A social media consultant is essential for any business hoping to reach its full online potential. The need for this role has greatly increased in the last few years. This guide will tell you everything you need to know to pursue a career in social media consultancy.
Social media has taken over everything—from personal lives to businesses and commerce. With its increasing dominance, the sector has opened up a whole new field of jobs, including positions in marketing, advertising, and consultancy.
If you’re interested in pursuing a career in social media consultancy, check out Social Champ! Their blog offers comprehensive guides to help you master social media management!
Brands are now restructuring their strategies around the concept of website engagement and are setting up new departments to focus on content creation and online marketing.
However, understanding and fully utilizing the power of social media is not everybody’s cup of tea. And that’s where businesses need a social media consultant to help pave the way towards successful marketing strategies.
But what is a social media consultant, really?
A social media marketing consultant is someone with a good knowledge of planning, strategizing, and executing strategies on social media. The job entails planning campaigns for social media platforms, creating content, and managing the digital presence of organizations.
In this blog, we’ll try to hack the mysteries of the role and discover what skills you need to polish to become a social media consultant. Forget the heavy, techy stuff; we’re all about straightforward advice that’s as easy to swallow as your morning coffee!
Defining the Role of a Social Media Consultant
Simply speaking, a social media consultant is a person who knows what brings in the crowd for a brand’s social media. And their mission? To collaborate with clients, do their magic, and boost the organization’s social media presence. Whether they offer a single service or a variety of options, their day-to-day is all about making the brand’s online life shine.
A social media marketing consultant is like a brand’s guide on a social media expedition. They work to boost the brand’s online presence and increase its customer engagement. These individuals have in-depth expertise in using online platforms like Meta (formerly Facebook), Instagram, X (formerly Twitter), and LinkedIn, among others. They are also fluent in market research, ensuring they know exactly where a brand’s customers hang out.
Well-rounded social media consultants also dish out valuable advice and top-notch recommendations to help brands create and run social media strategies that can help them achieve all their desired goals.
Here’s the cool part: social media consultant jobs aren’t bound by office walls. If you’re interested in this role, you can work from your cozy couch, your favourite coffee shop, or even a beach in Bali— as long as you’ve got Wi-Fi!
Some social media marketing consultants go all-in with one client, while others are multitasking masters, juggling many clients and contracts. And guess what? Some folks even rock it as a side gig while they crush it at a full-time job!
The Responsibilities of a Social Media Consultant
Now, let’s talk about the real stuff. When you offer social media consultant services, here’s what you can offer to businesses.
Craft Timeless Social Media Strategies
You’ll whip up strategies that can stand the test of time. You know what makes the audience click, and you can provide the brand with the roadmap to head that way.
Social Media Research
As a consultant, you’ll have to be the Sherlock Holmes for social media. That’s why social media consultants for small businesses are becoming a high priority these days. Essentially, you’ll have to dig deep to find what works for your client’s brands. You’ll have to know your way around all the analytics tools and find the sweet spots and pain points of your audience with that data.
Launch New Social Media Channels
Being an expert in your field, you’ll have to recommend and create profiles for the brand on social platforms that their audience is most active on. From setting up the channel to strategizing content guidelines, you’ll have to manage their social presence from A to Z.
You’ll be the mastermind behind epic social media campaigns that make waves on the platforms. You’ll come up with ideas that bring in the clicks, the likes, the shares, and everything you need to make your audience notice your brand.
Related Article: 15+ Amazing Facebook Tools for Marketers and Social Media Manager
Ready to Start Your Social Media Consultant Journey?
Check out Social Champ! This all-in-one social media management tool can make your job super easy!
The Pros and Cons of Being a Social Media Consultant
Like every job, pursuing a career as a social media manager comes with several pros and cons. Let’s check them out:
Pros of Being a Social Media Consultant
Let’s look at the positives first!
Freedom of Hours
For anyone who hates travelling to work, this job is a godsend. As a social media consultant, you are the master of your time and place. You have all the flexibility in the world to work from anywhere, as long as it has an internet connection. However, it’s important to note that the working hours are determined by the organization you work for. So, be sure to inquire about flexibility before starting!
If you love meeting new people from all over the world, you’ll love this job! You’ll get to work with influencers, designers, and marketers from around the globe. This is the perfect way to, as some would say, “widen your horizons” without leaving your couch!
Riding the Trend Waves
You’ll never hear the words “You don’t know, Boomer!” because once you become a social media marketing consultant, you’ll always be at the forefront of the latest trends and tools. You’ll always be in the know.
Social media consultant jobs are all about being creative and experimental in your strategies. You’ll always be thinking of the next plan and finding new ways to implement it.
See your Impact
Unlike so many other corporate jobs where people work blindly, you’ll be able to witness the fruit of your effort grow ripe and juicy. With every spike in those numbers, you’ll see yourself succeeding in real time, and there’s no thrill quite like it!
Cons of Being a Social Media Consultant
Not to bum you out, but the role does have some drawbacks. However, if you’re dedicated to the role, you can easily navigate these challenges.
Be prepared for some income ups and downs, especially when starting. Some months will be booming, while others might be on the quieter side.
Just like with any business, your income is closely tied to your clients. If a big client decides to part ways, it can have quite an impact on your income.
You can’t afford to be stagnant. Social media is always on the move, and you have to move with it to succeed as a social media consultant. Keeping up with the latest trends is part of the deal.
Some clients might have expectations that are sky-high, which can stress you out and make you feel pressured. Considering this, you must inform your clients about the process beforehand, so they can set their expectations accordingly.
Despite all the freedom of time, you can still feel pressured when juggling multiple clients. With no one to restrict your schedule, you have to be mindful of your projects and manage your time accordingly.
How to Become a Social Media Consultant in 5 Steps
Now that you’ve got all that information about the role and pros and cons of being a social media consultant, it’s time to decide if you actually want to be one. If the answer is yes, read on. We’ll break it down into five basic and critical steps, so read each one carefully!
Step 1: Get the Experience
First things first, get your hands dirty in the world of social media. We mean doing the social media marketing hustle for real clients or companies. On top of getting you the experience, this will make it easier for you to put a price tag on your services.
Step 2: Gear Up Your Skills
You need several essential skills to make it as a social media consultant, and we’ll get into it in a minute. But before that, you must also stay informed on the latest social media trends and tools. Learn your way around analytics and audience pain points to develop that critical instinct.
Step 3: Work on your Portfolio
Before dazzling your potential clients, you need a shiny portfolio, like a visual resume of your past successes. It’s all about making them confident in your skills. You can go about it in multiple ways, including sharing your LinkedIn profile or creating a PDF of your past work, but make sure that it reflects your potential and makes you stand out.
Step 4: The Price Tag Game
So this part might make some of you queasy, but it’s really important. You’ve got to set your rates. This is where you decide how much your experience and time is worth. And you have to figure it out before reaching your first client.
We understand if you don’t know how the social media consultant rates work. We’ll break down the nitty-gritty of figuring out the magic numbers later in the guide.
Step 5: The Quest for Clients
Finally, you’ve got your skills, a shiny portfolio, and your rates are locked and loaded. Now, we’re at the hard part: finding clients.
We won’t sugarcoat it – bagging clients can be tough as nails, especially if you’re just starting out in the market. And guess what? It’s a never-ending process once you’re a consultant. But let us help you out with a few tricks to finding your first or newest client.
- Check out Facebook groups. They often have job channels where you can find consulting opportunities.
- Word of mouth and referrals are golden opportunities. This approach might not work for your first client, but once you’ve successfully earned a few gigs, your hard work can be your advertisement.
- Build your personal brand. Put yourself out there through podcasts, your brand page, and your website.
The Skills You’ll Need to Become a Social Media Consultant
As promised, here is a list of skills you need to polish up on to make it as a social media manager consultant.
You might not have to come up with posts for your clients, but you should still know your way around content creation. Basically, it’s your design skills and awesome copywriting that you’ll have to show off! After all, you’ll be the one editing behind your clients’ posts and creating good-looking mockups to illustrate your proposals. So, if you’ve ever dreamed of being a designer or a wordsmith, now’s your time to shine.
Public Speaking and Sales
Pitching is a pivotal part of getting those dream clients. You’ll have to showcase what you have to offer and sell your services by impressing them. So polish off your dusty public speaking skills and get working!
Ready for the ultimate multitasking challenge? Brace yourself. As a social media consultant, you’re not just a social media expert but a one-person business. That means juggling invoices, tracking expenses, filing taxes, chatting with clients, and sealing the deal with contracts.
Client Relationship Management
Want to stand out in the crowded consultant world? Here’s a golden rule: reply to emails promptly. It’s the small things that matter to your client. Potential clients often reach out to multiple people, but you can be the one to step up and respond. Prompt responses can be a game-changer!
Advanced Analytics & Reporting
This part of being a social media marketing consultant might not be as enjoyable for most, but it brings value to your work and business to your client.
Learn all you can about the advanced analytics tools. Your clients might handle the everyday reporting, but they often rely on consultants for the high-stakes stuff – advanced, in-depth analysis and reports.
Related Article: 13 Practical Tips to Boost Facebook Marketing for Small Business
So you’ve read the list. Don’t be scared if you still need to polish up all these skills. This journey is about growth and learning, and we promise it’s worth all the work you put in!
Charging for Social Media Consulting Services
Determining your social media consultant rates does not have to be hard. Just take the following tips into account and create your pricing.
Payment Plan Options
First things first, how can you charge your clients? It’s like picking an outfit – you’ve got options, and they all serve a different purpose:
- Hourly: Think of this option as a taxi meter for your services. You track your hours and bill your client based on the total hours multiplied by your hourly rate. It’s handy when client needs are all over the map, but it comes with some admin work, like time tracking and invoicing.
- Retainer (Monthly): You quote a fixed monthly rate that covers all the magic you’ll work on each month. This method is like getting a social media consultant salary that is perfect for long-term projects or recurring client needs.
- Project-based: This one’s like a one-time fee for a specific task. It’s ideal for projects with a clear set of tasks and a defined start and finish line. Any social media consultant for small businesses will find it to be a good option.
The Numbers Game
Now, the real brain teaser – what should you charge? We did some digging and found that in 2023, the social media consulting hourly rates ranged from $23 to $38 per hour. However, depending on your experience and your niche, you can earn up to $69K – $126K.
The exact price tag depends on you (experience, expertise), your client (company size, budget), and the work scope (project length, services needed, hours required).
Just remember, you’re not just a social media whiz. You’re a business owner with bills to pay – think business registration, taxes, supplies, tech tools, and more. And don’t forget; you’re missing out on those cozy job perks.
Oh, and here’s a little secret – social media consultant rates aren’t carved in stone. You can eventually charge more as you gain more experience and grow your portfolio. Your experience serves as the guarantee for the quality of your services.
Setting Your Fees
Take your sweet time in the research phase. Check out what your consulting friends are charging. Then, figure out what works best for you.
But remember, the golden rule – value your worth! Sure, lowballing your rates is tempting, but that might attract clients just looking for a bargain in the long run. So, charge what you’re worth and don’t sell yourself short!
7 Tips and Best Practices From Real Social Media Consultants
Here’s some more information that can help you out! We came up with seven must-know practices that will fast-forward your journey to social media consulting stardom.
Find Your Friends
Social media management is all about collaboration. You need to know the industry you’re operating in, as well as the people active on the platforms. Therefore, it is essential to surround yourself with individuals who can update you on trends and inspire you to come up with creative and novel ideas.
In fact, Sean Gardner, a Forbes Social Media Influencer, emphasizes the importance of surrounding yourself with the right people before aiming for success. So find yourself a community of fellow consultants, connect, learn, share, and be each other’s guiding stars.
Preach Long-Term Value
Repeat this mantra: “It’s not about ‘more followers!”. Trends may come and go, but a solid strategy stands the test of time. So, when you’re selling your services, sell them the dream of long-term success – your clients will thank you.
Quality Over Quantity
An excellent social media consultant focuses on more than just followers and engagement. You need to look at social media marketing from a holistic perspective. Taking this step can bring long-term value to your clients.
Experiment, Experiment, Experiment
We can’t stress this enough: do not be stagnant! When it comes to social media, you need to be always on your feet and running, always looking for new ways and strategies to up your game. Experiment with tools and analytics to see what clicks with your goals.
Contracts Are a Must
One friendly tip: EVERYTHING should be in a contract. Your scope of work, your hourly rate for extras – all this planning will make your life easier.
Small Steps Lead to Giant Leaps
Start small but with a solid attitude. When starting your venture, start by onboarding one or two clients. Give them your full attention, and make sure to bring in quality results. This is how you build your portfolio for future clients: by working passionately with the present ones!
Self-Promotion is Key
Self-promotion is a big part of the game; you must show the world you’re the expert. Create a website with outstanding case studies, stay active on your social channels, and keep the content fresh. You don’t want potential clients to see that you haven’t tweeted in ages! Remember, a solid online presence attracts clients!
There, you have it— Here’s everything you need to know about being a social media consultant. This role comes with freedom and constraints, and it requires you to keep realistic expectations.
It’s a long journey to become a top-notch social media consultant, but these insider tips can be your guiding light. And with the current rise of social media, it’s time to step into that world and learn to use it to its maximum potential!
1. What Does a Social Media Consultant Do?
2. How Much Do Social Media Consultants Charge?
3. What Makes a Good Social Media Consultant?
4. How Do I Start Social Media Consultancy?
Build essential skills
Create an impressive portfolio
Set your rates
Look for clients