How To Learn Social Media Management To Start A Business

How To Learn Social Media Management To Start A Business

Updated August 17, 2020
Reading Time: 6 minutes

As we enter a new era where working from home is the ‘norm’, and high unemployment and career changes due to a pandemic are a daily occurrence, more and more people are looking to our social media industry as a way to make a living. The question that comes up often in our Facebook group is ‘What is the best way to learn social media management?'

In order to start a business as a social media manager, you will need two things.

Really. 

If you are ready to succeed in online marketing, if you are ready to be your own boss, set your own hours and serve your own clients, read on! 

You will need 

  • Knowledge of social media marketing, expertise in managing client social networks and the ability to interpret social media analytics to grow an online audience and attain specific goals.
  • A business plan and the know-how to run a business and manage clients

Social Media Pro is in the business of teaching people how to start a social media management business! We don’t just turn out social media managers at the end of our courses; we turn out business owners!

Our students are taught the business of being a social media manager. They learn about content marketing, Facebook ads, promoting products and services as well as contracts, portfolios, client management and proposals.

We often get questions on how to get started, and while we think we have the best courses and learning system, we recognize that there are many ways to accomplish this same goal of becoming a social media manager.

In the end, everyone who wants to get started in this industry will want to find their own way, and learn to become a social media manager the way it works for them.

Ways To Start a Social Media Management Business

In a previous article we debated the question “Do I need a marketing degree to become a social media manager?

Long story short: while it might help to have a four year degree in marketing and/or communication to start your social media management business, or kickstart your digital marketing career, a college degree is not a prerequisite to becoming a successful social media manager. 

Together, let’s look at the many ways someone like you can learn social media management and start a business.

Read the short description of each method and scan the quick take-aways for insights into what method might best match your style of learning and your budget.

1. Learn Social Media Management by Taking Online Courses

We at Social Media Pro are in the business of creating new social media managers by providing  self-paced online courses to learn social media.

That includes our flagship course ‘Social Media Pro', where we teach the business of running a social media management company, as well as platform specific-courses, FB ads and local marketing, and we provide social media marketing certification for those looking for credentials to add to their resume. 

What: Social Media Proⓡ

Where: Online

Time Commitment: 45+ days, depending on your pace

Price: $49/month

Additional Cost: $79 for certification

Upside: Easy-to-follow roadmap and clear start and finish. Certification available. On-going support in VIP Facebook group! High quality social media management courses with a proven method and track-record of success!

Downside: It’s not free

Earning Potential: $100K+

become a social media manager

2. Learn Social Media Management by DIY

If you do not have any funds to spend on online or in-person learning but you have all the time in the world available, this method is for you. You can find just about anything you need to learn, for free online, including free social media tips and complete how-to guides for social media platforms. The biggest drawback is that there is no roadmap to success, no clear path to follow and thus no finish line. 

What: Online content

Where: YouTube, Facebook, Google, Quora, Medium, LinkedIn, Blogs, Podcasts, etc.

Time Commitment: Huge

Price: $0

Additional Cost: More time!

Upside: Completely free and can be combined with a full-time job.

Downside: Missing knowledge and a huge time commitment. No course specialization. No support.

Earning Potential: $100K+

3. Learn Social Media Management by Getting a College Degree

Social media managers also learn social media by going to college. Many have a college degree in marketing or communications, but some people have degrees in other areas, like computer science or psychology. If you take the college route, you will be learning a lot of theory and strategy, not nearly getting as much hands on experience as you would working, but that experience can be gained by doing internships in summer months! 

What: College Degree in Marketing or Communications 

Where: Local Community College or University

Time Commitment: 8 semesters, up to 4 years

Price: Average price of $23,543/year x 4 = $94172 

Additional Cost: Living expenses

Upside: Credentials; a degree that can help open doors to employment. Great knowledge base including strategic thinking.

Downside: Costly and huge time commitment. No support. No practical experience. 

Earning Potential: $100K+

4. Learn Social Media Management by Finding Free Online Courses

There are many free online lessons and mini courses to be found online. While this is less time consuming than doing all of it DIY as described above, you will still be without a clear roadmap to follow and you might end up having gaps in knowledge. If you have time and can find a way to start implementing as you go, and keep learning and improving, this could be a good option for those ready for a free and quick start. 

What: Free social media marketing courses 

Where: Skillshare, Udemy, Facebook Blueprint, Google Analytics Academy, Search Engine Optimization, LinkedIn Courses and other free social media content available online.

Time Commitment: Big

Price: $0

Additional Cost: More time!

Upside: Self-paced, can be combined with a full-time job.

Downside: Missing gaps in knowledge. No support. No clear roadmap to follow.

Earning Potential: $100K+

5. Learn Social Media Management by Attending an In-Person Workshop

Attending an in-person workshop is a great way to learn if you are a do-er and need hands-on practice. If you have a need for in-person communication to learn and thrive in an environment with other students, this might be a great option for you. The time commitment is limited to just a few hours or days, but added travel time and cost can make this a costly choice. 

What: In-person workshops

Where: Often in a fun location, some travel required 

Time Commitment: 4-5 days (full week including travel)

Price: $2500-$5000+

Additional Cost: Travel, hotel, food

Upside: It's a great way to jumpstart a career move! Some workshops might offer certification.

Downside: Costly and once it's over, it's done. No on-going support.

Earning Potential: $100K+

6. Learn Social Media Management by Taking an Online Virtual Workshop

Online Virtual workshops can be a great alternative to attending an in-person workshop. No travel means less cost for you, the up and coming social media manager. Any and all of the same benefits apply as in-person workshops: you block time and you cram your learning into a short window of time. 

What: Paid Online Workshops 

Where: Online provided by coaches, influencers and entrepreneurs

Time Commitment: Half a day to up to a week per virtual workshop

Price: $750-$4000 per workshop

Additional Cost: Time

Upside: Get it done fast. 

Downside: Theoretical and fast-paced, no on-going support. Can be boring due to the virtual aspect, and costly. Often only discusses one topic or platform.

Earning Potential: $100K+

7. Learn Social Media Management By Working with A Coaching Program

Being coached to become a social media manager often means you have some basic fundamentals already in your skillset. Being coached would allow you to implement as you learn, getting homework served to you by your coach and trying new and scary things in a real business environment as someone is there to catch you if you fall or need help. This is a great option for someone who is employed and is looking to go out on their own on the side and start their own agency.

What: Working with a coach 1:1 by the hour, in a program or in a group

Where: Mostly online through video chat like Zoom

Time Commitment: Several hours per week up to 12 months commitment to the coach

Price: $500-$10K+

Additional Cost: Time

Upside: You learn as you go and have a dedicated mentor who helps you work through issues.

Downside: Costly and the time commitment is an investment as well

Earning Potential: $100K+

8. Learn Social Media Management by Way of an Internship

Learning social media management by way of an internship can be combined with getting a college degree or finishing up a virtual or online program. While learning how to do things is great, implementing is where most people learn best. An internship can provide that extra needed experience to put on your portfolio or resume as well! 

What: Internship in a company or with a fellow social media marketer

Where: In someone else’s business

Time Commitment: 10-20+ hours/week

Price: Free or paid

Additional Cost: Time

Upside: Hands-on learning form a professional in the field

Downside: Often pays little or nothing, can be boring. If the fit isn't right, and you aren't given the right training and responsibility, you could be wasting time instead of learning the trade.

Earning Potential: $100K+

Get Started By Taking Action!

No matter what way you choose to get started, it all starts with you!

You have to make a commitment of time, money and/or energy in order to learn social media management.

It's a journey to a rewarding career.

Interested in knowing what comes after, or what the possibilities are? Check this out!

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