full-time)