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How to Work with a Freelance Social Media Manager as a Small Business

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  • How to Work with a Freelance Social Media Manager as a Small Business

If you’re not on social media, you’re missing out on the world’s biggest marketing opportunity. In fact, you could be losing out on connecting with 4.2 billion social media users worldwide.

But for many small businesses, the prospect of hiring an in-house social media manager isn’t always financially realistic. Entire social media marketing teams can be expensive to maintain, and most small businesses want to allocate their resources to other areas of management.

That’s why you’ll want to know how to work with a freelance social media manager.

SourceHow to Work with a Freelance Social Media Manager

But considering how effective a strong social media strategy can be for improving revenue and performance, it’s important for small businesses to have at least one person dedicated to making it all happen. And fortunately, freelance social media managers are more accessible and in-budget than ever before.

Here’s how you can grow your business with a freelance social media manager at the helm.

What To Look For When Outsourcing A Freelance Social Media Manager

Social media management is a rapidly growing field that has undergone significant evolution in the past few years—and when you look at the stats, it’s easy to understand why.

Even by hiring one freelance social media manager, your small business can experience better brand recognition, improved online engagement, higher-ranking product and service reviews, enhanced revenue, and a wide variety of other important benefits.

But hiring a freelancer can be a different process than hiring a full-time employee. So, it’s crucial for small businesses like yours to know exactly what to look for in a potential candidate.

How to Work with a Freelance Social Media Manager - How to Work with a Freelance Social Media Manager as a Small Business - 1Source

Great writing skills

Two of the tasks typically ascribed to a social media manager are writing online post captions and sending out email newsletters. Both of these require an astute knowledge of grammar, sentence structure, and the ability to communicate in an engaging way.

For your customers, finding a typo in a newsletter or website text is the digital equivalent of finding a hair in their soup at a restaurant. It’s disappointing, indicates poor quality controls, and makes a bad impression.

Consumers want to see that your brand can communicate its ideas and offerings in a clear and succinct way. The last thing you want is for customers to perceive your brand as unprofessional, due to avoidable errors or poorly constructed text.

Many freelance social media managers incorporate copywriting into their service offering. This makes them much stronger in their role and a much greater asset to your brand. So, if you can find one that ticks this box, snap them up.

Solid organizational skills

Social media management requires a lot of toing and froing between different sites, file types, and information. Without great organizational skills, things could get messy.

Your business needs a social media manager that can cope well under the pressures of multi-platform integration and moving between many different content types at once. Whether they’re scheduling short videos for Instagram or compiling witty little tweets for Twitter, you need to trust that they will continue to operate smoothly.

Strong organizational skills are particularly important if you are only hiring one or two social media managers for your brand. Naturally, the more skilled and experienced they are, the higher their rates will be, but this aspect of the profession is well worth investing in.

3+ years of experience in the field

Social media may seem simple at a glance, but it is a complex profession that constantly advances and evolves. Now is not the time to take a gamble. You want someone with experience. Considering the high volume of freelance social media managers available online, you shouldn’t have any trouble finding an experienced professional.

Strong eye for design

Depending on the arrangement you make with your freelancer, they may be required to perform content creation (creating graphics and editing photos to upload onto your accounts). This is a common skills requirement for social media professionals.

Whoever’s in charge of your social media platforms needs to have a keen eye for detail, be able to create professional, aesthetically pleasing, and brand-aligned content for your business. In fact, it can’t actually be stressed enough how important this is for the performance of your various online channels.

Consumers are inundated with high-quality content online, which means that their expectations have increased massively over the past few years.

The people who follow your brand expect cohesive, professionally curated videos, images, stories and visuals from you. Anything less than can result in limited growth potential, which stunts your long-term social media marketing strategy.

Experience with paid advertising and ROI

Unless your freelancer has experience with the practical and systemic sides of social media marketing, any content strategy they may have could fall flat. Experience with data tracking, paid advertisement know-how, and an understanding of ROI is essential for creating a successful social media strategy.

It’s no longer enough to post cute, witty captions or upload trendy video bites. There needs to be a solid, researched strategy in place.

The ideal social media manager has experience with marketing, ROI, and KPI-setting so that each creative decision they make aligns with a long-term plan for revenue and market expansion.

Good references

References speak volumes about a freelancer, especially if they can back them up with data-driven results. Always check references and client reviews to ensure that the freelancer you hire can deliver what they promise.

Many of the biggest freelancer platforms today offer reference portfolios that potential clients can browse through before making contact with the freelancer. You should take full advantage of this option when it’s available so that you can ensure you get the best candidate possible within your budget.

How to Work with a Freelance Social Media Manager - How to Work with a Freelance Social Media Manager as a Small Business - 2Source

Tips For Working Alongside A Freelance Social Media Manager

According to a LinkedIn report, the demand for experienced social media managers has increased by 116.4% in the past five years, and by a further 28.5% since the onset of the pandemic. These impressive figures only go to show how essential social media managers have become to contemporary business models.

Millions of small businesses are reaching out to qualified freelancers to handle their social media. In doing so, they’re attracting more customers and advancing the business.

If you’ve never worked with a freelance social media manager before, here are some helpful tips.

Know what you want

While it’s true that your social media manager should be able to create and implement strategies on their own, they will require some feedback and guidance from you with regard to brand tonality and direction. Knowing what you want from the get-go will streamline the onboarding process.

Screen their work until a relationship is established

Even if you hire a highly recommended, fully qualified freelancer, you don’t want to just hand over all your passwords and let them run wild without screening the work they’re doing for you first.

To make sure you are both on the same page, look through their proposed content and ideas prior to them uploading or publishing anything on your behalf. If you’re not sure what to look for exactly, ask a friend or colleague with more experience to confirm that it is good to go.

Ask them to explain their strategy

It’s well within your right as their client to ask for a run-down of their overarching strategy for your brand’s social media platforms.

Host regular meetings with them in person or online to discuss the work they are currently doing, and outline what the next few weeks or months will look like. You can also ask them to explain the “why” behind their decisions. What KPIs are you aiming to hit? How does their strategy tie in with those KPIs?

That said, some freelance social media managers may charge an additional fee for this, especially if it takes up extra time. Unlike an employee that’s on a schedule, a freelancer isn’t available to you at all hours. Make sure to check beforehand what their availability and charges are so you don’t rack up a bigger bill than you’re expecting.

Develop a clear line of communication

Just as you would with a regular employee or hire, open and clear communication is essential to maintaining a healthy, professional relationship with a freelance social media manager.

From the moment they agree to take you on as a client, make sure you have an accessible and reliable way to communicate with them over your established time period. Use this to keep each other in the loop every step of the way.

Start with a short-term contract

Most freelancers will want to enter into a contract with you before agreeing to take you on as a client—and this is the right thing to do. But that doesn’t mean you have to sign them on for a year. Start off with a short-term contract (3-6 months) and take it from there.

Trust them to do their job

While open communication and screening are important for the beginning phase of hiring a freelancer, remember that they are qualified professionals who know what they’re doing. You can trust them to take the reins for their department.

After all, that’s the point of hiring them—so that you can stop worrying about social media performance on your own and allow somebody else to take on that responsibility.How to Work with a Freelance Social Media Manager - How to Work with a Freelance Social Media Manager as a Small Business - 3Source

The Benefits Of Hiring A Freelance Social Media Manager For Your Small Business

Many small business owners are wary of outsourcing due to the perceived expense and maintenance of the position. But hiring a freelancer is one of the smartest things you can do for your small business while it is still in its early phases of development.

Freelancers are often less expensive to hire than full-time employees and can be brought in and out on projects as needed. The fact that you don’t have to commit to hiring them full time is an advantage you should leverage to your benefit.

For example, you could hire a freelance social media manager to assist with the development of a particular campaign, and then choose how you want to move forward from there.

There is spaciousness and flexibility to hiring a freelancer, especially in the social media field. Here are a few more benefits to outsourcing social media professionals as a small business owner.

  • Improved collaboration — Many freelancers are familiar with joining new teams as an outsider, which can make them naturally collaborative professionals. They tend to be highly communicative and willing to meet whatever challenges come their way.
  • Enhanced revenue and traction for your business — Every business needs a social media strategy. A freelancer who specializes in this area will help you boost online traffic, gain a wider following, and establish deeper customer connections.
  • Crisis aversion and PR — Freelancers are used to keeping their ears on the ground in relation to global events, and this is especially true for social media managers. This equips them to pinpoint trends (both good and bad) and to adjust your strategy as needed.
  • Better for the environment — Most freelancers work remotely and therefore don’t need to commute to work or take up any additional resources at your small business. If you’re promoting your brand as one that’s eco-conscious, this gives you extra leverage.
  • A fresh perspective — It can be very beneficial for your team to experience the angle of a totally new team member. Freelancers are individual operators that can bring refreshingly new perspectives and ideas to your operations.
  • Save money — It’s cheaper to hire a freelancer than it is to hire a full-time employee. And if you don’t like the work they produce, simply ride out your contract or activate the exit clause before finding someone who is better suited to the work.

Hiring a freelance social media manager might feel daunting if you haven’t done it before, but the benefits far outweigh any challenges that may arise.How to Work with a Freelance Social Media Manager - How to Work with a Freelance Social Media Manager as a Small Business - 4Source

Final words on How to Work with a Freelance Social Media Manager

Social media managers play a critical role in amplifying the voice and reputation of your brand online. They also help your business generate more revenue, increase site traffic, and connect with your customers on a deeper level.

If your small business is considering hiring a freelance social media manager, this list of things to look out for and tips for how to work with one professionally should help.


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