6 ways to get new clients as a social media manager

As a social media manager freelancer, your primary concern is figuring out new ways to find new clients; discover 6 innovative ways to find them here.
6 ways to get new clients as a social media manager

Hero image by Joan Kwamboka

In recent years, social media has evolved to become one of the most powerful marketing tools that you can leverage. In fact, more and more businesses are beginning to allocate a larger percentage of their marketing budget toward utilizing these platforms.

As a freelance social media manager, though, acquiring new clients can seem like a complicated process. Fortunately, it’s much more straightforward than you might think. Let’s explore what you need to know.

1. Establish your portfolio

In order to convince clients to work with you, you’ll need to showcase what you’re capable of. 

Given how busy the average individual is, they likely won’t be willing to take a significant amount of time out of their day in order to learn more about the type of service you can provide. You’ll likely only have a few minutes to convince them.

For this reason, establishing a professional portfolio is an essential practice. Make sure your portfolio is:

  • Easy to navigate - so a client can quickly see that you are a great fit.
  • Aesthetically pleasing - poor presentation can make even high-quality projects seem much less impressive.
  • Cohesive - include projects with work that you want to continue offering.
  • Diverse - include variety to illustrate that you can work with different types of businesses

A common roadblock that many freelancers face early on in their careers is simply having a small number of projects within their portfolio. 

If that’s the case, you can develop your own mock projects so that you can convey your talents. This will allow you to show potential clients the type of work you would be able to provide for them.

2. Develop your own social media

Ironically, it’s not uncommon for freelance social media managers who are just starting out to neglect to develop their own social media. This comes with two major drawbacks:

  • Neglecting to brand yourself can make you seem less professional as a freelancer
  • You will miss out on an additional avenue to convey your skills

In fact, it is highly likely that your prospective clients will expect to see an established presence on multiple social media platforms.

It’s also imperative to remember that your branded social media should always be handled like a professional account. Your branded account is probably not the best place to start a political argument with your uncle that will distract from your work.

Finally, having a strong presence on social media will also help you connect with clients in the future. As your following grows, so will your notoriety — by extension, you’ll become inherently more trustworthy.

After all, who would you rather work with: A freelancer with 500,000 followers or a freelancer with 50 followers? A growing follower base and serve as a solid foundation for increased sales.

3. Leverage your personal relationships

This is often one of the most efficient ways to secure your first couple of clients. Depending on the contacts you have, you may be able to leverage your personal relationships with friends or family in order to connect with someone who could benefit from your services.

In many cases, all it takes is a simple text message in order for them to pass your name along to the right individual. However, you should be wary when completing projects for friends or family members.

It’s widely known that personal relationships can become highly strained when money is involved. For instance, they may feel insulted that you charge them your typical rates despite how long the two of you have known each other.

Similarly, they might not receive the results that they were expecting due to a freelancer failing to deliver on their promises. Depending on the consequences of these scenarios, it’s entirely possible that the relationship becomes eroded.

Make it standard practice to never work without a contract, even for your friends.

4. Develop a lead generation strategy

For those who are unaware, a lead generation strategy involves establishing an ecosystem where you are able to have potential clients come to you. In practice, this typically involves providing something for free in exchange for somebody’s contact information.

To elaborate, let’s assume that you created an e-book that outlines current trends in your industry. Business owners will likely find this useful and may download it.

In order to receive this product, they’ll need to enter their email address. From here, you’ll establish two key pieces of information:

  • Your leads already know who you are
  • They are interested in what you have to say and provide

So, you’ll have a legitimate reason to contact them in the future and offer them a proposal. Chances are, they will be willing to move forward and learn more about how you can help them.

Your lead generation strategy doesn’t have to be limited to this particular scenario, however. You could publish web content that has been optimized to appear on Google’s search results, offer a free consultation, or even attend in-person events with business cards.

As you begin generating more leads, you'll need to ensure that you manage your projects appropriately. Our project management tool allows you to seamlessly handle your workload no matter how extensive it may be.

5. Master the art of pitching yourself

The level of confidence you have in your own abilities will say a lot to your potential clients about whether or not they should work with you. In order to give yourself the greatest chance of securing new client relationships, you’ll need to master the art of pitching yourself.

Fortunately, the foundation of your strategy can be summed up with a single word:


Staying concise is particularly important when cold pitching. An email that you send, for example, should only contain a few lines maximum. The message should quickly introduce you, highlight your key attributes and qualifications, and then provide a link to your portfolio the recipient can use to learn more about you.

When pitching yourself in person you’ll have a bit more time to work with. However, you should still have a game plan and have a strong understanding of what information you need to convey.

Some freelancers tend to feel nervous during in-person pitches and begin to tell their entire story right from the beginning. Not only does this serve to be a waste of time in many circumstances, but you will likely quickly lose the interest of the other party before you get to the most important information.

It’s also important to remember that you still need to remain professional even when pitching yourself in a casual setting. You only get one chance to make a first impression, and it would be a shame to ruin your future opportunities by behaving a bit too casually.

6. Refine your skills

Education never stops. This is especially true for freelancers, who need to constantly refine their skills in order to provide the greatest level of service.

Whether you conduct independent research, take a course, etc., you’ll need to make an effort in order to hone your craft consistently over time. This is also information that you can use when speaking with potential clients to convey that you take your work seriously.

As your skill level as a social media manager grows, so will your capability to provide outstanding returns. You may even reach a point where it becomes practical to start your own social media firm in which you manage other freelancers.

By pushing your skills forward, the possibilities are truly endless.

Acquiring clients is a social media manager doesn’t have to be difficult

The above information will help ensure that the process goes as smoothly as possible. From here, you'll have no issue developing your career as a social media manager and reaching unprecedented heights.

Organize your social media clients with Hectic. Get started today.

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Our team of career freelancers writes about best invoice practices, what makes a great client, and repeats the mantra, "never work without a contract." We're opinionated about the future of work and will always be on the side of freelancers.
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