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5 Things I Wish I Knew Before Becoming a Social Media Manager

Jan 26, 2022

Social Media Management can be one of the most rewarding jobs out there.

๐Ÿงก You get to work with amazing clients
๐Ÿงก You get to help them grow their businesses
๐Ÿงก You get to be creative every day of the week

But if you don’t get it right from the start, it can be one of the hardest too. Pretty soon, you’ll find yourself working 14-hour days, never giving yourself time off, and struggling to draw the line between your professional and personal life.

I want to make sure this doesn’t happen to you, friend. 

I’ve been working in the marketing industry for a decade and started my journey in social media management about five years ago. 

In this blog, I want to let you know the five things I wish I knew before I dived in, that would have set me up for success from the start. 

Let’s make sure you don’t make the same mistakes I did, mmmkay?๐Ÿ‘‡

#1: I Wish I Knew Social Media Management Was So Much More Than What the Title Suggests 

There is so much more to social media management than meets the eye. 

This is one of those roles in the marketing space that people often downplay. If I had a penny for every time I’ve heard, “I know how to use Instagram…I could totally be a social media manager!”, I'd be rolling in dough right now. ๐Ÿ˜…

Social media management is much more complex than simply knowing how to work social media apps. 

When you’re managing social media for small businesses (or even larger companies, sometimes!) you have to be:

  • The Project Manager
  • The Content Creator
  • The Graphic Designer 
  • The Photographer
  • The Videographer 

You have to be all these things and THEN you have to also be the strategist. It’s your job to come up with a strategy, execute the strategy, then last but not least, actually manage social media. You know, scheduling the posts, responding to comments, making sure those stories get up…the whole shebang.

More often than not, as a Social Media Manager, you're going to be wearing a million different hats. 

It’s a multi-tasking business, and it’s super diverse. You’ll have the opportunity to get your feet wet and finetune a bunch of different marketing skills - but just know, this job is not for the faint of heart! 

#2: I Wish I Knew How To Set Boundaries

In the beginning, it’s so easy to say yes to everything. I’d never say no to any client request! 

I would even give out my phone number to clients (yes, my personal phone number! ๐Ÿคฆ‍โ™€๏ธ) and I'd get texts and phone calls at all hours of the day. 

It’s important that you don’t shy away from putting boundaries in place. For example, if you’re going to deliver five posts a week to clients, actually STICK with those five posts rather than going over. 

In my case, clients would ask, “Hey, can we throw up two extra posts this week?” and I’d always cave in. 

Without firm boundaries, you’ll find yourself starting to resent your clients. Whenever clients would ask for extra posts, or try to communicate with me after work hours, I’d find myself feeling SO annoyed. 

But I was allowing these things to happen. 

It’s important that you communicate your policies and set those boundaries in the beginning. A great place to do this is in your onboarding process and your contracts. 

The bottom line? Boundaries will save your sanity as a social media manager…trust me! ๐Ÿ˜…

#3: I Wish I Knew How to Price My Services 

How do I price my services?” is that age-old question and the eternal struggle for so many business owners.

In the beginning, it’s normal not to know what the hell to do as far as pricing goes. 

When I started, my mindset was very centered around booking as many clients as possible. Every time I would sign a client I thought, “Oh great! The more clients, the more money I make.” 

But I soon realized, having 10 clients at $500 a month was making me lose my mind.

I realized I wasn’t able to deliver the level of service I wanted to, which left me feeling frustrated. And not to mention, because I was working 16-hour days, I wasn’t actually making much money at all. At the rate I was charging, I was being taken advantage of. 

Don’t get me wrong, you might not be able to get started in social media management and charge $5,000 a month off the bat, but you CAN charge what you're worth, and align your packages accordingly.

Take on fewer clients and give a higher level of service from the beginning. 

Get rid of the mindset that you need to take on any client that comes your way, by setting firm prices and prioritizing work-life balance from the start. 

#4: I Wish I Knew Systems are as Important as Content Creation

I know this is a bit of a bold claim. 

While yes, as Social Media Managers, our job is to create amazing social media content, I’d argue that systems are just as (if not MORE!) important. 

Systems can help you: 

๐Ÿงก Improve your concentration
๐Ÿงก Streamline your processes
๐Ÿงก Keep your motivation going

You're able to focus on your creativity serving your client and producing high-value content WITHOUT having to worry about the backend. 

If you don't have systems and structures in place, you’re going to be jumping from task to task with no clear order. Every month, it will be like you’re starting from scratch, because you have no repeatable processes.

Plus, it doesn’t look very professional when one month you’re sending clients content to review in a Google Sheet, and the next you’re sending it over in Powerpoint. You’re wasting precious energy when you could simply have an Airtable database you easily duplicate each month. 

(Pssst. I’ve got trainings on this in the Creative Content Lab!). 

You will never regret investing in an effective system. 

#5: I Wish I Knew How To Switch Off

If you’re not careful, social media can easily become a 24/7 job. 

It did for me. Not only was I working all the damn time and doing my job for my clients FAR more than I wanted to (see the point above about boundaries โ˜๏ธ)…

But even in my downtime, I was scrolling through social media to see how their posts were performing, to see how my posts are performing, and to see what trends are happening. 

I simply wasn't able to remove myself from the vortex that is social media. 

Which, as I’m sure you know, is NOT a very good thing for your mental health. 

If you aren't careful, the feeling of always needing to be ‘on’ as a social media manager can quickly lead to burnout. 

Having clear expectations, boundaries, systems, and recognizing what you can and can’t do as a Social Media Manager will help you avoid the dangerous path of overworking. 

My struggles with burnout as a social media manager are exactly why I created The Creative Content Lab. I wanted a hub where new social media managers could learn exactly how to implement boundaries and systems, find the best tools to create content faster and easier, and so much more.

I promise you - being a social media manager doesn’t need to be hard or exhausting!

If you're considering a Social Media Management career or want to grow your biz in this industry, the Creative Content Lab could be for you. 

It’s THE place for women to break into the world of running a social media agency, where I give away literally every single one of my business secrets in modules, templates, and downloads each month to run a social media biz with ease. Join The Creative Content Lab Here. 

Xo,

Amber

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