8 essential skills for a freelance social media manager

What does it take to be a successful social media manager? We breakdown 8 essential skills for a freelance social media manager here.
8 essential skills for a freelance social media manager

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According to reports, 91% of businesses in the US leverage social media. This surge in social media adoption by brands and businesses means there is an increasing demand for social media managers.

Are you thinking of forging a path in social media management? If so, the first step is to figure out if you've got what it takes to be a successful social media manager.

While you can freelance from anywhere as a social media manager, it can be harder than it sounds.

Important skills for a freelance social media manager include things like copywriting, community management, design, analytics, behavioral psychology, and more.

Ready to find out whether you're cut out to be a freelance social media manager? Keep reading to discover if this is the career path for you.

1. A way with words

One of the skills for a freelance social media manager career that you'll need is copywriting. Writing experience and a knack with words is an important strength to have. Even though images, video, and other media are a primary component of successful social media campaigns, without the right copy, your campaigns will lack impact and reach.

Good copy is essential for engaging consumers and promoting a brand's offerings. It's also an integral part of building brand awareness and trust. Social media post copy doesn't only have to be good, it also has to reflect the brand's voice and values.

If you have the ability to communicate a brand's persona and value through succinct social media copy, this will go a long way towards your success as a freelance social media manager.

2. The ability to spot trends

Social media thrives on trends, and to be a successful social media manager, you need to have an eye for spotting trends, playing off them, and reinventing them for the brands you represent.

Keep in mind that spotting trends isn't as simple as merely noticing a trend that's already taking over. Instead, the key lies in identifying trends that are still on the upswing. If you can do this, and pivot to meet them, you can position the brands whose accounts you're managing as on-the-pulse and in tune with consumers.

3. An analytical eye

Being able to analyze and evaluate data and information will serve you in various ways if you're looking to create a career as a freelance social media manager.

For one, you will need to study the analytics of your campaigns to evaluate whether they are serving your clients' needs. According to statistics, the primary reason brands carry out social media marketing is to increase traffic to their sites. Next at the top of the list come generating leads, improving sales, and creating loyal customers.

If your campaigns aren't aligning with these goals, you need to be able to spot where and how they fall short so you can improve their performance.

Having an analytical mind will also help you in spotting trends, fresh campaign ideas, and opportunities for increased engagement. For instance, if you're watching your social analytics like an eagle, you might notice that certain types of posts perform well. If you're able to dissect the reason behind their success, you can then replicate this across other campaigns.

4. Life-long learning

Social media is a young industry, and even in its short lifespan, there have been many changes (especially if you're trying to keep up with Instagram updates). As technology and consumer habits evolve, to carry on being a successful social media manager you'll need to engage in ongoing learning.

Are you someone who enjoys learning about new phenomena? Do you love reports and statistics? Are you ever curious about new trends and best practices around social media and content?

If the answer is yes, this will serve you greatly if you are considering a career as a freelance social media manager.

5. Empathy

One of the most critical skills for a social media manager is empathy. Even if you are a freelance social media manager, you are still part of the face of the brands whose accounts you manage.

When dealing with consumers on their behalf, you become their representative.

According to research, 39% of consumers will only trust brands if they have interacted with them on social media. What's more, 17% of consumers will turn their back on a brand they love if they have just one bad interaction with them.

This places a lot of responsibility on your shoulders as a freelance social media manager. Every interaction you have with consumers on behalf of your clients needs to be positive, friendly, and helpful.

As a social media manager, you often have to wear the hat of a marketer, content creator, and customer care representative all at once. Customer care roles typically require a high level of empathy and people skills. No matter how abrupt or upset the consumer is, you need to be able to empathize with them, make them feel heard, and convince them that their business is appreciated.

6. The capacity to multitask

Are you good at multitasking? This is another of the many vital skills a freelance social media manager needs to have.

Once you become a freelance social media manager and land different clients, you'll be working on various campaigns simultaneously. Besides the inherent complexities that come with managing different clients, you'll also need to keep track of each brand's strategies, campaigns, content creation, posting schedule, etc.

This can be a lot to juggle, which is why you need to be able to multitask to a certain extent if you want to be a successful social media manager. Otherwise, you might drop a ball, mix up a posting schedule, and end up with some very unhappy clients.

According to reports, 52% of small businesses post on their social media accounts daily. Being in charge of this can be a lot of work if you have multiple clients.

Fortunately, even if multitasking isn't your biggest strong point, you can still juggle multiple campaigns with the help of the right tools.

Here at Moxie, we know how stressful it can be to have multiple freelance projects on the go. This is why we have an integrated and comprehensive project management tool within Moxie. Our customizable project management system allows you to visualize all deliverables, work from one calendar, and have the ability to break down projects into task lists.

These features make it the ideal tool for the busy freelance social media manager.

7. Creativity

While there isn't a specific social media manager qualification you need in order to enter the field, one thing you do need in your tool belt is creativity. Without it, your campaigns will lack that spark that separates mediocre campaigns from great ones.

Does your brain work in unusual ways? Do you thrive on dreaming up new ideas? If so, this is a talent that will serve you as a freelance social media manager.

8. Professionalism and organization

Two other important skills a social media manager needs are professionalism and organization.

Besides being organized with your time, campaigns, and task list, you also need to keep track of admin-related things like account login details, billing, contracts, and proposals.

If you choose to become a freelance social media manager rather than working in-house for a company, you'll need to handle a certain amount of business admin. This is vital for winning new clients, maintaining cash flow and accurate records, and protecting yourself legally.

Two of the most important client-related administrative tasks are drafting freelance proposals and contracts. Clear proposals are vital for gaining new clients and aligning their expectations with yours.

Once a client has accepted a proposal, it's critical that you turn this into a solid contract that protects you and lays out the terms of the project in detail.

If proposals and contracts aren't your forte, Moxie can help. We know how important these documents are. We also know how time-consuming it can be to draw them up.

Therefore, to save you time and headache, Moxie includes both a proposal and contract builder feature. With Moxie you can easily draw up beautiful proposals that reflect your brand as a freelance social media manager. Once these have been accepted, you can turn proposals into water-tight contracts complete with pre-vetted legal terms and industry-standard electronic signatures.

Besides this, Moxie also features built-in invoicing, integrated with your projects. This cuts down on invoice generation time and ensures that you can create a client's invoice within seconds. It also allows you to send automated payment reminders and comes with Stripe integration.

Do you have the right skills for a freelance social media manager career?

Being a successful social media manager requires a variety of abilities. From being able to write compelling copy to spotting trends, and staying organized, there's a lot that goes into how to be a social media manager.

However, if you have the skills for a freelance social media manager career, it can be a lucrative and fascinating path.

What's more, having the right tools can go a long way to managing the demands of being a freelance social media manager.

Moxie is a one-stop platform for managing clients and projects, built by freelancers for freelancers. Its integrated project management, proposal, contract, and invoicing features make it perfectly suited to the needs of a freelance social media manager.

If you want to launch your social media manager career with the right tools, sign up 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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