7 lessons I've learned from being a social media manager | Steph Taylor

7 lessons I’ve learned from being a social media manager

Even if you’re not a social media manager, you might learn a thing or two from this post – especially if you run a client-based business of any sort. I no longer work with social media management clients, but these are some of the lessons I’ve learned in the 5ish years that I’ve been managing social media accounts for clients. First as a freelancer, side hustling alongside my corporate job, and then through Wildbloom with a team.

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The biggest lessons I've learned from being a social media manager

This episode is a little different because it’s aimed mostly at the small segment of my audience who are social media managers – because I know there are a few of you out there.

Today, I’m sharing the biggest lessons I’ve learned from being a social media manager.


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Lesson #1: The people who haggle your prices will always have the highest expectations

I’m yet to come across an exception to this rule.

I think it’s because they don't value the service you’re offering, so they haggle it down. And, because they don’t see the value in it, they will always expect more and more from you.

It’s so tempting to accept work from these people, especially when you’re starting out and clients are few and far between. But, trust me – these clients are NOT worth it. 

There are people who will pay what you are worth, you just need to find them.

Lesson #2: Always have a contract in place

You don’t need a contract, until one day you do and you'll wish that you had one in place.

I’ve heard some pretty bad stories of people getting burned without a contract, so spend the relatively small amount of money that it costs to get a template contract drawn up, and make sure you use it.

Fortunately, I haven't had a bad experience with this, but I do have a few business friends who have.

Lesson #3: Always require at least 50% up-front payment

Especially if you have a team to pay. Because if your client hasn’t paid you, you still have to pay your team for their time on the work. 

Some social media managers will ask for 50% upfront and the remaining 50% upon delivery of social content, and I think this approach is good, as it ensures the client is as invested in the process as you are.

Otherwise, some clients have a tendency to go AWOL and not reply to your emails or answer your calls. And then it’s no fun for anyone.

Lesson #4: There is always going to be someone cheaper than you, so don’t compete on price

Don’t try to be the cheapest, please. You can't be the cheapest and provide a good service and afford to live on your social media management income. 

It's so important you find something else to differentiate you from everyone else out there. Maybe you’ll target a certain industry only (like we targeted wellness clients with Wildbloom).

Or, maybe your branding will resonate with a really small segment of the market. Or, maybe there's something different about your process. 

Find your point of difference and let this be what sets you apart – not your pricing.


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Download my free ebook for 79 actionable tips and strategies to see some real growth.

7 Savvy Strategies to Ignite your Instagram


Lesson #5: Community over competition

There are a lot of social media managers, and it can be a competitive space sometimes. People ripping each other off, stealing clients from each other and just generally not being good humans. 

I'd be lying if I said this wasn't a big reason why I decided to stop doing client work.

The social media management space would be so much nicer if everyone were just nice to everyone else.

There’s more than enough work to go around, so don’t freak out and act like everyone is your competitor.

Lesson #6: You can’t do everything AND do it well

When Wildbloom first started out, we did everything. Because I had experience in everything from Adwords to blog post writing to Instagram management, I assumed the best way to do it would be to offer a one-stop-shop.

The thing is, it’s hard to be a specialist when you offer everything.

You’re better off picking a few things you can do better than anyone else out there and spend your time becoming known as the go-to person for this.

Lesson #7: Get your systems right from the start

This is something I wish I’d done before I took on my first client or hired my first team member. It was a real scramble when suddenly we had quite a few clients on the go, a team of 3, and no systems in place to keep track of job status, invoicing, tasks, etc.

Especially once I hired my first two team members, this was something I wished I’d sorted out sooner.

Even the little things like where you save files (and how you name them!) are so important. So get it right from the start.

(PS. This blog post might help: The best small business marketing tools).

There you have it – 7 big lessons I've learned from being a social media manager.

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