Social media managers are as different as they come. It doesn't seem to matter as much where someone comes from, where they live, or what their age, gender or ethnicity is, as much as what their current skills and overall mindset are.
Almost anyone can make a great social media manager if they are willing to learn!
Someone who has been ‘in the trenches’ for a while in any job, might feel an itch now and then to move to a new career path. Move on, move up or move away from their job.
That itch usually follows a stressful time or a time of extreme growth. The question of ‘what’s next’ comes to mind.
Today, we are going to discuss ‘what’s next’ and what possibilities as far as social media management career moves there are for those who are ready for more!
Making a Social Media Management Career Move
In our Facebook group a member recently asked
“What one specific SMM specialty is high paying and can be learned without paying for training?”
The few answers this question received included
- SEO optimization
- Facebook Advertising
- Review monitoring
The best answer we read was this one:
“If you're not willing to invest in yourself (and pay for excellent training), and understand a personal return on investment, you're going to struggle running a business, and spotting opportunities for clients. What you probably need is mentoring/coaching by someone who has been here and done it for years, you pay for the experience they have earned through time and money. You benefit from that time served experience.” ~ Chris Hambly
Little did they know we had an article on the agenda, ready to be written!
Here is the thing.
“The best social media management career move you can make today is to surround yourself with the right people!”
Let’s explore together what that entails and what that might look like.
Surround Yourself With The Right People
Do we suggest you go out to the local shops and hand people flyers about your business?
Shall we tell you to give everyone at the next Chamber of Commerce meeting a business card?
Will we send you to the interwebs of things to talk to strangers, hoping someone will help?
Instead, we suggest you try surrounding yourself with the right people, which doesn’t have to cost money. Seek out people with intent!
What you need to have before you start on this path is:
- a giving mindset
- an investment in time to get to know people.
SIDE NOTE: if surrounding yourself with the right people sounds scary or hard, you are encouraged to keep doing what you are doing. You will need patience as you could possibly wait years to be promoted to social media director, community manager, customer service representative or be moved to the in-house digital marketing team.
What ‘surrounding yourself with the right people’ means, in reality, is that you have to MAKE MOVES! If you are serious about a social media management career move, you’ve got to market yourself!
Next up: the implementation part of this suggestion.
Social Media Management Career Move
“Let’s make a career move by using people.”
This sounds awful right?
In reality, it’s like this:
“It’s not what you know, it’s whom you know”
Your social media career can only be advanced by knowing people thus widening your horizons and growing as a person, not just as a social media manager. In order to advance your career, you have to advance your mindset, way of thinking and the overall social media strategy for your personal brand.
How will you change your role as a social media manager to include a new title?
From Social Media Manager to….?
So what' up next after being a social media manager?
Here are a few examples of the roles you could move into.
NOTE: This is not a complete list. The sky is the limit!
- Agency Owner
- Professional Speaker
- Social Media Trainer
- College Professor
- Marketing Director
- Community Manager
- Content manager
- Account Manager
- Content Writer
- Facebook Ad Specialist
Let's find out who you need to know or meet with to make this happen!
Social Media Management Career Move – Paid Options
If you have a marketing budget of any kind, check out these options!
Find a Mentor
Find someone in your industry whose style you like. Ask if they will take on a mentee. Offer to pay for a weekly or monthly brainstorming session, are available for a call, or join their Facebook group, or online program.
A mentor can be seen as a big brother/big sister. You learn from them, you emulate them, you ask questions. It’s a one-way relationship that benefits you – hence you should (offer to) pay.
Hire a Coach
If you want to grow your business, one of the best ways and often one of the fastest ways is to hire a business coach.
When you invest in yourself and hire a coach, you are pushed, stretched and kneaded to your potential.
Join a paid Mastermind
Masterminds are a great and quick way to surround yourself with like-minded professionals. Paid Masterminds have a clear leader, purpose and meeting agendas. While Masterminds are mostly peer-run and peer-led groups, some professionals might be further along in their careers than you and will offer help and encouragement.
Create and Run an Event
Social Media Day is celebrated every year on June 30. While it was started in NYC by Mashable, Social Media Day is now celebrated all across the world. Those who run these events are experts and they advance their career by virtue of seeking out and signing social media speakers, followed by interactions online and during the event.
Enroll in a Continuing Ed Program
Whether you have time to join a Cohort, get an MBA or other certification, being in a group setting with other professionals, learning and sharing together is a great way to advance your social media management career.
Social Media Management Career Move – Free Options
“Liking, commenting and sharing on social media is free, and will always be free”.
If you want to advance your social media management career and make a move, follow and engage with those who’ve gone before you! Find experts who inspire you; share their content and share it often. They will notice. They will most likely start a conversation. Plenty of job offers and opportunities have come from simply engaging online.
Find a Mentor
Not all mentors want to get paid. Sometimes people will want to help because someone helped them when they started in their career and they are ready to give back to the community i.e. you! It doesn't hurt to ask, right?
Start Your Own Mastermind
While there are Masterminds out there you need to pay for, free Masterminds can work brilliantly. Someone (you) just needs to seek out like-minded individuals to ‘mastermind' with. Send an invite, set a time to meet and create an agenda!
While this is not completely free if you have to pay for the ticket to the conference, you could consider getting a day pass, or volunteer! Yes, social media conferences are always looking for volunteers in exchange for a free ticket. Some of the best in-person networking happens at these conferences. People get to see, hear and experience you live, which in turn makes them trust you. When an opportunity arises, they could potentially remember you and make something happen for you! CEOs, Marketing Directors… you never know who will sit next to you in class or a workshop.
This goes back to “It’s not what you know but whom you know”. Always show up at networking meetings prepared to listen. Do not lead with your business card or sales pitch, instead, lead with a smile and a listening ear.
Create a social media community
Last but not least, creating and growing your own online community can do wonders for your social media management career. Remember, in that space, you are the expert people will reach out to.
Ready. Set. Go!
Where will you start your journey to make your next career move? When will you start connecting with intent? Whom do you know you could mastermind with, who could mentor you, or what conference do you intend to attend?
Make plans, make it happen. You can do it!
I am a Certified Social Media Manager, Strategist, International Keynote Speaker, Organic Specialist and Agile marketer! Blogging is my creative outlet. Running, hiking and skiing are how I recharge. You'll recognize me on stage and online by my always present orange glasses, a nod to my Dutch heritage.