How I Became A Freelance Social Media Manager

Last week, I had a very interesting convo with a young lady who wanted to know how to start a side hustle.

Well, first off, there are SEVERAL ways to side hustle ! Nick over at Side Hustle Nation gives you 300+ ways to make side money in his new book. (NOTE : this book will be the best $2.99 you spend all year. Take my word for it.)

Today, though, I am going to talk about the side hustle of the “freelance” kind. So if you’ve ever wondered how people are able to start freelancing as writers, social media managers, web designers, and what have you, tighten your seat-belt and get ready for the ride.

Ready ?

Grab my free video training “7 Skills Every Social Media Manager Needs

How I Became A Freelance Social Media Manager – without previous experience

My educational background has NOTHING to do with marketing.

I have a PhD in Microbiology and Immunology and 2 bachelor’s degrees : one in nursing, one in biology (completely over-educated person over here).

So how did I break in freelance social media management ?

To go into that story would take us years back to when flip phones were still a thing. So I will give you the abridged version.

I was in grad school and I needed extra money to pay the bills.

And though I knew I needed money to pay extra bills the only skill I could think of that I could potentially get paid for as a side hustle was tutoring nursing students who wanted to pass their licensing exam. I did that for a while but was not really “feeling” it because I would have to drive to a location to meet with my students in order to have a meaningful tutoring session.

That took gas and energy and while I did make some extra income from it, it just wasn’t conducive. So I started looking into things I could do from home.

I did a little research came and across social media management as a field that was and still is quickly gaining steam especially with a lot of businesses jumping on the social media band wagon and yet not having the time to actually to the “activity of social media”.

Although I’m pretty introverted, I absolutely LOVE social media and the opportunity it gives everyone who leverages it well to get their name out there. So I decided, I wanted to become a social media manager.

Investing In The Skill of Social Media Management

Now that I had chosen a skill, I started investing into it.

I took paid course offered by Sandi Krakowski and learned so much more than I would if I had just learned on my own. That paid course saved me TIME.

I know we all don’t just have money laying around waiting to be spent on courses. But if there is anything I have learned from building my blog and business, it is that sometimes you will have to make that temporary monetary sacrifice in order to achieve the long-term goal.

After I took the course, I kept on reading every piece of information I could find on the different social media networks, what worked on each and what did not work. I learned a little bit of copy writing so I could craft posts that would move people to action.

And then I took more courses. I learned how to do paid Facebook advertising and HONESTLY, I am still learning because with Facebook there is always something new to learn.

I Practiced What I Had Learned/Built Proof

Now, it was time to build something with all the knowledge I had acquired. So I started a blog. I did experiments and reported them. I kept on learning and implementing.

I got on Pinterest and started joining relevant group boards to drive traffic. I saw results. 

I started doing my own FB ads with $5 and $10 budgets to test my knowledge. I saw results. 

I started researching hashtags and using them on Twitter with my posts. I saw results.

Why did I do that ? Because if I was going to SELL my client, I wanted to show them that what I would do for them WOULD work.

Traffic to my blog began to grow and so did my social media presence. Everything I had learned started to pay off.

You don’t have to start a blog and build a social media following to become a freelance social media manager. That was my path but to be honest, having a blog and social media presence GREATLY helps with getting the conversation moving with potential clients.

Getting My First Client

I got my first social media client from Craigslist. (Finding your first clients for a freelance business is a whole other post I will be writing soon).

She was looking for a social media manager and I reached out. I shot her a quick e-mail saying I was her girl and invited her to check out my blog and social media networks.

{{Thinking of becoming a social media manager ? I have a FREE mini-course for you. }}


She took me on and the rest is history.

This one client has also been the source of 75% of my clients as she keeps referring me to everyone. And soon enough, I was making a 4-figure side income from my desk at home.

And that, my friend, is how I became a freelance social media manager.

It was not easy – especially since I had a full-time job and a family plus church responsibilities.

But there is something about seeing your fridge empty and being behind on your bills that can really give you the kick in the pants you need sometimes.

What’s the point ?

The point is you don’t need to be formally trained in a particular skill to offer it as a freelance service.

The point is if you will dedicate yourself to it, you can choose and learn a skill in the next 60, 90 or 120 days that will make a WORLD of change for you and your family.

That’s the point.

Powerful thing is  you can apply this to any freelance path you choose.

Here’s a little graphic to help you remember what I just said.



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  • DeeDee Lynn

    Hi Gee. I guess I’m over-educated with 2 music ed degrees LOL. I’ve thought about freelancing, but I have two problems. The first is my health. With fibromyalgia, I never know from day to day how I’m going to feel, and there are days when I just can’t drag myself to the computer. That could be a problem when it comes to deadlines. Also, I just don’t want to be tied down working for someone else. I pretty much put freelancing out of my mind.

    I did work as a freelance transcriptionist for a while, but it was too much work for the money, and the leg that operated the pedal was killing me. But for someone with the health and desire to do so, it’s a great idea. I love your story of how you started from scratch – learning and then going to work. That’s awesome!

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