After being much requested from you guys, I finally decided to write down some of the ways I was able to kickstart my social media career once I graduated this past April, and ultimately became MY OWN BOSS? Lol that feels empowering and super weird to say since that has always been a dream of mine (#girlboss). Read below for my tips on how I was able to kickstart my social media career!
A little background about my 4 years in University:
When in my final year of high school, I accepted my offer to Ryerson University for Business Management, where I started with a major in Human Resources (let me tell you that in grade 11 I pondered between psychology and being a vet, um what?). I quickly realized, HR was not for me, I could not be bothered with learning about theories around personality types in the workplace any longer. I continued to feel conflicted through out school as I knew I was creative, loved fashion, and also had a passion for business, but felt confused with how I could make something of that (many nights with the dramatic, ‘I don’t know who I’m going to be’, thoughts in Uni lol).
That is when I changed my major to Marketing, and not to say that my classes all of a sudden made me realize I wanted to work in social media, but it definitely had an influence on realizing what exactly my interests really were. I started to take on more of the creative roles in my marketing group projects, I started posting more fashion related content on my social accounts, and helped with a few groups/brands social media accounts while in school.
Read also: “Who and What Inspired Me to Be a Blogger”
Well, this brings me to my first point:
1. BUILD A SOCIAL MEDIA PORTFOLIO
I luckily had been kind of doing this without knowing it would benefit me in the long run. But, if I could tell my younger self this a few years ago, I would’ve really made this a priority. If you want to create a social media career, start building a portfolio! Whether you want to be a blogger/influencer, social media manager, etc., when connecting with brands/applying for work, people will want to see your past content/strategies and how you can make an impact! So, how did I build this “portfolio” exactly? I joined a student group and handled their social media, worked in retail where I helped with our stores social accounts as well, and built up my own personal social media accounts. All of these experiences will help build your social media portfolio/resume! I sometimes think that these experiences were almost more beneficial than my degree at times. Nothing is more valuable than getting out there and diving in to what you want to do to gain real experience!
2. STAY IN THE KNOW & LEARN ABOUT KEY SOCIAL MEDIA RESOURCES
The social media world is ever changing…I swear I wake up one day and all of a sudden instagram has stories, filters and ‘shop now’ buttons on posts (slow down instagram!). Being able to stay updated with how it is changing and keeping up with the industry is what will give you an edge in making it your job. I like to read recent articles weekly, talking about what is happening with certain platforms, where they are headed, etc., because this directly impacts how I am strategizing my own content, or how I am managing other brands accounts.
This also includes learning about certain social media resources. Whenever I have contacted a brand to help with freelance social media management, they have always asked if I have experience with these three things: Google Analytics (measuring key social media metrics), Adobe Photoshop/Illustrator (& other editor softwares) and SEO friendly writing. These things take time to learn and be an expert on (I am still learning a ton!), but if you can get a head start and begin to read up and practise with these three areas, you will be so thankful you did!
3. NETWORK WITH OTHERS IN THE SOCIAL MEDIA INDUSTRY
Not only is learning about the social media world for yourself important, but also learning from OTHERS. Having conversations with people in the industry, whether they are friends, asking someone in the industry for coffee, joining forums, etc., will give you new perspectives and insights on how to take on the social media world more effectively, especially since it is so new. Some of my biggest insights have been from learning and chatting with other people around me about what works for them/what doesn’t, and also sharing your own insights as well! I always make notes in my phone whenever I hear a tip from someone in the industry, I have kept these notes and refer back to all of them still today! There is always someone with more experience than you, so learn as much as you can from them!
4. THE WEBSITE THAT WILL KICKSTART YOUR SOCIAL MEDIA CAREER
This website is seriously what gave me the opportunity to gain experience right out of school and basically have my own “clients” of work where I could manage their social media. The site is called Upwork, which is a website specifically for freelancers looking to find work or for brands to post jobs and find freelancers. You set up a profile, saying a bit about your strengths, experiences, etc., and then can immediately search for a type of job category (I usually search “social media management”). You then are able to look through A TON of current listings (I swear there are new listings everyday)! A lot of them sometimes are businesses that may be abroad, but do all of the work online, so you most likely get to work from home virtually. A lot of the jobs are also part time/contractual work, so you have the choice to take on however many “clients” you would like, setting your own rate for how much you want to be paid, and what areas you can help them out with. It is such a great way to gain experience, build a portfolio, and also have time to work on multiple projects! This worked great for me as my ultimate goal is to be a blogger/influencer on a full time basis, giving me the money and time to make that dream come true.
Have any more tips for those looking to kickstart their social media career? Comment below!