Are you thinking about turning over a new leaf and starting a lucrative online profession that’s in it for the long haul?
One where you can call the shots and use your creativity to help other businesses thrive?
I think you picked a good one, starting a social media management business from home can be both lucrative and rewarding.
I’m not just blowing smoke here.
I’ve been paid for social media work in a few different specialties and I’ve really enjoyed it!
It can get stressful, but it doesn’t have to be if you’re prepared and care about what you do and the work you put out.
I strongly believe that no matter what business someone has started, they should more than likely outsource their social media marketing (or have a separate department for that).
It can be time-consuming to keep up with the algorithms and changes to platforms. Then you have to keep up with the consistency of it and have fresh content with appealing graphics and the whole nine.
And all of it is crucial to the success of any business!
…in my humble opinion.
So, you want to be that essential part to any business operation?
You want to be the go-to expert and the one that keeps up with all the hype?
You’re a brave soul my friend. I think you’ll love the ride. It’s interesting, allows you to tap into your creativity, it’s rewarding and fun!
Plus, the big one, it’s a lucrative profession these days.
Everything and everyone is online.
So why are we here today, because you’re curious to know what I believe you should have in your social media manager toolbox for success, right?
Is this an all-inclusive list? No, but it’s a great starter. Start with what you need (this stuff) and then add on from there where you see fit.
If you want “all inclusive guide” check out the eBook I wrote “How to Start a Social Media Management Business From Home.”
Well here are my top 9 recommendations (love that round number don’t ya, lol) for “tools” to start your social media management business:
1. Your Business ‘Home’ Online
This might be a given, but I think you should have your own business presence. This is great for potential clients to be able to get in touch with you, see what you’re about, try to gauge your personality and see what you’re offering.
It’s important to vibe with the people you’ll work with because you may work closely with them, depending on how you run your business.
Is it crucial to get along, no. But please believe, these businesses are checking you out to see if you align with what they are looking for.
Your website gives them that snapshot, so does your social media presence so keep that in mind when you’re consciously deciding to go into this business.
You will be judged, lol!
Another reason for this is to shine in your work. Even if you’re just getting started, create samples to show off.
Have some sort of portfolio or gallery so that people can see what you can do. Also display testimonials as you get them.
If you can’t afford a website, don’t know how to put one together or know that you’ll use it as a reason to procrastinate and not get started, just start with a completely filled out social media business page.
I like Facebook and LinkedIn for this option but the choice is yours. Just be somewhere.
2. A Way to Get Paid
Once you get setup, make sure you set up a way to get paid by your clients. It’s all about diving in and making your first few dollars to keep you motivated to keep building.
Be ready for pay.
If you get a business bank account, you need a Tax ID# (EIN) first.
An alternative and quick option is to set up a PayPal business account for free. You’ll just be charged transaction fees according to their site.
You can even get a debit card for free, that way if you make purchases for the business, you can keep them all linked to one account.
You can also link this to bookkeeping software to keep your information organized for taxes, but we’ll get into that next.
Set this up before you go after any clients so that you have a way to invoice them that looks professional right from the start.
3. Bookkeeping Software
Every business has to file taxes. You’ll be no exception, especially once you reach a certain amount in revenue. You’ll have to report your earnings to the IRS when you pay your taxes.
If you already have a system in place, it will make things easier. There are certain expenses related to your business that will allow you to have deductions applied to your taxable revenue.
You can set up your bookkeeping in a few different ways.
Set up an excel spreadsheet with all of your business’s expenses and update it monthly with the amounts you spent.
Or you can use some bookkeeping software. If you do that, you can link your bank account to it and everytime you make a purchase through that account, it will show up in the software.
Then you’ll sit down and go through the transactions to categorize them appropriately. Choose a day every week or at least every month to do this so they don’t add up on you.
Wave Accounting is a free option for this, or you can go with QuickBooks Online (a common option).
It doesn’t matter which system you choose, just have one.
Not just for reporting purposes, but so that you can see the health of your business over time and make sure you’re growing and not overspending in unnecessary areas.
These reports will give you the data you need to make smart operating and growth decisions.
4. A Way to Request Information From Clients
You’ll also need a system to collect the information you’ll need to do your job. You can do something like using Google Docs.
You can create the document with the questions, share it with your client and have them fill in the answers.
Another great way, one that I prefer, is to use Google Forms. You can create the form with the questions, send the link to your client (or have it embedded in a button after they pay, automation is key).
This way, they can literally just go through and fill in the questions and you’ll receive the replies in a spreadsheet or PDF on the back end, however you prefer.
The information you’ll be wanting to request depends on the service you’ll offer but there are some basic things you’ll want to make sure you ask for.
Your client’s business name, logo, color codes, fonts, voice of their company, some basic information that is specific to their field of expertise and whatever else you need.
This way, you have what you need to go back and create the posts.
This “tool” recommendation is kind of 2 in one, because while you’re requesting information, you’ll want to also consider sending a contract or agreement that outlines what you’ll do, what you’ll get paid and when.
It can also outline any other important terms of the service and how you’ll do your work. Whether you do it in the beginning or after you start getting clients, consider having a lawyer help you draft one or at least look over whatever you’ve started with.
5. A Way to Design the Post Graphics
Once you have the information you need to create good content, you’ll need a good piece of software to actually create the graphics.
I love Canva for this. Canva is great for beginners, it’s user friendly and gives you templates for literally every social media platform that you can create content for.
You can use their templates and just update the colors, branding and content for your clients or you can use them as a starting point to create your own posts.
If you’re already artistically inclined, you can always start from scratch and make your posts using this software as well.
Canva has a free version so you can get started right away and begin practicing and getting used to the software. (Hint: you can create some samples for your site)
There are some features that you can only use if you pay for the pro version, which in my opinion is worth it in this profession.
The pro version is like around $12 a month and like I said, well worth it for someone who creates graphics for a living.
Keep in mind you’ll be creating graphics for your client and for yourself to market your own business.
6. Royalty-Free Stock Photo Sites for Posts and Marketing Graphics
This step is optional if you’re going to use Canva, but I believe you should have them in your arsenal too.
Royalty-free stock photo sites will give you access to even more images, video and audio, an essential tool for a social media marketer.
Even though Canva will let you create entire graphics, and they have plenty of royalty-free stock photos, sometimes they may not have an image you need.
If you have some extra sites (that only have images) you’ll have a larger pool to choose from. You can always download the images for free and then upload them into Canva to create your graphics.
They also have videos, if you want to use video clips in any content you’re creating.
My top three go-to are Pexels, Pixabay and Unsplash. When I want images specific to African Americans, my favorite site is nappy.co
Again, these are free sites. You can choose to set up a free account or just visit the sites when you need some extra images, audio or video clips.
7. A Way to Schedule the Posts
Now that you’ve created your graphics, you’ll want software to schedule your posts. While there are some free options that will let you schedule to varios social media accounts, I have my favorite and it’s a paid one.
Buffer and Hootsuite are two great free options to start with (and there are others). You can sign up and then add the social media accounts you want to schedule posts for.
Why are you scheduling posts instead of just doing live posts? Time and efficiency.
You can go crazy trying to set alarms for various clients, platforms and posting times.
To make your life simpler, you use software where you can upload your graphics, write some content to go with them, add hashtags if you’d like and then decide on the exact day and time it will post to its respective platform.
Once you have more than one client at a time, you’ll definitely understand why.
So why is my favorite one a paid software?
Well like I said, you’ll be posting for your clients but you’ll also have to keep up with your own online presence and post to your social media of choice as well.
Social Pilot is a great tool for any social media manager or social media agency. They have so many features, omg! I love this tool!
You can click the link above to check them out, they have a free trial so you can test the waters before you pay. Yes, it’s an affiliate link because I have chosen to take part in their affiliate program.
I only like to do this with things I’ve used and loved so I wouldn’t recommend you trash, lol. Let me tell you some highlights about Social Pilot for managing your social media clients.
First of all, and this golden feature is worth its own weight in gold, your client doesn’t have to give you their login credentials!
This is a huge plus because that’s some sensitive information. Even though clients will provide it, let’s be honest, no one wants to.
With this feature, you basically send a link to your clients and they sign in, giving you permission to have access to their social media account(s) and then you can sign into the portal on your end and have access. No login info needed.
For their lowest paid version, you have access to schedule posts for 25 social media accounts and you can have 3 users (i.e. hire help)! That’s an amazing deal.
The next step up from that is 50 accounts with 5 users and then 75 accounts with 10 users and after that they’ll customize something for you.
You can literally grow with this software and it won’t hurt your budget. You’ll be able to schedule posts, see a calendar view to see how your month is looking, you can re-schedule the same exact post if you want to use it again in a few months (it’s perfectly fine to recycle your content).
You can use the content curator tool where you set up an RSS Feed to search the web for relevant articles that you can schedule, you can boost posts, respond to DMs on Instagram and so many more features that I can’t list them all!
Like I said, for a social media manager, this is thee tool for running the actual business. Check it out and see if it’s right for you. CLICK HERE
8. Something to Plan your Content
Ok so you’ve created graphics, you have a way to post them, but you’ll also want to keep in mind, having a way to see what you’ll post in the first place. You’ll want some sort of content calendar.
For your own sanity, do not wake up every day winging it with your content. Not yours for your business, or for your clients.
You can get an actual physical planner or use something like Excel. Have a running list of ideas in one sheet. In another sheet have the exact type of content you’ll post each day.
Don’t overthink this too much. Look at your clients market, what their audience will find entertaining and engaging and plan out when you’ll post what. Do a good mix to keep people wanting to follow your client and keep coming back.
While you’ll want to throw some promos in there, try to follow the 70/30 rule.
Let 70% of the posts entertain, educate and inform. Let 30% of the content be promotions of services or products that people can buy.
It’s ok to throw some freebies in there too if you’re helping your client build an email list or running a contest. There are so many things you can do. Grab the eBook for more content ideas.
I do have a free download on My Shop Page with 60 social media content ideas. Feel free to download that to get an idea of some things you can create for your client.
9. A Step-by-Step Guide
Well, we’ve come to the end of my nice rounded list of tools to get your social media management business started from the comfort of your home.
If you’re new to this side of doing business or even creating social media content, you could use a step-by-step guide to help you to set up properly and be successful.
I’ve created that step-by-step guide and outlined everything in black and white for you. So if you like this post, you’ll love the eBook I wrote on the topic!
It’s straightforward, easy to follow and will leave you with what you need to get started. These 9 tools are not all-inclusive, you still have to set up pricing, service packages, marketing techniques for you and your client and much more.
Think of this post as a quick start guide. The eBook will give you the total startup guide.
You can download your copy CLICK HERE and start working on getting your business launched today!
One final tip from me, work closely with your client. Have them send you info on their blogs if they have one, their YouTube if they have one, a list of some pro tips about their profession that you can research and elaborate on, video clips, etc so that you can create content accordingly.
With my clients I send a social media calendar at the beginning of each month with what I’d post each day to keep them in the loop. With Social Pilot, they login and view what you’ve scheduled (another great feature).
Some post information wasn’t super specific. For example, if I’m doing a quote I’ll just say “Monday – Monday Motivation Quote.” This way I leave myself open to flexibility in finding quotes to post.
If you work best with specifics you can research the specifics and add them in if that works for you. I did what worked for me. This is your business, own it.
Well that’s what I have for you in prepping for your social media management business.
Grab that eBook I wrote for you “How to Start a Social Media Management Business From Home,” get your steps lined up and get started.
Don’t try to be perfect, start as soon as you’re ready to implement the steps I’ve mentioned. The sooner you start, the sooner you can start making money and growing.
Wishing you the best in this entrepreneurial journey!