How I get paid to ‘Facebook’ all day… 

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I always knew I was going to be a writer.

What I didn’t know, is that I would one day get paid to write content for social media!  

And I couldn’t be happier!

I often get asked how I got a permanent role in Social Media. I didn’t just fall into the social media game. It’s been a mix of hard work, good luck and some fantastic mentors.

So, here’s how I became a social media manager:

Goal: I always wanted to be a writer, originally I thought I would be a journalist. But after my first semester at uni I learnt that the type of journalist I wanted to be no longer existed, (if it ever really did) so I set my sights on getting into a not-for-profit as a communications officer.

This goal would shift again about 6 months into my first real job when I decided I had to get into the digital game.

Study: I have a Bachelor of Arts (Journalism) with a minor in PR. Not only does this look great on my resume, I actually learnt a lot here.

I did my degree through Monash University as an off campus student, so it was manageable with my son and work.

Experience: The first thing any organisation wants to hear is about your degree. The second thing they want to know is about your experience.

Now, there are HEAPS of ways you can get experience in the digital world.

I built my online personal profile. Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn are the key three. I also have Facebook, but I keep this one for personal use more than anything and Google+ for SEO optimisation.

I started a blog. I was reading over my first blog recently, and boy you can really see how much my skills improve in a matter of months. I learnt so much about writing for web by monitoring my stats and by reading my peers.

I worked for free. When I was still in uni, I started volunteering at a local radio station, and I seriously hit the jackpot. I was lucky enough to find my mentor with whom I learnt so much. She also was a glowing reference on my resume for my past two jobs. I worked my butt off for that lil’ station and I actually feel like I owe my career to it.

I also freelanced for an online news site that pays $1 per thousand views. Needless to say I didn’t make a bundle but again, I learnt a lot, and it looked good on the resume.

And in my spare time I reached out to other bloggers in my area and worked with them where I could.

And when it came to applying for my first job, I cast my net! My first paid job was NOT in online communications. It actually started in events and I would work extra hard on my role so that I had enough time to work with the IT Manager. I also worked with the Social Media manager to implement social media plans for the events I worked on. By the time I left there, my roles included social media strategies, CMS administrator, photography & filmography, digital email marketing and much more. And whilst I learnt many skills in my time here, the most valuable skill I learnt was internal communicatons- because as a social media manager you are the digital voice of your organisation and the ability to know about all the different things happening in your organisation is crucial!

Resume: I remember when I decided to leave my first job. Primarily, I really wanted a job in digital communications. I knew I had the skills and the experience- but I had to show them that! I decided to pay a HR professional to tailor my CV for the job I wanted.

Well, it worked because I only applied for two jobs and I got a call back from both. I could only make an interview for one of the roles, and a year and a half later they are still ‘paying me to Facebook!*’

Stay in the game: okay, so I’ve scored my dream job and I am a Web and eCommunications Coordinator for a not-for-profit organisation- but it doesn’t stop there.

Digital media, and in particular social media, is forever developing. In order to stay at the top of my game, and not only work in- but to truly understand- social media I am always keeping my ear to the ground. I find myself reading 3-4 social media blogs per night and connecting with my peers via social media. Social media is never to going to remain dormant, and nor can any successfully social media manager.

How did you find yourself working in digital media? Any tips or experiences you’d like to share?

*P.S. In reality less than 10% of my time is spent on actually spent on Facebook!

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