Unlike traditional careers, landing a job in social media is not about a college degree or a pimped out resume. You are not going to get hired and trained and only then have the company start expecting results. Companies looking for social media managers are looking for people they know can bring results and who have a proven track record. There are definitely jobs out there. For example, Simply Hired lists more than 40,000 positions in social media. But in order to get paid to web surf you first have to pay your dues.
1. Internship: One way to get started is to look for an unpaid internship. There is a lot of tedious work involved with social media and a lot of companies are more than happy to outsource. You can work from home for a lot of these positions and they can be a great way to get your foot in the door.
2. Build Your Online Reputation: If you don’t have the ability to quit your day job, then your only option is to get started on your own. Just remember, social media is not just about using Twitter and Facebook or blogging every day, it’s about building a reputation. Start by creating a blog and be prepared for it to take a couple of years before you get a significant readership. Use Twitter to contact influential people in social media, just be ready to get blown off a lot. Don’t be annoying, be helpful. Share articles that may have been overlooked by the mass public or offer assistance with writing or editing. Putting in the time is the only way to truly build a network that you can take with you to your social media job.
1. Social Media Campaign: Once you have honed your skills and networked your brains out, you need to focus on getting hired. The rage right now is creating a social media ad campaign targeting potential employers. This is a great method that gets your name out there and at the same time shows your skills. Don’t just create an ad that leads to your LinkedIn page, however. Make sure your landing page is a truly creative work of art that will set you apart from the competition. Most companies that are hiring expect a lot of savvy web know-how, including knowledge of shopping cart software, so if you can sell yourself, you can sell their products.
2. Professional Courses: Most colleges do not offer programs in social media marketing and if they do they are more than likely already obsolete. So a good way to get a leg up is to take some professional courses in social media management to beef up your resume. In-person courses are typically only available in New York, San Francisco, or Chicago, but there are plenty of online resources. Just be careful not to get scammed by a social media guru that has decided to use their talents for evil.
A career in social media may seem like a dream job for outgoing web ninjas, but just like with anything else, it takes time and effort. Get used to rejection and criticism and try not to take it personally. Use your love of the web and your love of sharing ideas to build a network and a career.