If you’ve had success with your personal or business social media accounts, you may be thinking about monetizing your skills. For many web-savvy entrepreneurs, social media consulting is a dream job. Most or even all of the work can be done remotely, and you can make a surprisingly high income in a relatively short time, especially if you scale your business and keep gaining new clients. According to PayScale, C$43,175 is the average annual salary for a social media consultant in Canada. Aside from equipment and transportation costs, getting started requires very little startup money, although you may need to sacrifice time finding and meeting clients. Consulting can also be done alongside your current job, although you may want to consider going full time once you start gaining momentum. Most people have personal social media accounts, but that doesn’t mean they have what it takes to be a consultant. Turning your online presence into a job takes skills, effort, planning, and some outside-the-box thinking.
So what exactly does a social media consultant do? In some cases, you would simply take over all social media accounts, come up with a plan, and implement it. This is a common approach for small companies that don’t know how to use social media or larger companies that don’t have the time. Of course, anyone can come up with a plan that involves posting on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram every day. It’s up to you to figure out new ways to make the company’s social media presence unique, build a strong follower base, provide high-quality content, and engage users. The client is relying on you to find its brand’s voice, so don’t take a one-size-fits-all approach. Cater to each individual client. The other main approach is teaching the art of social media to people. This may be a one-time meeting just to provide a rundown on the basics, or it may involve ongoing training sessions. Your goal is to coach others into becoming better social media users so they can take over for the company in the long run.
Finding that first client is the biggest struggle. Once you have one real client, it solidifies your reputation as a legitimate consultant, and not just someone on the outside looking in. Your first step should be to put the word out there. Fortunately, at this point, you have the social media skills to make some connections. Scour LinkedIn and Facebook for local businesses that have weak online presences. Message them letting them know about your services. In this case, quantity is your best friend. If you put out feelers to 100 businesses, there’s a strong chance that at least one will bite. Once you land that first client, be prepared with a clear plan. The client is going to expect you to take charge, and that means you need to have your business in order, including unique strategies, payment expectations, and concrete ideas specific to the organization.
Once you have one client, it’s time to start looking for more. Becoming a consultant naturally requires you to start small while looking toward bigger and better things. You want to be known as a reputable, go-to resource for any business that needs a solid social media campaign. Try to get your current clients to review your services so you can have a solid foundation to use as you scale up. Gaining new clients will get exponentially easier as you have more positive feedback available publicly. If you’re passionate about social media, you should be able to turn it into a career, but it does take a considerable amount of effort and dedication. Fortunately, social media and marketing go hand-in-hand, so you already have an advantage over other consulting startups. Be bold with your strategies, and get your clients excited. Eventually you will figure out what works and what doesn’t. The market is saturated, but companies also understand the importance of social media. It’s up to you to sell your services as the best possible choice.