“I didn’t even know what a hastag was”
I was working in a council marketing role, where it took me about two weeks to get a tweet signed off, and even then, I wasn’t allowed to actually hit ‘send’ on it. I didn’t get to do any of the dirty work like creating, editing, uploading or commenting and I was bored with the topic (council news wasn’t exactly my passion).
After a friend announced she was having a baby and starting a business in the same week, I forced her to hand over her social media account passwords. She resisted, but I knew she wouldn’t have time, and wouldn’t mind if I ‘winged it’. I was pumped and set off to watch as many free webinars as I could about how to do this thing called social media management.
The business was a small accommodation provider located along Victoria’s Great Ocean Road. How hard could it be to create beautiful imagery with witty copy every day?? Turns out, very hard. But I loved every minute. I messed up a lot. I sent out the wrong information. I posted low res images. I used the wrong address once (whoops) and I generally spent far too long creating posts that nobody saw. I threw myself into it, and used successful accounts for inspiration (quick, go and follow @australia, with the biggest following of any destination in the world). I put my heart into every post.
And I wasn’t getting paid.
I didn’t get paid for 2.5 years, when I reluctantly handed back the reins to my friend who now had the capacity to do it herself. She was so grateful for my time and passion, but it was time to step back and allow her to take it all on.
I had managed to rack up hundreds of followers and numerous bookings from my posts. It was deemed a success.
In the meantime, my friend had been referring my skills to other small businesses, and lo and behold, I was a social media manager.
It has been years of courses, online webinars, workshops, mentoring and I still find out new things every week in my job as a social media manager. But that’s what is so awesome. If you can find the thing you love (for me it was travel and holidays) the desire to do the work will come easily.
So, my tips? Go stalk your fave brand, whether it’s socks or dog food or the local toy shop that has zero presence on social media. Wander in there and ask the owner if you can run their socials for 3 months FOR NOTHING. See what happens…..
– Louise Hudson, Monarch Institute
For more information on Monarch’s Diploma of Social Media Marketing click here, or call 1300 738 955 to chat about your options.