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In 2020, I’ve been seeing a LOT of people dive into side hustles and start a new business!
Today, I wanted to share a few tips for folks getting started as a social media marketer. These tips are for folks who already have marketing experience, but want to dive into working for themselves! (If you’re looking to learn how to become a social media marketer, be sure to check out my course HERE. The next session starts in January of 2021.)
Pre-Work: Get This Book
This book was incredibly helpful in my journey to build my marketing client base, as well as figure out things like health insurance!
Get it here for $17.37!
Tip #1: Get a Business Entity, Business Insurance & Set Up QuickBooks
Starting a side hustle (or even a new marketing agency!) can be intimidating. My #1 piece of advice for all folks who are going to be working for themselves is this:
- Get a Business Entity (I have an S-Corp)
- Get Business insurance (I use Hiscox)
- Set Up QuickBooks
I know that this isn’t as fun as finding and pitching clients! That said, it is critical to START as you mean to finish. Put another way, the best time to get all of this stuff set up is BEFORE you have actual clients – otherwise it’s super overwhelming. It’s like building a train while the train is moving – much easier to just build it before you get going!
Setting Up a Business Entity
When it comes to setting up a business entity, I recommend consulting with a tax or business professional, like a CPA, to figure out what one works best for you. The accountant may be hesitant to set up a business entity before you’ve made money, and that’s okay! I tell my clients to set up on anyways, as a way to limit personal liability. I wrote a blog post HERE on how to find a CPA or accountant.
I paid my accountant about $750 to set up my s-corp, and it’s 100% worth it. My time is better spent pitching clients and making magic, rather than sitting and being overwhelmed on some .gov website!
So, fun factoid! As a business owner, you can be held liable for messing up. I have business insurance from Hiscox, covering E&O (Errors & Omissions), as well as a couple of other policies for photoshoots.
It’s imperative to have business insurance, and I pay about $120 a month for mine.
I love money (and money loves me!!), but I don’t get jazzed up about bookkeeping. Before QuickBooks, I would spend HOURS going through bank statements line by line for tax time.
PLEASE DON’T DO THIS!!! Save yourself!! Set it up now (with business bank accounts, keeping tax money in a separate bank!), to save yourself a bunch of time!
Tip #2 for Marketers: Blogging GETS CLIENTS!
I blog regularly about marketing and influencer marketing over on Medium, and I get a TON of client inquiries from this. I blog about topics I know folks are googling, and I write a 500-700 word blog post on a topic.
About 70-80% of my business is referrals, and the remainder find me talking about social media, branding, fashion consulting, etc, ONLINE.
Blogging shows people you know what you’re talking about. It’s much easier for me to sign clients up for services after they see a bunch of blog posts I’ve written about the topic.
Also, it’s important to note that I am *not* writing BRAND NEW INFO. Other people write about what I write about. The point here is to show my perspective and experience. I’m not writing to get a writing award – I’m writing to show I know my sh*t, and to get cliens.
Tip #3 for Side Hustlers: Raise Rates Every Contract
A big mistake I see social media marketers make is failing to raise their rates. I’ve seen folks have the same dang rates for 5 years!!
To fix this, I recommend having a set of packages and/or an hourly rate. Every time you sign a client, be sure to increase your rates by 5-10%. Continually doing this makes it so you get paid more as you gain experience. I also build in a rate increase to every longterm or retainer client.
Not sure what to charge clients or how to structure a package? Check out my LIVE course, here. Next session is in January 2020.
Tip #4 for New Social Media Marketers: Invest in Continuing Education
I reinvest 10% (ish) of my earnings into education. From courses on Facebook ads to Pinterest education to templates to business coaching to conferences.
It is CRITICAL to continually update your education, and I automatically put money aside to do this. Failing to do this is a failure to act in your clients best interest, as you’ll use outdated or incorrect marketing tactics!
I love the Simple Pin Collective and Laptop Empires courses!
Tip #5 for New Social Media Marketers: Failing to Leverage Ads
When starting a side hustle as a social media marketer, most folks do almost 100% organic marketing activities.
I get why (ads can be scary), but keep in mind most platforms are demanding some level of “pay to play.” In some business circles, there’s a resistance to using ads – folks get mad at Facebook or Google or Company X – because they feel like they should have access to eyeballs for free.
It’s worth investigating that – why do we feel like we should be able to use social media platforms for free and reach new customers? How will the platforms stay up-to-date if they don’t make money?
All of that aside, I see my clients make $$$$$ when they invest in ads. It’s 2020! We gotta engage with ads. Even if you, the social media marketer, don’t want to run the ads – you need to understand how to take insights and data from ads and use it in organic content.
Adapt or die, babe!!
Tip #6 for New Social Media Marketers: Leverage Influencers
2020 has been a WILD year, and many companies are SOL when it comes to having fresh and new content – because it’s not safe to have a massive photoshoot.
I recommend hiring 3-4 influencers who fit the brand aesthetic to take flat lays, product photos and make lifestyle content. If you do the deal right, you’ll get extra love on social media from the influencers – and you’ll also be able to use this content in emails, on social media, etc.
Think of these influencers as content production studios. Get your photo assets from them, and avoid having to sweat about planning and running your own photoshoots!
Tip #7 for New Social Media Marketers: Partner with Other Marketers
I have a secret. I really started to level up in my marketing game and increase invoices as I networked and befriended other people offering similar services.
Having a little online village of other social media marketers is critical to success, and it makes it so much easier to get client referrals – and to refer brands you’re not a fit for!
Bonus Tip: I offer a 10% commission on the first invoice to folks who send me a client, because I get the energy it takes to endorse someone.
More Social Media Marketing Posts
Want to do a bit more reading from my cute gay perspective? Here’s a few posts:
- What to Pay Your Social Media Marketer
- Contract Tips for Social Media Marketers
- How to Use Acuity to Grow Your Business
Hi, I’m Brianne
Thanks for visiting my blog today! I write about plus size fashion, business and anything that I want (AKA lifestyle topics, lol).
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Have a great day!