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Being a freelance social media manager

by | Nov 10, 2022 | How-to | 1 comment

For communications students, job opportunities vary based on where we are most needed. Social media management is a combination of communications and marketing concepts. Businesses search for communications students to take on the role 

Starting with a non-profit organization to generate experience and develop your design skills can prepare you for your freelance journey. For most businesses, Facebook and Instagram are the primary platforms to communicate with their ideal audiences and the platforms you want the most knowledge about. Learning how to develop your skills, find clients, and the programs to become familiar with the start you on the path to becoming a freelance social media manager.

What is a Social Media Manager? 

Social media managers are primarily responsible for content creation, reviewing digital analytics, and overseeing advertisement campaigns. To be a social media manager, you need to have an eye for design, an ear for storytelling, and a mind for analysis. Facebook, Instagram, Tiktok, and YouTube are the most used platforms as of 2022. Knowing the algorithms, features, and how it can benefit the business is a vital part of being a social media manager. 

Social media platforms are key channels in marketing because of their vast reach and ability to meet the needs of various niche audiences. It is integral to marketing in many industries, high-end corporations, and small businesses. Using social media as a way to advertise your business and brand can generate an audience that goes beyond what marketing has been able to do in the past. For instance, major fashion brands like Gucci use their platforms to showcase new products and partnerships. In contrast, smaller businesses use social media to generate an audience and transform them from potential customers to loyal customers.

Getting clients, contracts, and making money

One of the most important things you can do as a freelancer is to create your own contract. Depending on the services you offer, you can add your own rules for how to run your business. A contract is vital in setting boundaries and protecting your payment. Including fees and payments, designated contact information, a confidentiality clause, and a termination clause. 

A confidentiality clause tells the client that you will not share or use any private information. Clients provide their own photos for use unless otherwise specified between you and the client. The confidentiality clause states that the photos given will not be used for other purposes or in other promotional material that is not for that business. Other information, such as passwords to social media platforms and employees’ personal phone numbers, are included in the clause. 

A termination clause states that both parties have the ability to terminate the contract with agreed-upon terms. Terms such as, f the social media manager want to terminate the contract, a two-weeks notice is required, and all materials need to be returned to the owner and erased off of any devices. If the client would like to terminate, they must notify the social media manager with a payout option.

Keeping a work-life balance can be hard, especially when you make your own hours. 

Setting up a separate email for your business allows you to have all your messages and attachments in one place and minimizes the chances of missing important information. 

One crucial part of starting a business or becoming a freelancer is having a rate representing your worth. 

The average social media manager charges between $35 to $50 per hour for their services. This rate includes taxes and any equipment that may be needed to complete the job. 

Being a freelancer means taking care of the business and the creative sides. The business side includes paying your own taxes, as it is not taken off by the client you’re working with. You are not considered an employee by the business and therefore need to handle your own taxes and business expenses not covered by the company. 

For example, if you charge $50 per hour to create content for a small business, approximately 30 per cent of each paycheque should go towards taxes; this is the first thing that should be done. A portion of it should be taken off for all expenses, such as a premium Canva subscription or Loomly, a post-scheduling platform. 

Tools and resources


HubSpot is a marketing management platform that offers educational courses on marketing, sales, website design, and more. Taking advantage of their free courses and certificates (or HubSpot Academy) will help you to learn about social media management, including creating a content calendar, analyzing data and trends in the industry, and learning how to succeed on every platform. 


Canva is a graphic design program for social media graphics. It has specialty templates and elements for every industry. The best part is that you can get most features for free. The premium subscription costs $149.99 per year — a cost you can work into your rate — which gives you access to the content planner and scheduler for every platform available. Canva is a social media manager’s best friend. 


Asana is a work management platform that allows you to work with other teams and track all your content, tasks, and work. It can be hard to manage which days have certain posts on certain social media channels. Keeping everything organized is a tool everyone needs, and Asana delivers. 


Manually publishing content can be exhausting and time-consuming, so having software that automatically posts on every platform, including TikTok and YouTube, is super helpful. Loomly lets you plan, organize, and schedule your content to go out whenever you want. Plus, it has additional features that let you store your hashtags and automatically calculate your digital analytics instead of doing it by hand.

Leanna Bressan

The Griff

1 Comment

  1. Diane

    Awesome article and great information


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