And what I did to improve my business. 


I admit it. 

I started on the social media management journey years ago.  This was after I decided to PIVOT from my first love of Photography.  It seemed like a natural progression in my entrepreneurial journey.  

And why not?

I was on social media anyways to keep in touch with friends & family back in Alaska.  And I had taken all the online classes and felt fairly confident in social media marketing.  I even got some friends that owned small businesses as clients.  

I thought, “Ok, all I do is just plan and schedule their postings, and I’m in business!”

How naive I was.  

Social media management (SMM) is not for the weak-hearted. It’s bloody hard. It’s draining.  It takes a ton of energy, strategic thinking, creativity, time, and organization to manage a social account, let alone multiple accounts.  When I first entered the social media marketing world as someone trying to get clients, I made a lot of mistakes. 

Even as someone who has an advanced business degree, who was “raised” in the age of social media, and has worked as a corporate executive in Business Management & Marketing (before starting my own business), there is still so much to learn and the industry is fast-moving. The “business” they teach you in school, is nothing like running an online business.  And so, I don’t want you to waste your time making the same mistakes.

Here are the 8 MISTAKES I made as the world’s worst social media manager and what I did to improve my business. 


Setting boundaries is huge when you’re in an industry that never sleeps.  Social media is literally 24-7. But there is NO such thing as a social media emergency. Sure planning can change based on disasters but there is no real social media emergency.  This needs to be conveyed with clients from the beginning. This was one of my hardest learning lessons.  What’s more, THE MOST IMPORTANT THING:  Boundaries are hugeBoundaries must be clearly conveyed and set right at the start of the working relationship.  This should be stated in your contract. This should also be restated in your clients ‘onboarding packet’ that outlines these boundaries. This could include things such as how to get in contact with me (by email, CMS, text, etc.), how to schedule meetings, my working hours, and how often I check my email.

Also, initially, you must make sure you are a good fit with your potential client.  There is no way to know this without ‘feeling them out’ (if you will). This requires some upfront work.  What I did was I made a designated questionnaire for them to fill out and then have a follow-up (online) discussion. I did have a questionnaire but my mistake was that I was just asking the wrong questions.  But, I was just starting and I wanted the experience.

If I learned anything, I would ask relevant questions about what type of person they are, are they comfortable with another person posting on behalf of their business?  What is their personality type? If there was anything that raised ‘red flags’ you should take this into serious consideration in terms of you taking them on as a client. Working relationships are everything. I would ask these things to gauge whether potential clients’ fit with my own personality and if we’d mesh.  The bottom line, trust your gut.  


Too late in the social media game did I realize that my own business is my most important client.  Seriously, your business must always be a priority. It is your most valuable client. That means taking yourself through the same process you guide your clients through. This means scheduling your own social media strategy for the following month, writing the pertinent blog content, scheduling the photoshoot to get those styled photos, planning your blog content strategy, evaluate your own analytics and engagement. 

Ignorance is not bliss when it comes to your business. At the forefront, you should walk your talk…period.


I was a hot mess when it came to figuring out systems and I feel like it completely hindered my growth. I truly believe that if I was more organized I would have had more time to do client outreach and serve my clients better.

Then I would have already figured out which social media management platform to use and stick to it.  This is what I figured out only after my client expressed frustration with me after changing the social media management platform yet again to approve and post their content.  I was changing the scheduling management platforms weekly (i.e. Hootsuite, Buffer, Later, Facebook, Kontentino, Social Report, and Loomly). That’s a LOT!

I learned from that and the social media management platforms themselves.  I will just say that it was not only expensive for this fledgling social media marketing fool, but it also was time-consuming and now I know which platforms are worth anything based on my experience.  


I feel as if this is something that you have to RE-LEARN as a freelancer/entrepreneur that is trying to balance family and work.  It’s hard to find that balance but that’s where ‘time management’ plays such a crucial role in anything you want to achieve.  Anyways, I didn’t have it.  Nor did I stick to it when I did try to manage my time.  Why?!? Well, kids, family, searching for a job, it was endless. 

In retrospect, those were ALL excuses. I just didn’t have any time structure then.  I was more ‘reactive’ than proactive.  At the root, I lacked the operational structure that came with a ‘real job.’  You know, that 8-5 work schedule where you went to a soul-sucking job for little pay?

Just kidding, I digress…. Having consistent time management is key.  If I want to DO ANYTHING and make MONEY, I have to have a schedule, and really stick to it in order to be productive.  And so…it is a work in progress. 


I don’t know about you but I was trying to post to ALL the platforms ALL the time.  It was exhausting. It’s true what they say, ‘Niche down, know your target audience and nurture that audience on that specific social media platform.’  Seriously!  If your people are hanging out on Instagram, engage with them there. And only when you have mastered that platform, you move on to another.  Only then can you engage with your client’s audience and see real growth.


I was constantly pitching my client’s products & services but not providing any value.   Often, I see other Social Media Managers just posting about their services without sharing why they’re qualified to even be offering those services.  By providing some real value you build the ‘like, know and trust factor.’  And only then will you see growth and more clients.  


Some of the most common mistakes I see people buy into is ‘faking it until you make it.’  I did it.  I drank the kool-aid.  But you know what it did?  It stressed me out to the point of burnout.  Early on, I realize clients asked if I did ‘branding,’ logo design, and graphic design. I knew enough about Canva to use my creativity to create images and content to post, but branding?  Then I didn’t know anything about branding but I said ‘yes’ because that’s what freelancers do, we say yes.  And then I asked the ‘Google’ gods to help me.

I burned the midnight oil for weeks on end to learn ‘branding.’  I created color schemes and logos for clients.  I found I actually had a knack for it.  But it was at the price of being sleepless, tired, not present with my family, and I was grumpy.  I was nearly burned out.

So I did the thing I never do.  I asked for help.  When a client asked for a new website, (and I did not know anything about website design), I outsourced to an experienced designer.  Since it wasn’t my strong point, I asked for help. I wouldn’t recommend, ‘fake-it-until-you-make-it,’ because it comes at a hefty price for both your mental health and your finances. Just be honest, stick to your scope of work and know your boundaries (#1 mistake) and what you are capable of. 


What are sales funnel?  That’s what I asked myself when I had my own website evaluated.  Basically, a sales funnel is the process that you take a potential client through in order to buy your product or service.  I didn’t have a process to lead potential customers to, nor did I have that free offer or service that is providing value but I was not leading them through the funnel to buy anything. 

This caused me to take a step back and rebrand. I updated my website and learned more about funnel building and email marketing to build my business to what I want it to be.  (Note: this was for my old brand, I have since pivoted and started this podcast website)


Know the numbers.  Know your clients’ social media accounts analytics.  This is key to not only your success as their SMM but also for clients to come back to you later.  I failed miserably at this.  I didn’t take this into account because I didn’t know what I was doing, I had no formal training.  I was just winging it then because there were no SMM training or certification classes. Also, I learned that  ‘Analytics’, is used a bit broadly because it is referring to both social media metrics (e.g. likes, comments, shares, etc.) and business metrics (e.g. traffic, leads, conversions, revenue, etc.).  An amazing social media manager is able to understand both types of metrics and know how to tie them together to give an overall view of the company’s social media performance against business goals. 

The social media manager should be the guiding light in your client’s business when it comes to measuring the performance across various social channels. As such, an SMM should learn the ins and outs of social media metrics, and determine which ones are meant for your client’s business & goals are essential.  For example, if your goal is to drive traffic from social media channels to a website and drive sales, being able to attribute traffic and conversions back to channels and even certain posts will help the SMM to understand what content is helping you to achieve your goals.

Knowing how to read and interpret data is now an important skill for social media managers.

All marketers should value analytics and reporting.  Analytics will tell an SMM what campaigns are working on each social platform. And over time, a social media manager will be able to detect trends and patterns that yield actionable information. You can use this data to optimize your campaigns moving forward, maximizing your social media impact.  The numbers are everything.


Social media marketing can have a massive impact on a company’s brand. It’s so important to establish your client’s business goals and strategies right from the beginning.  But to see any positive results, you must have a qualified and experienced social media manager.  Now that I’ve shared my social media management mistakes and insights, what did I do next?


I took a serious look at what my long-term goals were and ultimately, where I wanted to be.  First of all, my goal was to have the freedom to work for myself. I established that but what I was doing (social media management), did not align with what I wanted to do and that was why I was terrible at it.  I didn’t love it!  After that realization, I got really clear on what I was good at and what I did want to do, and that was content writing.  I realized that I enjoy writing every day.  I do it so much that I have a massive list of ideas on my Google docs. It’s from blogging about my life abroad, business & marketing to teaching others how to be a content creator, and so on.  

So the moral of this story is that I went from being the worst social media manager to learning what I really wanted to do in this life, and that is to be a freelance writer.  I am constantly learning and growing but I do love the written word and I can write everything from blogs, press releases, personal finance, and business/marketing articles to technical compliance policies and procedures.  I have an eye for structure and organization, so if you are struggling to write your blog, articles for your next product or service launch, or you just need kind feedback on your website, I’m your gal.  


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.