How to Make Money as a Freelance Social Media Manager [2023]

Whether or not you’re looking to begin a aspect hustle or a new profession change, working as a freelance social media supervisor can give you freedom whereas nonetheless engaged on tasks you’re enthusiastic about.

Nevertheless it’s laborious to know the place to start, and you might have extra questions than solutions on how to generate income as a social media supervisor. Let’s assessment what you want to get began.

Oh, and if you’d like to hear recommendation from our personal inside social media crew right here at Hootsuite on how to develop into a social media supervisor, watch this video:

Who is a freelance social media manager?

A freelance social media manager is a social media expert hired by clients who want to outsource their social strategy and execution.

Generally, freelance social media managers work with multiple companies and clients at a time.

Services commonly offered by freelancer social media managers can include:

  • Social media strategy
  • Creating and managing content calendars
  • Content creation (photography, design)
  • Content writing
  • Scheduling and publishing posts
  • Community management (engaging with followers, answering DMs and comments)
  • Analytics and reporting

9 skills that freelance social media managers should have

If you want to follow the freelance path, you’ll need to cultivate entrepreneurial skills on top of your social media management expertise.

You may be great at getting results for your clients, but you can end up struggling if your business processes aren’t solid.

Here are nine skills you should hone if you want to become a successful social media manager.

Content writing

Social media has grown more visual in recent years, but a good caption goes a long way in developing an engaged community.

Freelance social media managers should be good at copywriting and editing, as the most effective social media posts are short, snappy, and witty.

Content material creation

A contract social media supervisor wears many hats, and content material creation isn’t any exception. In lots of instances, you could be anticipated to create graphics, TikTok movies, or images.

You don’t have to be a Photoshop knowledgeable, both. Instruments like Canva make design tremendous straightforward with templates tailor-made for social media posts.

Whether or not you’re recording movies for TikTok or taking photos for Instagram, you want a smartphone able to capturing content material and enhancing it for numerous social media platforms. Every platform has its personal image and video specs, so ensure you’re creating content material that matches.

Group administration

There are a lot of individuals interacting with a model’s social media pages. From DMs, feedback, and critiques, a social media supervisor could also be anticipated to reply to every message.

It’s time-consuming, and lots of manufacturers outsource this side of social media administration. Good neighborhood administration requires being organized and meticulous (making certain no customer support points are missed), following the model’s tone of voice pointers, and having real interactions with the neighborhood.

Evaluation and reporting

That is a huge one. Social networks provide a lot of information, and your purchasers will anticipate you to find a way to acquire and analyze it. You want to find a way to type via the numbers to discover actionable insights.

You’ll doubtless want to present a month-to-month report to present your purchasers the outcomes of your campaigns. (Psst, right here’s a free social media report template.)

Your social experiences ought to define the outcomes of your work, highlighting viewers progress, engagement charges, attain, and direct gross sales/conversions, if relevant.

Presentation and gross sales

As a part of your freelance enterprise, you want to have the talents to pitch and promote your providers to potential purchasers. That is most likely a ability you didn’t want in your company life as a social media supervisor, nevertheless it’s very important as a freelancer.

One of many hardest issues about freelancing? Shopper tasks can finish, and you could not have new purchasers lined up to take their spots. Getting good at freelancing means studying how to preserve your eyes open for brand new alternatives.

Pitching and promoting your social media providers will develop into extra snug the extra you apply.

Shopper relationship administration

Bettering your relationships together with your purchasers can develop your small business. In any case, in case your shopper likes working with you, then chances are high they’ll proceed to ship work your manner. They might even refer you to others of their community or provide a testimonial on your web site.

Constructing and sustaining shopper relationships is essential to being a profitable social media supervisor. Whereas your present purchasers are vital, you don’t need to neglect different relationships. You’ll need to preserve tabs in your potential purchasers and previous purchasers and allow them to know in case you have availability.


Social media managers want to have their fingers on the heart beat of the newest tendencies. This will imply all the things from memes to present occasions. With out this attitude, social media campaigns can look outdated or not related.

For instance, Wendy’s used the timing of the FIFA World Cup 2022 to promote a particular prize for the winners of the USA vs. England recreation. The profitable nation scored free fries within the Wendy’s app.

Because the recreation resulted in a draw, each nations acquired free fries (or chips for the English).


Venture administration

Group is one other essential ability for freelance social media managers. Not solely do you want to handle content material calendars, however you additionally want to preserve observe of your individual enterprise. Whereas you might have labored with mission managers in previous roles, going freelance means taking up this job your self.

You’ll want a social media administration workflow to guarantee belongings are delivered on time and authorized by your purchasers. You’ll additionally want a course of to guarantee your invoices are getting delivered and paid.

Advertising and technique

Understanding advertising and marketing methods and the way they may affect your social media campaigns are non-negotiable expertise. It’s possible you’ll be liable for creating a social media marketing technique that aligns with the shopper’s enterprise goals — and even if you happen to aren’t creating the technique, you’ll doubtless be following another person’s.

Each social media submit wants cautious reflection on the way it helps develop the shopper’s enterprise. Strategic considering turns a social media submit into partaking content material.

How to develop into a freelance social media supervisor in 2023

Step 1: Arrange your small business

Earlier than you may work as a freelance social media supervisor, it’s best to take into account what you want to do legally to arrange a enterprise.

This may range relying on nationwide and native legal guidelines, however might embrace:

  • Deciding which sort of enterprise it’s best to register (such as a sole proprietorship or a restricted legal responsibility firm).
  • Registering your enterprise title (which wants to be distinctive); verify trademark databases if you’d like the choice to trademark your model sooner or later.
  • Registering for a tax quantity (not all freelancers want one, so make certain to analysis the factors on your state of affairs).
  • Getting your enterprise license (which often wants to be renewed yearly).
  • Creating a enterprise checking account (elective, verify with an accountant).

Alongside the way in which, you may want to seek the advice of with a tax skilled to decide how a lot of your earnings it’s best to put aside for taxes. They might additionally find a way to present recommendation on which enterprise sort would finest fit your wants.

You may additionally need to create a enterprise electronic mail and social media accounts (or a minimum of reserve the handles for your small business title, in case you resolve to construct them up in a while). This will likely be helpful while you begin advertising and marketing your small business extra publicly and want to set up a model.

Step 2: Construct a portfolio

When you’ve taken care of the authorized side of freelancing, it’s best to take into account creating a portfolio to exhibit your experience.

There are a few other ways to showcase your skilled portfolio. Some concepts embrace:

  • Constructing a web site
  • Utilizing your LinkedIn profile
  • Creating PDF recordsdata
  • Utilizing a Google Folder to retailer your case research

In the event you’ve solely labored full-time company roles, you should utilize tasks and examples from these roles to construct up your portfolio. Simply ensure you concentrate on the social media marketing methods you’ve contributed to and the outcomes for which you have been accountable.

Step 3: Worth your providers

Pricing your providers might be probably the most agonizing elements of a freelancer, particularly if you’re new and uncertain of what’s a truthful fee. There are lots of elements to take into account, together with your required wage, enterprise bills, taxes, and extra.

We focus on some benchmark charges beneath, however it’s best to take into account networking with fellow freelance social media managers to discover out what they’re charging for his or her providers. Doing your individual main analysis can assist you develop a aggressive fee on your personal social media providers.

Step 4: Put your self on the market

Now comes the enjoyable half: touchdown your first purchasers. Regardless of how gifted you’re as a social media supervisor, you want to put your self on the market for purchasers to know you’re accessible as a freelancer.

Listed below are a few concepts to assist you to get began:

  • Networking occasions. Networking occasions are a smart way to put your self on the market and meet new individuals. You probably have a particular area of interest, you might have considered trying to attend occasions the place you may meet individuals from that trade. And don’t neglect your fellow freelancers. They’ll present priceless insights into working as a freelancer and should even suggest you to their purchasers.
  • LinkedIn. An optimized LinkedIn profile can assist purchasers discover you and inquire about your providers. You possibly can add portfolio items to your profile and community with friends on the platform.
  • Social media teams. Many Slack and Fb teams usually have channels the place members can share freelance social media jobs. It’s additionally a great spot to preserve observe of tendencies and community with different freelancers.
  • Phrase of mouth. Previous and present purchasers can develop into a nice supply of referrals. When you’ve labored with a completely happy shopper, allow them to know that you simply’re open to suggestions as they usually know different associates/contacts like themselves.
  • Content material advertising and marketing. In order for you to construct a longer-term steady supply of shopper referrals, take into account beginning a e-newsletter, weblog, or YouTube channel. Your content material ought to cowl matters potential purchasers can be serious about (such as “social media suggestions for [your target industry]”) and embrace a CTA mentioning your freelance social media providers.

Step 5: Develop extra expertise

Constructing associated expertise could make your resume stand out and should make purchasers rent you.

Listed below are some expertise to take into account engaged on:

  • Influencer advertising and marketing
  • Paid social promoting
  • Videography
  • On-line status administration
  • Content material repurposing

2023 social media freelance charges

Pricing your freelance social media work will be troublesome as a result of there are a lot of variables to take into account. Your social media administration fee must be primarily based in your expertise, worth, enterprise bills, and your shopper’s price range and scope of labor required.

It additionally is determined by what the shopper wants for social media. For instance, a shopper might want an Instagram technique, however they may additionally ask for content material creation, submit scheduling, month-to-month analytic experiences, and neighborhood administration.

Earlier than you give a potential shopper a quote, it helps to know what they want.

Scheduling a discovery name can permit you to ask questions in regards to the shopper’s enterprise mannequin, goal clients, advertising and marketing budgets, KPIs, and any historical past of working with freelance social media managers to uncover potential pink flags. It additionally helps the shopper get to know you and ensure you’re a good match for the job.

So what are the tough estimates for the way a lot a freelance social media supervisor costs? Right here’s the typical pay in america, in accordance to ZipRecruiter:

  • Common annual pay: $52, 613
  • Common hourly fee: $25.29 per hour
  • Majority of salaries vary: $36,000-$60,500
  • High earners (ninetieth percentile): $84,500 yearly

Primarily based on the scope of labor, you additionally want to resolve if you’ll cost an hourly fee, month-to-month retainer, or one other association (i.e. % of income per lead generated).

Month-to-month retainers are finest for long-term tasks and can prevent numerous time you’d in any other case spend on time monitoring.

6 suggestions and finest practices for freelance social media supervisor

At all times preserve your resume up to date

Resumes aren’t all the time required by potential purchasers. Usually a robust portfolio and proposals are sufficient. However generally they ask, so it’s good to have an up to date resume accessible. You should use our free social media manager resume templates to get began.

Trace: You may additionally need to collect testimonials from previous and present purchasers to enhance your status. You can even create case research to promote your experience.

Talk together with your purchasers

One of the best ways to develop a sustainable enterprise is to safe ongoing tasks or retainers. Since social media is an ongoing necessity, your shopper most likely desires you to handle it month-to-month. However this will solely occur in the event that they belief you. A part of that belief is communication.

As a freelance social media supervisor, robust communication is your duty. In case of any delays, be immediate and clear. Creating an distinctive shopper expertise is one of the best ways to retain present purchasers (and perhaps even earn a referral or two!).

Perceive invoicing and taxes

At all times be certain to signal written contracts with new purchasers, which ought to include your most popular fee phrases and penalties for late funds. A typical fee time period is 30 days.

It’s your decision to get invoicing software program to ship skilled invoices with due dates and computerized reminders for fee. Some accounting software program additionally consists of invoicing together with monitoring bills.

Don’t neglect to put aside a proportion of your cash for taxes. The sum of money it’s best to save will rely in your native legal guidelines, so it’s finest to seek the advice of an accountant to decide the tax fee.

Use social media administration instruments to save time

Investing in instruments can assist you save time whereas engaged on social media administration.

A social media administration instrument like Hootsuite permits you to schedule posts, create analytics experiences, and reply to feedback and DMs, all from one dashboard. And, bonus, you may ditch the spreadsheets because you received’t want them to spot tendencies or extract insights.

Study extra about how Hootsuite can assist you simply deal with a number of purchasers’ social media accounts:


Save time managing your social media presence with Hootsuite. Publish and schedule posts, discover related conversions, interact your viewers, measure outcomes, and extra — all from one dashboard. Attempt it free in the present day.

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With recordsdata from Laura Wong.

Do it higher with Hootsuite, the all-in-one social media instrument. Keep up to the mark, develop, and beat the competitors.

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