Social media is an important part of any marketing plan. One-woman bloggers to multi-billion dollar corporations rely on social media to help raise brand awareness, generate buzz, and connect with customers.
And regardless how big or small a business’s social following, it takes a lot of work to build an engaged audience and keep them coming back for more. Plus, there’s quite a bit of strategy involved in how to post and when, and what social channels a business should even devote their energy to in the first place.
Really, it can be a full-time job (and then some) just to keep up on social media. And just when you think you’ve got it down, bam, there’s an algorithm change that makes your previous social strategy ineffective.
How are businesses, brands, and bloggers keeping up? Well, many solopreneurs, small business owners, and companies outsource parts of their social presence to someone. And if you’re social media savvy, that ‘someone’ could be you!
While it might sound like a dream come true to actually earn an income tweeting, snapping, pinning, and posting, know this: Sharing memes, selfies, and social commentary on your personal profiles is a lot different than what will be expected of you as a professional social media manager.
But, the good news is, you can use your love of social networking as a solid foundation to help you launch a successful social media side hustle (say that ten times real fast). And, there’s such a high demand for this service, who knows, it could become your full-time job.
The Quick-Start Method
If you want to get started putting your social skills to work, like, yesterday, signing up with an already established company that offers social media jobs is probably your best bet. Fortunately, there are a growing number of companies that contract with the social media savvy, like you, to provide a variety of services.
$99 Social is on a mission to help make social media management affordable for small businesses. Here, you can get hired on as a part-time content specialist. Which means you’ll mostly search for share-worthy content, write short intros for posts, and prep them to go live on the appropriate social channel. You can expect to earn an average of $12/hour once you get through 6-7 hours of self-paced training.
At eaHELP you’ll be part virtual assistant and part social media assistant. This means that while the bulk of your work will be social-related, you might also need to work on general administrative tasks, too. Assistants are matched to clients, so this work may not be as flexible as you’d like for a side hustle. But if the idea of working as a VA sounds like something you’d like to do, you’re in luck — there are more than 20 companies that hire virtual assistants to work from home.
If you love social media but want something that isn’t client focused (i.e., you don’t have to interact with others), consider becoming an Appen Social Media Evaluator. This is kind of like popular at-home search engine evaluation jobs but with a social media twist. You’ll rate the relevancy of various social updates and generally help make social sharing better for all of us — so, thank you for that 🙂
Like Appen, mentioned above, Lionbridge also has super flexible social media jobs that don’t require you to interact with clients. Instead, you can become a Personalized Social Media Assessor. You’ll need to be a very active Google user — Play Store, G+, and Gmail are all musts. You’ll be using the information in your Google account to rate the relevancy of results.
With a few hours to spare each week, you can become a side hustler over at Time Etc. and put your social media skills to work helping clients manage their online presence. Since this is a social-media-meets-virtual-assistant gig, you’ll work on administrative tasks in addition to social assignments.
Join the ModSquad, and you might get a chance to work on social media-driven assignments. I say might because at ModSquad, work is performed on a per-project basis. Sometimes there may be social media projects available — but there’s no guarantee. I’ve written a full review of what it takes to be a Mod and also included a handy guide to help you ace your application just in case this sounds like the perfect gig for you.
Kickstart your social side gig as a moderator at Crisp Thinking and help manage user-generated content on various social channels. You’ll help respond to customer inquiries, moderate comments, and otherwise keep Internet trolls at bay — think of yourself as a social defender!
Remember, these contract positions aren’t always hiring — but it doesn’t hurt to try. And since you’ll be an independent contractor, you’re responsible for paying your own taxes and maintaining your work equipment (computer, internet, etc.) at your expense.
But, what’s great about contract positions is they give you a chance to flex your social media muscle quickly and can help you gain much needed experience if you want to branch out into a full-time role elsewhere.
Other Sources of Social Media Side Hustles
While the companies listed above are known for regularly offering social media side hustles, there’s other places worth checking too. The more gig hunting you do, the greater your chances are of finding something that’s a good fit for you. So, make sure you take your search into your own hands and check out these additional companies too!
Land Gigs on Upwork
Upwork is officially the mecca of freelance work. After combining forces with oDesk and then Elance, there are more than 12 million registered users who engage in $1 billion worth of freelance work each year!
With a properly set up profile and a perfect pitch, you can land as many (or few) social media gigs as you’d like — and believe me when I say, there is plenty of work to go around! Keep in mind, Upwork does take a percentage of your earnings (anywhere from 5 to 20 percent depending on the amount you’ve earned and duration of a project). And, you’ll have to face some pretty stiff competition in the form of your fellow freelancer in order to get gigs. But, there are seemingly endless possibilities to earn here — perfect for beginner social media side hustlers.
You probably won’t find instant success here with your social media side hustle. And that’s okay. Just be prepared to put in the work upfront so you can reap the benefits of steady gigs and stellar feedback that turns into repeat clients later on. Need a little inspiration? There’s a must-listen podcast episode over at Brent Jones Online that is 7 minutes of pure Upwork advice awesomeness to help you kickstart your new social side job.
Keep Your Eye on Indeed
If you’re not searching Indeed daily to find work as a side hustler, you’re seriously missing out. The best part is, you don’t necessarily have to login every day and manually search. You can set up an alert that keeps you up to date on any new social media gigs posted.
As a job search engine, Indeed scours the Internet to find job leads — you just never know what you’ll find. There’s everything from full-time remote jobs with employee benefits to one-off assignments and contract gigs.
Check it out for yourself. Just type “social media” in the what box below and “remote” in the where box — you might be surprised at the number of social side gigs that show up!