Ten years ago, social media was merely a way to connect with friends and to pass the time while sharing your interests, hobbies, and goals. Now, social media is big business, a place where you can even find your next client and sign a contract template or agreement template.
Businesses with brand pages on Facebook are actively spending money to get their brand message out there. In addition to ads – which are a significant chunk of this expense – they also require people with marketing savvy to manage their brand accounts and develop campaigns that will best reach their ideal customer.
What does this mean for you? Freelance social media marketing managers are in more demand than ever, and always seem to sign rewarding social media marketing contracts! (Be sure to check out our guide on how to write a marketing contract.) With more brands accepting social media as another legitimate ad vertical (like newspaper, radio or TV commercials), they are putting more money into this ad landscape and you can expect to get paid well for any social media invoice template you send to clients.
Here's what you need to be skilled enough to get a piece of that revenue as a freelance social media manager.
While you don't need to be the next Wadsworth or Dean Koontz, you do need to be able to type up basic ad copy and write interesting observations with few (if any errors.) Social media needs you to be unusually detailed, as often the social media manager will be required to respond to customer requests in real-time.
There will be no fact-checker or copy editor to look over your work before you hit "send." With screenshots allowing tweets and FB updates to live forever, you need to have confidence you can create compelling content with no horrible repercussions from typos (something that can plague a business for years.)
Another great advantage that comes with enhancing your writing skills is the added value of being able to write better social media marketing proposals, which in turn lead to better clients and better pay.
Back before there was social media, forums and chat boards ruled. Moderators usually kept comments under control while answering questions and facilitating new discussions. The same principle applies to social media today. A good manager can spot issues in the online community and address them accordingly – while complying with the rules of each platform.
Can you read reports? Do you understand trends? Social media managers must be able to tailor their strategies to what the brand has outlined, as well as what the data shows. In addition to reading reports, social media managers might be asked to pull data and create their own personal forecast or plan for the future.
Remember that community we talked about? While it's impossible to please everyone all the time, a good manager can anticipate the needs of the audience, respond empathically to customer complaints or issues, and project a "human" touch with each tweet or update. Remember, most people want to feel heard, and freelance social media managers must be good at both hearing what people say and acknowledging it.
Technology changes weekly – if not daily – in social media. What once was a useful tool for Facebook last month may not even be in existence today. With all the algorithm changes, it’s not enough to stick to a tried-and-true method and not go beyond it. The best social media managers always have their finger on the pulse of “what’s next” and are eager to embrace new skills to keep their business competitive and competent.
Social media managers are often entrusted with some of the most sensitive data a company has, including passwords and marketing initiatives not yet known by the public. Because of this fact, it's imperative that you can hold all of the info you see in the highest of confidence. You’ll likely be asked to sign a confidentiality clause of some kind before you begin, but – even if you aren’t, you must be able to be trusted to keep secrets under wraps. Nevertheless, make sure you and your client sign a social media contract, so you both are safe, just in case.
Because you will be entrusted with so much proprietary info, it's also important that your devices and workspace are iron-clad and not able to be breached by bad players. You must have the latest firewall and anti-virus tools installed, as well as understand the basics of how to properly log in and off client's account. 2-step authentication is critical here, so be sure you are using this best practice with all of your processes to make sure your client’s info is never compromised!
Not everyone can juggle all of the duties of a freelance social media manager! In addition to reporting, updates, campaign crafting, customer service, and PR, you’ll have to continually learn and handle your own taxes and accounting, too! Not everyone has what it takes to do all these things. The person who can keep their cool, and get everything done, will be hugely successful in this business.
On the flipside of being able to keep all the plates in the air is having the skill of focus. There will be times when you’ll be doing mind-numbing work. Data analysis, trends, combing through thousands of comments, responding to an angry Twitter mob --- these are all the things in a social media manager’s typical day that require you to sit and focus for long periods of time. If you aren’t able to shut everything else out and get the work done, you won’t make it as a social media manager.
While everyone has the right to their own opinion, social media managers are held to a higher standard with how they use their social media accounts. As the hidden face of the company, no one may ever know that you are handling Brand A's Twitter handle, but that's no reason to let your own Twitter account appear crude, inflammatory, or libelous. Be sure you are using care when you Tweet and update to social media, as you are representing someone's business – your own! If you don't have the self-control not to like, retweet, or reply to today's political turbulence, you risk appearing unprofessional in your work landscape.
Some of the world’s best ad campaigns were notable for their fresh perspective on life. Social media, with all its memes and viral videos, and supported the view that creativity has value. If you can think outside the box, you can do very well in this industry.
Freelance social media managers have unique challenges. For one, social media never shuts down. That means you may have to work outside planned scheduling tools to address the community in real-time – even on nights and weekends. There is also the hard reality of how fast things change, in technology and life. A campaign you worked for months on may no longer be relevant or could be prohibitive to the message after a recent news event or change in consumer sentiment. Being able to take the hits and adapt is perhaps one of the most notable qualities of today’s best social media managers.
As one of the highest-paid freelance jobs, social media managers can make anywhere from $25,000 - $65,000 depending on their skill level and experience -- as well as whether you’ll be part of an internal team. Even working with an agency (who acts as a buffer between you and the company) can pay $30 an hour or more. By acting as a freelancer, you can keep more of the money for yourself, while providing a responsive marketing plan with fewer obstacles and red tape than a more massive agency may encounter.
This fast-paced career is in high demand by companies big and small. Anyone with a Facebook page or Twitter account will likely hire a social media manager. Those who haven't yet – probably will. Are you up to the challenge? Manage your social media business with the help of Bonsai, sign up for a free trial today.
A verbal contract (formally called an oral contract) refers to an agreement between two parties that's made —you guessed it— verbally.
Formal contracts, like those between an employee and an employer, are typically written down. However, some professional transactions take place based on verbally agreed terms.
Freelancers are a good example of this. Often, freelancers will take on projects having agreed on the terms and payment via the phone, or an email. Unfortunately, sometimes clients don't pull through on their agreements, and hardworking freelancers can find themselves out of pocket and wondering whether a legal battle is worth all the hassle.
The main differences between written and oral contracts are that the former is signed and documented, whereas the latter is solely attributed to verbal communication.
Verbal contracts are a bit of a gray area for most people unfamiliar with contract law —which is most of us, right?— due to the fact that there's no physical evidence to support the claims made by the implemented parties.
For any contract (written or verbal) to be binding, there are four major elements which need to be in place. The crucial elements of a contract are as follows:
Therefore, an oral agreement has legal validity if all of these elements are present. However, verbal contracts can be difficult to enforce in a court of law. In the next section, we take a look at how oral agreements hold up in court.
Most business professionals are wary of entering into contracts orally because they can difficult to enforce in the face of the law.
If an oral contract is brought in front of a court of law, there is increased risk of one party (or both!) lying about the initial terms of the agreement. This is problematic for the court, as there's no unbiased way to conclude the case; often, this will result in the case being disregarded. Moreover, it can be difficult to outline contract defects if it's not in writing.
That being said, there are plenty of situations where enforceable contracts do not need to be written or spoken, they're simply implied. For instance, when you buy milk from a store, you give something in exchange for something else and enter into an implied contract, in this case - money is exchanged for goods.
There are some types of contracts which must be in writing.
The Statute of Frauds is a legal statute which states that certain kinds of contracts must be executed in writing and signed by the parties involved. The Statute of Frauds has been adopted in almost all U.S states, and requires a written contract for the following purposes:
Typically, a court of law won't enforce an oral agreement in any of these circumstances under the statute. Instead, a written document is required to make the contract enforceable.
Contract law is generally doesn't favor contracts agreed upon verbally. A verbal agreement is difficult to prove, and can be used by those intent on committing fraud. For that reason, it's always best to put any agreements in writing and ensure all parties have fully understood and consented to signing.
Verbal agreements can be proven with actions in the absence of physical documentation. Any oral promise to provide the sale of goods or perform a service that you agreed to counts as a valid contract. So, when facing a court of law, what evidence can you provide to enforce a verbal agreement?
Unfortunately, without solid proof, it may be difficult to convince a court of the legality of an oral contract. Without witnesses to testify to the oral agreement taking place or other forms of evidence, oral contracts won't stand up in court. Instead, it becomes a matter of "he-said-she-said" - which legal professionals definitely don't have time for!
If you were to enter into a verbal contract, it's recommended to follow up with an email or a letter confirming the offer, the terms of the agreement , and payment conditions. The more you can document the elements of a contract, the better your chances of legally enforcing a oral contract.
Another option is to make a recording of the conversation where the agreement is verbalized. This can be used to support your claims in the absence of a written agreement. However, it's always best to gain the permission of the other involved parties before hitting record.
Fundamentally, most verbal agreements are legally valid as long as they meet all the requirements for a contract. However, if you were to go to court over one party not fulfilling the terms of the contract, proving that the interaction took place can be extremely taxing.
So, ultimately, the question is: written or verbal agreements?
Any good lawyer, contract law firm, or legal professional would advise you to make sure you formalize any professional agreement with a written agreement. Written contracts provide a secure testament to the conditions that were agreed and signed by the two parties involved. If it comes to it, a physical contract is much easier to eviden in legal circumstances.
Freelancers, in particular, should be aware of the extra security that digital contracts may provide. Many people choose to stick to executing contracts verbally because they're not sure how to write a contract, or they think writing out the contract terms is too complicated or requires expensive legal advice. However, this is no longer the case.
Today, we have a world of resources available at our fingertips. The internet is a treasure trove of invaluable information, platforms, and software that simplifies our lives. Creating, signing, and sending contracts has never been easier. What's more, you don't have to rely on a hiring a lawyer to explain all that legal jargon anymore.
There are plenty of tools available online for freelancers to use for guidance when drafting digital contracts. Tools like Bonsai provide a range of customizable, vetted contract templates for all kinds of freelance professionals. No matter what industry you're operating in, Bonsai has a professional template to offer.
A written contract makes the agreement much easier to prove the terms of the agreement in case something were to go awry. The two parties involved can rest assured that they're legal rights are protected, and the terms of the contract are sufficiently documented. Plus, it provides both parties with peace of mind to focus on the tasks at hand.
Bonsai's product suite for freelancers allows users to make contracts from scratch, or using professional templates, and sign them using an online signature maker.
With Bonsai, you can streamline and automate all of the boring back-office tasks that come with being a freelancer. From creating proposals that clients can't say no to, to sealing the deal with a professional contract - Bonsai will revolutionize the way you do business as a freelancer.
Why not secure your business today and sign up for a free trial?