How to Start & Grow Your Social Media Management Business

Social Media Manager

The unofficial poster girl for oat milk lattes, pinot grigio, and long walks down the aisles of Target.  

I’m also a wife, mama, and marketing junkie who turned my love of social media into a 6-figure business from straight-up scratch.
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If you’re brand spankin’ new to the world of social media management, let me just say… welcome! Get on in here, friend 🙂

Perfect for anyone passionate about the social media space and making an impact online, this is a job that offers freedom, flexibility and the ability to create some seriously cool stuff on your own terms.

It also comes with an amazing community of SMMs who work to lift and support each other along the way.

But when you’re first starting in the world of social media management, the overwhelm is REAL! And the questions? Endless.

  • How do you get your biz off the ground? 
  • Where do you find your first clients? 
  • How do you turn this into a sustainable, lucrative career? 

You want to make sure you start things off on the right foot and keep the momentum building over time so that your business turns into a viable long-term venture. 

How do you do that? Don’t stress, I’ve already been through some of the most challenging parts of this journey, and I’ve got you. 

Let’s break down the steps to starting and growing your social media management business. 


How to start an SMM business right now


… yep, right this second! 

Get to know your platforms

First thing’s first, pick your poison. It’s time to figure out the platforms you love the most and the ones you want to specialize in.

Remember, you don’t need to be an expert in everything – in fact, I’d recommend honing in on just 1-3 to keep your brain from overloading (and to build a solid base of knowledge). 

Dig deep into how each platform functions, the details around their algorithm, what makes the audience in those spaces tick and the best type of content to produce for each one. 

Figure out your niche

Social media is a saturated market. It’s drenched. And to help yourself stand out in the crowd, you’ve got to get specific about who you are and who you’re for → you need a niche.

Start by nailing down your USP (unique selling proposition) and ask yourself: 

  • Why would someone work with you over other social media managers? 
  • Is there an industry you have an intimate knowledge of or a quirk/background that distinguishes you from others in the market? 

Once you’ve figured out where you belong and who you want to work with, create your content and campaigns around that niche. Engage specifically with people in that world and focus your energy on being as memorable and as authentic as possible, so they remember you!

Decide on your offering

Picking your platforms and nailing down your niche is essential to starting a successful social media management business, but you won’t have a biz at all without services. 

SMMs can offer one, a handful, or all of the below (and this doesn’t even cover everything out there):

  • Content creation
  • Designing graphics
  • Engagement and community growth
  • Hashtag strategy
  • Creating stories and pinned highlights
  • Designing, running and managing ad campaigns
  • Monitoring analytics and creating reports

As you start, I recommend opting for the stuff you feel most comfortable doing! When you’re ready to push yourself, you can check out different courses and workshops to help you expand your skills.

Outline your plan

To get a steady roster of clients for your biz, you’ll need to generate leads! How do you get leads? By coming up with a plan for developing the “like, know, trust” factor with your intended audience.

Define the kind of value you want to share with your people and outline how best to market it – this can be through email newsletters, blog posts, shareable IG graphics, live Q&As, IGTVs or workshops – the possibilities are endless. 

But the key in sharing is to provide authentic value and shine a spotlight on what makes you and your brand special.


How to scale your SMM business


Ok, so you’ve got things up and running, you’re feeling super excited, the clients are lining up to work with you — it’s the perfect time to ensure sustainability. 

You want this social media management business to function as your long-term career, right? Well, it’s time to scale.

Scaling your business allows for limitless growth, and if you go about it with a strategy, you won’t have a problem succeeding!

Grow your following

Building a community of engaged, loyal followers is crucial to longevity in this biz.

You don’t just want clients who buy from you once and then disappear! You want to build a community that keeps coming back for more.

  • Put in the time to learn as much as you can about your ideal clients so you can continue building trust and offering real value. 
  • Create more brand awareness by collaborating with others in your industry, increase your visibility by showing up in spaces where your clients hang out, and start conversations with people anywhere and everywhere you can!

If you put in the work, you’ll see the results.

Need a little help building your following? I’ve got just the thing for you, friend.

Raise your prices

Yep, I’m serious.

When you’re starting out, raising your prices might seem counterintuitive, not to mention scary AF! And I get it. Most feel super worried about scaring off potential clients or losing the precious ones they’ve already got, but I’ll let you in on a secret…

Raising your prices is going to help you attract the exact clients you want and need in your business. 

It’ll bring forward ones who have more respect for your time, value your expertise, and are willing to pay for your talent. 

Plus, when you price yourself competitively, you’ll also notice how easy it is to accept work that lights you up and feels worthy of your time → both important for the long haul as a social media manager.

Start hiring help

Serious about growth? Get more people on board.

You can’t do ALL THE THINGS forever, and you shouldn’t have to! By bringing people on board to help pick up the slack, you can take on more business without crashing and burning on time. 

Not only that, but if you hire strategically, you can add teammates who are talented in areas you feel less confident in – allowing you the opportunity to offer a wider variety of services.

If you’ve never hired anyone before and you’re a little hesitant, just start by outsourcing a few tasks or partnering with a freelancer. When you see how much of your valuable time frees up, you’ll never go back.

Create a long term growth strategy

Running a biz ain’t easy (one of those things no one *really* tells you before you start), but you don’t want to get complacent. To prep your business for the long run, it’s important to keep strategizing on how to grow, adapt and push forward.

If the last few years have shown us anything, it’s that our businesses need to be ready to weather any storm! 

Make some time for yourself to outline a long-term growth strategy that includes different services, multiple income streams and other ideas to help future proof your career.



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New to the SMM game or planning big growth moves? For plenty more tips and tricks on running a SMM business, come and connect with me on Instagram.



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hey there!

I'm Shannon! 

The unofficial poster girl for oat milk lattes, pinot grigio, and long walks down the aisles of Target.  

I’m also a wife, mama, and marketing junkie who turned my love of social media into a 6-figure business from straight-up scratch.