Do you spend time using social media at all?
If you’re like the millions – and billions – of people worldwide who are using it for a variety of reasons, then chances are good that you do.
And guess what? That right there qualifies you to create a successful business as a Social Media Virtual Assistant making money doing something you already do for free.
But, it’s not quite as simple as that! Before you take the plunge into what can be a very lucrative career you’ll need to spend a little time understanding the best way to get started. If you’re brand new to this, that can be a lot of ground to cover.
In fact, in our VA training program, we’ve included an entire skills course about this very topic – Social Media for Virtual Assistants – to help brand new and more seasoned freelancers get going with one of the best VA services to get started with.
Whether you’re ready to become a VA or you already are one, this guide will give you an excellent starting point when it comes to how to become a Social Media Virtual Assistant.
Ready? Let’s go!
How to Become a Social Media Virtual Assistant
Follow the six steps we’ve outlined below and you’ll be ready to start your journey as a Social Media Virtual Assistant, including finding and landing those first VA clients.
Decide What Social Media Platforms You’ll Specialize In
The first step in your journey to becoming a Social Media Virtual Assistant is deciding which platforms you’ll specialize in. Why? Because each platform is unique, with its own demographics, uses and features.
As a Social Media VA, it’s a good idea to have some familiarity with all of the major platforms that businesses are using for marketing. Trying to be a master of all of them, at least in the early stages of your career, though, would ultimately make you a master of none and would be very overwhelming.
Here’s an overview of the top six social media networks that businesses are using:
- Facebook – Considered a giant of social media platforms with 2.5 billion active users, Facebook has become a social media marketing machine for businesses. Business pages and communities (groups) are the primary ways that businesses engage and connect with their audience on this platform.
- LinkedIn – LinkedIn is known as the social media channel for professionals. Its culture is all about business, networking and value-driven content like video, blog posts, thought leadership articles and podcasts. This platform is most popular with an older age group, 45 and over, and a large portion of its users are business owners and executive level individuals. For that reason, finding VA clients on LinkedIn is also one of our go-to recommendations for new Virtual Assistants!
- Instagram – Instagram is an image- and short video-focused social network. About half of Instagram users are following at least one business, and it’s become a go-to for learning about brands and products. Instagram has also made recent moves to make direct selling from the platform as seamless as possible for shoppers.
- Pinterest – Pinterest is also an image-focused platform that is both a social platform and a search engine. People are going here to learn about interests, hobbies and products – and to buy things. Pinterest’s biggest demographic is women in a higher income bracket and this platform drives almost four times more sales than any other platform. If you’re interested in being a Pinterest VA, there is definitely a demand for your services with this platform!
- Twitter – This social network isn’t as big as Facebook and Instagram when it comes to users, but it is a contender when it comes to business and marketing. Its biggest demographic is affluent millennials, who are also the largest consumer group. This is another platform that people are going to to learn about brands and businesses, with the average user following at least five businesses.
- YouTube – YouTube gets left out in the cold when it comes to being a social media network sometimes, but it’s one of the more powerful ones out there. It’s the world’s second largest search engine (after Google) with millions of users on this platform daily learning about how to do things, hobbies, interests, etc. And guess who’s putting out a lot of that content? Businesses and marketers.
Choose two to three social media channels to start with, and educate yourself on the ins and outs of those from a business and marketing perspective. Different platforms will be appropriate for different clients, depending on their industry and goals.
Launch Your Social Media Virtual Assistant Website
If you’re serious about building a business as a Social Media VA, launching a website that sells your social media management services is part of this process!
As a Social Media Virtual Assistant, you’re doing business in the online community where a website is essentially your calling card. Having a website focused on your business legitimizes you and establishes with potential clients that you have a credible service to offer.
Not sure where to start? Check out our 9 tips to build a website that attracts perfect VA clients.
Create a Social Media Presence for Your Business
Once you’ve settled on which platforms you’ll specialize in, it’s time to set up your online presence – or optimize the one you have to your new career choice. The best way to find clients as a Social Media VA is to have a strong online presence where you can display your skills and social media savvy using your own social media accounts.
And when it comes to your social media presence, it’s crucial to have profiles specific to your Social Media Virtual Assistant business. Social media will likely be your primary place to network and find potential clients, and their initial impressions of you based on your profile(s) could make or break your future relationship.
Since this is such an in-demand service, there are also lots of VA job boards where you can find clients, but again – you’ll still want to have a strong social media presence for potential clients to check you out.
For that reason, it’s important to be intentional about everything you post. It’s also a good idea to do an audit of your personal profiles as well and get rid of anything that might make you come across as less than professional or trustworthy.
While it’s nice to keep your business and personal life separate, the bottom line is that in the world of social media management pretty much all aspects of your online presence are subject to the public eye. Potential clients will check you out, so be prepared!
Here’s a great guide on 10 ways to improve your social media profiles that you can implement right away. We recommend starting with Facebook and LinkedIn as they’re both great places to network and find social media clients.
Create Your Service Offerings and Set Your Social Media Virtual Assistant Rates
Now that you’ve decided on a niche for your VA business, the next step in your journey is to figure out what services you’ll provide and what you’ll charge for them.
One of the awesome aspects of being a Social Media Virtual Assistant is that it offers so many opportunities for specialization. And, the “big deal” about specializing is that you can command very high rates!
As you move forward as a Social Media VA, you’ll find that there are services that you enjoy doing, are good at and that are in high demand. This process can take some time, though, and to get started your best bet is to focus on a few services you feel you could learn fairly quickly and provide with confidence.
Similar to focusing on two to three social media platforms, choosing a few services to start with will help you focus and make it easier to find clients. You’ll sound more credible about what it is you can do, versus someone who claims to be able to “do it all,” and you’ll have more clarity about which kinds of clients to pitch.
8 common social media services:
- Profile set up/optimization
- Curating content
- Graphic design
- Hashtag research
- Paid campaigns/ads
- Group/community management
- Repurposing content
- Customer service
Pick three of these services to start with to really focus on and learn about. It’s not a bad idea to familiarize yourself with the basic concepts of each, but narrow down the few that appeal to you.
Now that you know what you’ll offer, it’s time to decide what you’ll charge for your services. This can be a place where new Social Media Virtual Assistants can get stuck, but it doesn’t have to be.
As you gain some experience and clients, you’ll want to transition from hourly pricing to charging package rates. This will make things easier on both of you – you won’t be tracking time and can make more income doing the same tasks you’ve become increasingly efficient with. Your clients will also appreciate knowing what they’re paying consistently each month.
We recommend coming up with three packages – a low, medium and high tier. This way clients will feel like they have a choice in how they want to work with you and with what fits best for their social media needs.
Begin Pitching Clients for Your Social Media VA Services
You have the basics of your Social Media Virtual Assistant business in place with your online presence, services and rates. It’s time to get out there and find those first clients!
After you’ve spent some time cultivating your social media presence, the majority of the time you have available for your new business should be spent pitching. It’s literally the lifeblood of your business, and if you don’t do it, well – you won’t have any clients.
There are lots of places to look for potential social media clients. The majority of businesses are marketing on social media (and if they’re not they should be) and yet pretty much no business owner wants to manage his or her own presence.
When you begin looking through this lens, you’ll see that there are opportunities everywhere!
Here are a few places to get started:
- Social media – Build your network, periodically post on your profiles about your services, engage in groups and communities and spend time actively cultivating relationships.
- Your immediate network – Reach out to business owners you know and ask them if they need your services or if they know anyone who does! You can also let your friends and family know what you’re up to and ask them to keep you in mind if they know of anyone who could benefit from your services.
- Do some research – Spend some time hunting around the internet, or even your local community, for businesses that either have a weak, inconsistent social media presence or none at all.
Build a Portfolio of Case Studies & Metrics
Once you’ve landed that first client or three, build a portfolio that you can share with prospective clients. Social media management is very much a “show me what you can do” service. While it’s crucial to have your own presence to start with, showcasing what you’re accomplishing for clients is a powerful way to build your business.
If you want to get a jump on building a portfolio before landing clients, consider helping out a friend to practice, or even a local good cause like a nonprofit. While we don’t recommend working for free long-term, this can be a great way to gain some experience.
Pro tip: Write a case study blog post about what your Social Media Virtual Assistant services have accomplished for a business (including your own). You can share it with prospective clients and all over your social media profiles! For example, check out this case study about using Pinterest to drive traffic to a blog.
How to Maximize Your Chances of Success
As you prepare yourself to launch into the very in-demand and potentially lucrative world of being a Social Media Virtual Assistant, take some time to check in with yourself about a few things:
- Why are you pursuing this venture – what is your ‘why’ for success?
- In what ways are you willing to adjust your current routine or time management skills to succeed? Are there things you’ll need to change or give up to dedicate time to your business? Are you up for that?
- What will success look like to you? Where do you want to be in one, three, five years?
The bottom line is that with the right information and focus, you can absolutely succeed as a Social Media VA. And, if you treat your business like a business, i.e. take it seriously and really own what you’re doing, it will pay you like a full-time business! Conversely, if you treat it like a hobby, expect to be paid like a hobby
Here are a few ways you can take your business seriously and get the most out of your efforts as a Social Media Virtual Assistant.
Network, Network, Network
Have you ever heard that your network is your net worth? It’s true! Spend dedicated time establishing and nurturing relationships through social media, as well as any other avenues available to you like in-person (virtual) networking events.
Approach these relationships with an authentic desire to connect and learn – versus being on the prowl for work – and you’ll be amazed at the value that is added to your life and business. An immediate connection may not turn into a working relationship, but you never know what may come of it, like a referral or some skill or knowledge that enriches you personally.
Spend time in social media groups that are focused on your target market, i.e. industry of choice, responding to comments with helpful information, encouragement, or any other form of authentic engagement. Start conversations and take them to direct messages to get to know people more directly and always be willing to be helpful.
An attitude of sincerely wanting to help others has a way of bringing about amazing things!
Always be learning
Another way to take your business seriously is by investing in yourself and your craft by educating yourself as much as possible. It’s one thing to “know some stuff” about social media, but to be a serious contender as a Social Media Virtual Assistant you need to pursue training in your platforms and service areas of choice.
There are a ton of free resources out there on the internet, as well as platform and service-specific courses. To get started with a solid foundation of knowledge as a Social Media VA and be able to step in and help businesses right away we recommend Social Media for Virtual Assistants, one of the six skill-specific courses found within our VA training program, The Fully Booked VA Program.
Finally, social media is constantly changing. To stay one step ahead and set yourself apart as an excellent Social Media Virtual Assistant you need to be committed to staying on top of trends, learning new tools and keeping up with any changes that roll out with your platforms of specialty.
Understand the tools
A major aspect of working with social media is understanding the tools that will help you execute a content strategy effectively. There are tons of tools out there, including ones native to social media platforms as well as third-party applications.
Some of these include scheduling and social media automation, analytics, graphic design and content planning tools to name a few. Start by becoming very familiar with the native tools for the platforms you’re specializing in, and as you gain experience explore some of the many third-party tools that are out there.
These tools will be what you keep in your virtual toolbox to help you be the best at what you do. Having a firm understanding of some of the more popular and effective ones will add to your credibility as a legitimate Social Media Virtual Assistant.
Don’t try and learn all.of.the.things – there are literally tons of tools – but like social media platforms and services, hone in on a few and become very skilled at using them.
Here’s a list of the top 10 social media management tools for businesses so you can familiarize yourself with what’s out there.
When to Promote Yourself to Social Media Manager
In our community of VAs we often get asked about titles, as in “Should I call myself a [fill in the blank] VA or a [fill in the blank] specialist or manager?”
While as a new Virtual Assistant you’re typically coming to the marketplace with specific services to offer, it’s not uncommon to operate in the role of carrying out tasks delegated to you by clients. Providing Social Media Virtual Assistant services is no different, i.e. in order to gain experience and hone your skills you’ll likely be (but not always) stepping into clients’ existing accounts and carrying out the social media-related tasks they’ve assigned to you.
As you gain experience and continue to refine your skills and expertise, however, you move into more of a role of consultant versus simply a “task completor.” And in the context of providing social media services, that means making the leap from Social Media Virtual assistant to Social Media Manager!
When you make that leap is entirely up to you, and it doesn’t need to take a long time – perhaps after you’ve had success with at least two to three clients’ social media presences over the course of a few months.
The decision about whether to title yourself as a Social Media Virtual Assistant versus Social Media manager also depends on the direciton you want to take your business. If you’re completely convinced that this is the niche for you, then it would only make sense to progress toward labeling yourself as a tSocial Media Manager as it implies a higher level of expertise.
If, on the other hand, you’re still keeping your options open when it comes to honing in on an area of specialization for the long-haul of your VA business, then it may make more sense to offer your services as a Social Media Virtual Assistant until you’ve definitely decided that this is the niche for you.
Ultimately, the choice is yours!
Next Steps to Become a Successful Social Media Virtual Assistant
There couldn’t be a better time to become a Social Media VA. Social media has evolved from something only teenagers and college kids used to do, to one of the primary ways businesses are marketing themselves.
Business owners don’t have the time, desire or know-how to implement an effective social media strategy, and they don’t typically have someone on staff who does either. As we’re also in a time when contracting out for services is becoming the norm, you have this perfect storm of opportunity when it comes to being a Social Media Virtual Assistant!
Since there are so many facets to social media, you can also craft a business doing things you enjoy and are good at. Whether your focus is graphic design, customer service or one of the many other potential areas of specialization, you can really niche down as a Social Media Virtual Assistant and create a successful, sustainable business – and an excellent income.
Take your business seriously by taking the time to hone your skills, establish a quality online presence and build a network of like-minded professionals. If you remain consistent and diligent with your efforts in building your Social Media VA business, the seeds you sow will reap a harvest of success!
Ready to take the next step to become a Social Media Virtual Assistant? Enroll in Social Media for Virtual Assistants and let’s do this!