You check your follower count more often than you’d like to admit, you know the names and handles of all the biggest Instagram influencers, and you one day dream of being retweeted by your favorite celebrity.
Now, you’re ready to take your obsession with all things social media to a professional level — and you’re ready to begin your social media career.
However, know that getting started isn’t as easy as all those accounts with hundreds of thousands of followers make it look. Social media marketing is a rapidly-changing and ultra-competitive industry with more rules than you might think.
In this post, we’ll fill you in on the top five tips you need to know to get more followers, land awesome sponsorships, or get hired for a marketing job at your dream company. It’s a lot more than just liking and sharing — but you can do this.
1. Brush up Your Photography Skills
The number-one thing you need to launch your social media career?
Amazing photography skills and the right camera equipment.
If you’ve been shooting for a while, consider taking on online photography class through sites like Udemy. If you’re totally new to photography, we guarantee you that there are tons of in-person courses at your local community center or university. Enroll in them to brush up your skills.
Also, be sure to check out some of the most popular photo editing apps like the ones listed here.
If you know that photography simply isn’t and likely never will be your strong suit, your best bet is just to hire a professional to take pictures for you. If you feel a bit shy about getting in front of the camera yourself, look for amateur models on Instagram or even ask your best-looking friends to pose for you.
Yes, it’s an investment, but trust us when we tell you that well-edited, expertly-directed photos are what make social media users stop the scrolling and hit that follow button.
2. Know Your Hashtags
If you don’t understand the importance of hashtags, then you won’t succeed in understanding how to start a media career.
Hashtags are what help people who are interested in your content find you on social media. It’s also a great way to learn more about your target market and connect with the people you should be following and interacting with. For best results, use no more than 30 hashtags per post. Any more could end with your account getting blocked or shadowbanned, making you invisible to potential followers.
This list of the top social media research tools is a great starting point if you’re completely lost when it comes to finding the perfect hashtags.
3. Don’t Neglect In-Person Networking
Yes, networking on social media is incredibly important, and it always helps to like, comment, and share the posts of people in your target market.
However, remember that your followers want to see you actually doing something, not just sitting at home liking other peoples’ photos. Not only do in-person networking events provide awesome content. They also allow for in-person networking.
Finding a career in social media marketing is a lot easier when you meet representatives from a social media marketing agency or have the chance to snap a selfie with a fellow influencer.
4. Join an Engagement Group
Trust us when we tell you that you’re far from the only one currently trying to master social media marketing.
In fact, you’re not even the only one in your “niche” trying to get your name out there.
Enter the value of “engagement groups” on social media. These are other social media users in your field, and you all commit to sharing, liking, and commenting on one another’s stories and posts. This gives your accounts a boost in the social media algorithms, so your content will end up being shown to more people.
5. Use Instagram Promotions
Finally, to get your social media career going, accept that you’re going to have to pay for promotions.
The good news?
You can seriously customize your target market, so your account will show up in the feeds of people who won’t just follow you, but interact with you and buy from you. Be as specific as possible.
For example, if you’re a wedding planner, don’t customize your audience to target simply “women 25-35.”
Instead, look to target those who marked themselves as “recently engaged,” in your service area, and even by profession and income level. You can also filter your target market by interests, meaning that you can easily find people who will gravitate towards your aesthetic.
You’re Ready to Jump-Start Your Social Media Career
If you follow the five pieces of advice above, we promise that you’ll get your social media career off to a great start.
Especially when you’re new to all this, remember that other social media influencers and agencies are your support system, not yet your competitors. Team up with social media accounts and influencers that are in your area of interest or industry, and work to cross-promote each other.
While putting yourself out there can certainly feel intimidating at first, don’t let your fear get the best of you and don’t worry about negative comments. That’s what the delete and block buttons are for!
Interested in getting more advice about social media marketing for your brand or the company you work for? Want to apply for a marketing job and get your media career going? Just curious about how to find awesome locations for your photos?
Keep checking back in with our blog for tips and tricks on all this and more.
Samantha Gaines wrote this article on behalf of FreeeUp. FreeeUp is the fastest growing freelance marketplace in the US. FreeeUp only accepts the top 1% of freelance applicants. Click here to get access to the top freelancers in the world.