How to Have a Social Media Manager Side Hustle?

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Do you live for the Gram? Do you have an eye for fresh content and a talent for crafting high-performing social media posts? If so, being a social media manager might be the right career move for you. Chances are you’ve already considered taking the plunge but are understandably nervous about leaving the stability of your current job behind. 

If this sounds like you, then a great way to test the waters and see if this is the right career move for you is by starting a side hustle as a social media manager.

This way, you can have the best of both worlds: the guarantee of your full-time job and the excitement of a new venture as a social media manager.

But how can you get started? It’s always daunting to start from scratch in a new field, so let this article be a helpful guide to starting your new social media management side hustle.

TL;DR: Starting a side hustle as a social media manager?

  • Once you’ve decided that you want to start a side hustle as a social media manager, you can get started in two ways:
  • either by applying for part-time gigs with an agency or company
  • or by advertising yourself as a freelancer and seeking out your own clients.

Is Being a Social Media Manager the Right Side Hustle for You?

Before you start looking for jobs, take a minute to consider whether social media management is the right side hustle for you.

A social media manager curates and manages an organization, company, or group’s online presence, usually across multiple platforms.

This means that you’ll be responsible for developing a strategy, consistently producing engaging, on-brand content, analyzing impact, managing all campaigns and social media-related projects, and more.

While this may be a doable side hustle if you’re working for a small organization, social media managers for large companies have a lot of work on their plate — generally too much to handle as a part-time job or side hustle.

As such, if you’re looking to dip a toe into the field, it’s best to start small, but more on that later.

Additionally, this may go without saying, but social media management is obviously not the right side hustle for anyone trying to limit their screen time! 

You’ll have to spend a lot of time analyzing trends across multiple social media platforms, so if this doesn’t sound appealing to you, then you’re better off considering a different side hustle.

With that said, starting a side hustle as a social media manager can help you:

  • Figure out if this is the right career for you (before you quit your day job);
  • Develop a portfolio of your work and build your resume;
  • Earn a little extra cash on the side;
  • Develop skills that are relevant to many different careers, such as time management and customer relations.

If this sounds good to you, then let’s dive into how you can get started.

How to Start Your Social Media Manager Side Hustle

social media manager side hustle

If you’ve decided you want to start a side hustle as a social media manager, there are two ways you can go about it: either by working for a company or by starting out as a freelancer.

Working for a Company or Agency

Getting hired to work for a social media management company (or another company looking to hire a social media manager) is definitely the fastest way to start your social media managing career.

You can look for jobs on popular employment search sites like Indeed or check out your favorite companies and brands to see if they might be hiring. 

You can also apply to work for a social media management agency. As the social media management industry skyrockets, the number of agencies who regularly hire new talent increases as well. 

The obvious benefit here is that you won’t need to reach out to potential clients yourself, or worry about not having enough experience on your resume. 

You’ll also have a guaranteed paycheck and an opportunity to learn the industry from the inside and develop your portfolio. In short, working as part of a team can strongly improve your chances of being able to strike out on your own one day, or even start your own agency.

However, there are downsides as well. Working for a company or an agency likely means that you’ll have to put in more hours and probably won’t have as much flexibility with your schedule. 

This isn’t inherently a bad thing, but if you’re trying to keep your full-time job while exploring a career in social media management, your schedule could get pretty hectic. 

In short, unless the job you’ve applied for clearly specifies that you can work part-time and set your own schedule, you should be wary of biting off more than you can chew.

Freelancing

As a freelance social media manager, you’re in charge of finding your own clients.

One of the best ways to go about this is to polish up your resume/CV and advertise your services on a freelancing platform like Upwork, Toptal, Fiverr, or Freelancer.com.

Although all of these platforms take a cut of your profits, it’s free to sign up, and it’s a fair price to pay for being instantly connected to a pool of thousands of potential clients.

Of course, the competition on these platforms can be stiff, so you’ll have to work hard to make yourself stand out from the crowd. 

While this is a potential downside of freelancing as a social media manager, the upside is that you can take on as much or as little work as you want and generally set your own schedule to suit your lifestyle.

If you’re working as a freelancer, you can set your own fee. This will generally depend on experience, but as a rule of thumb, you can expect to charge:

  • $10-$20/hour (0-2 years of experience)
  • $40-$75/hour (3-5 years of experience)
  • $80-100/hour (5-10 years of experience)
  • $100-$250/hour (10+ years of experience)

While making a profile on a freelance marketplace is a great way to connect with clients, it’s not the only option.

If you’re feeling bold, you could even reach out to small companies and brands to see if they might be interested in adding a social media manager (i.e., you) to their team.

If you go this route, you should have a portfolio prepared with examples of your work and a hypothetical social media strategy prepared specifically for the brand you want to work with.

Always come prepared to any meeting with a potential client, and try to project professionalism and confidence (even if it’s your first gig!).

FAQs

Why start a side hustle as a social media manager?

In addition to gaining experience in the field and building your resume/portfolio, with a side hustle as a social media manager, you can:

Set your own hours (usually);
Earn extra money;
Work on the platforms you love;
Gain valuable skills that are applicable across many industries.

Is social media management a profitable side hustle?

Like many side hustles, social media management can be highly profitable if you put in the time and effort to make it so

With the rise of social media as one of the primary ways that brands connect with potential customers, the demand for social media managers increases every day.

As a beginner freelancer, you can reasonably charge between $10-$20 per hour.

As you grow your portfolio and gain experience in the field, you can raise your rates – expert social media managers with several years of experience can earn well over $100 per hour!

How can I get hired as a social media manager?

There are two primary ways to get hired as a social media manager: by applying to jobs at companies or social media management agencies or by striking out on your own as a freelancer.

If you choose the latter, you can advertise yourself on freelancing platforms like Fiverr or others or on your own social media channels.

Summary – Social media manager side hustle job

If you’re considering making the transition to a career in social media management, starting a side hustle as a social media manager is a great way to test the waters and see if it’s right for you.

Not only will you get the chance to work on your own schedule, but you can also earn extra cash, all while gaining experience in a creative and constantly changing field.

While it can seem daunting to start from scratch, don’t let it dissuade you: everyone has to start somewhere, and in a rapidly growing industry like social media marketing, there are tons of opportunities – you just have to put in the time and effort to find them.

References

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