We’ve all seen those frustrating ads: “Entry-level position. Two years’ experience required.” But how can you get experience unless you can get an entry-level job??
Luckily, in the world of social media management, there are ways to build your skill set, your portfolio, and – perhaps most importantly – your confidence.
Here are 5 easy ways to leap into social media:
1) Practice on Your Own Profiles
Start a business page on Facebook, make a business profile on LinkedIn, or get on Instagram. Practicing on your own pages is a great way to develop your skills, apply what you’re learning, and get the word out that you are a social media manager.
2) Offer to Help at Your Day Job
Most companies have a social media presence, so there’s a good chance that your organization is on at least one platform. Find out who manages the account(s) – just message them and ask – show interest in what they do, and offer to help, whether as an admin, an editor, or providing a helping hand with analytics. At the very least, they will probably be eager for content. And even if they decline, you can learn a lot from chatting with them.
BONUS: If your company isn’t on social media, you will look like a superstar if you offer to set up and run a Facebook or Twitter account.
If you are part of a religious community or volunteer with the Red Cross, there’s a good chance their resources are stretched thin, and they would welcome your help. Again, even if someone is already managing their social media accounts, they are probably eager for quality content.
4) Get an Internship
If you’re part of Social Media United (SMU), you have access to a list of quality internships. The companies range from coaching businesses to consulting firms to online boutiques, and their expectations and budgets are clearly laid out. Signing up with SMU is easy – there’s a $1 one-week trial!
If you’re not in SMU, reach out to friends or small businesses owners and offer to help with their social media for one month. A time limit is important! Hopefully, at the end of the month, you will have the analytics to demonstrate your work was valuable, and they will be happy to provide you with a testimonial (or a longer-term contract!).
5) Offer a Discounted Rate
Be honest with potential clients. Tell them you’re new, looking to get experience, and suggest a reduced, first-month rate equal to your basic expenses. Again, it’s very important that this is time-limited – one month is usually enough time to get some experience and show future clients that you’re capable.
A journey of one thousand miles begins with one step; the key is to start moving.