Nearly 15 million people in the workforce are self-employed, totaling about 10% of the total job market.
Not everyone wants to spend their most productive years chained to a desk. Some crave the freedom to work how they want when they want, and where they want.
And thanks to the burgeoning need for social media marketing, that type of career is more attainable than ever!
With that said, there are some things you’ll want to know before committing to a career as a self-employed social media consultant.
Here’s everything you’ll need to know to survive self-employment.
Set a Daily Schedule
There’s nothing quite as rewarding as having the ability to set your own schedule.
For many, that’s the best part of working as a freelance social media consultant.
However, if you’re not careful, the day can quickly get away from you.
Sure, it’s fine to let yourself sleep in every now and again. But sticking to a regular schedule is far more effective in achieving long-term success.
Creating and adhering to a daily routine gives your day structure and purpose, and as a result, makes you more productive.
Be Your Own Advocate
There’s a far greater demand for social media marketing and consultation than ever before. Unfortunately, you’re not the only social media expert who knows this.
Chances are you’ll face some pretty steep competition — both from your fellow freelancers and larger marketing firms. You’ll need to step up your marketing game and learn to be your own biggest fan.
Create an online portfolio that demonstrates your skills. Use real data and metrics that prove you know what you’re talking about.
Companies see hiring freelancers as taking a risk. Show them that you’re a risk worth investing in, and you’ll have no trouble finding regular work.
Stay on Top of Your Finances
The standard social media consultant salary sits at about $25,000 per year. Unless you’re living by yourself in a modest apartment, that doesn’t give you a whole lot of financial wiggle room.
Make sure to stay on top of due dates for bills and rent, and be frugal when shopping for food. Since you’re self-employed, you’ll need to factor in the costs of healthcare, as well.
Expenses can add up rather fast. The more you track your finances, the less likely you are to end up struggling.
Plan for Tax Season Early
Self-employment taxes are a chore, to say the least, mainly because you can’t create your own W2, fill it out, and call it a day.
Instead, self-employment taxes are far more involved. You’ll need to fill out several forms that you’ve likely never even heard of.
It’s often best to hire some outside tax help, who can help you figure out what you can and can’t write off.
Speaking of which, that brings us to one unfortunate point about taxes for the self-employed: The cost. You’ll likely end up owing money, which can quickly derail your financial plans.
Start saving for tax season as early as possible. Though it’d be more fun to pick up that outfit at the mall, you’ll be glad you saved in April.
Social Media Consultant Survival Guide
Working as a social media consultant has a ton of advantages. You get to be set your own hours, work from the comforts of home, and establish yourself as a professional.
As fun as freelancing can be, you’ll want to make sure you follow these tips to maximize your career potential.
Before you get started, make sure you know what not to do. Check out our blog post on four mistakes you’ll want to avoid when improving a client’s Facebook page.