How to get hired as a social media consultant
you are a social media expert. You have 1,500 followers on Twitter and you are 700 friends on Facebook. You love to blog and browse forums for new information, adding your comments along the way, engaging in more and more conversations. Social media is your thing, and you get it.
But how do you make money with your social media expertise? One booming field is social media consulting. These independent entrepreneurs serve the social media needs of large companies looking to establish an online presence. Many people want to become self-employed: entrepreneurs can choose their schedules, who they work with and where they work.
That said, it’s not always the easiest way to make a living, with fierce competition and a less than generous job market. This is especially true for social media consultants, as anyone with an internet connection can set up a Facebook account and claim to be an expert.
The best way to set yourself apart from the pack and create an impressive portfolio is to start managing social media accounts for your friends and family on a volunteer basis. Create Facebook pages and Twitter accounts for the family business. Help your friend’s group by promoting them on Twitter.
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Companies want to see examples of past work before hiring a consultant; make yourself a strong candidate by skillfully and successfully managing several volunteer projects with concrete figures to demonstrate your expertise.
After building a portfolio, promote your services. Do it in a way that makes you a legitimate social media expert – and don’t stop with your Twitter bio. Start a blog to advocate strategies for your projects, critically examining what you are doing in light of recent trends. Or comment on someone else’s social media campaign, arguing for or against the points made in an online social media post. Show that you are smart, creative, and perceptive enough to be an expert.
Reaching that first paid gig can be difficult. To help you get ready with some concrete statistics, such as your Alexa Rank or Pagerank. If your potential employer doesn’t know what it is, better yet, explain what the numbers mean, revealing yourself to be an expert, in touch with all the cutting edge social media tools.
Be aggressive and keep trying. Campaign for yourself in a creative way that shows your social media savvy. Got a gig in mind that you really, really want? Create targeted Facebook ads to potential employers.
When you start to land consulting jobs, be aware of your bookkeeping. You can bill businesses through PayPal, or they’ll write you a check. Be sure to keep printed copies of signed contracts, especially if they are completed electronically.
Keep track of your income and be aware that the U.S. Self-Employment Tax is currently 15.30%, although you may be able to take deductions for business expenses like a cell phone, computer, or internet service. .
Most importantly, make sure social media is something you like before you jump into freelance consulting. It can take long hours, low wages, and a lot of patience to land a gig, even remotely and well paying, but if that’s what you really want to do, the lean times are worth it.