How to Become an Instagram Manager

With the advent of Instagram, a lot of new professions appeared on the job market. Instagram target managers, visual managers, copywriters, Stories makers … 10 years ago we could not even think that such positions would pop up. However, experts in this area are valued highly at present. Companies want to catch the best ones to develop their brands on one of the most effective platforms for business.

Today we are going to talk about the Instagram manager job that is among one of the most popular ones in digital marketing today. If you are ready to spend a lot of time with your smartphone in hand and connect your life with Instagram, this position may take your fancy. Our ultimate guide on how to become an Instagram manager will clarify what hard and soft skills you need and what steps to take in the way of getting this job.

Who is an Instagram manager and what does he do

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An Instagram manager is a specialist who runs Instagram accounts on behalf of brands. Let’s clear out one thing at the very beginning: a social media manager on Instagram is responsible for a social media strategy, advertising campaigns, analytics of the account. Instagram manager, in his turn, takes on a specific set of tasks and makes part of the social media management team. The responsibilities of an Instagram manager may differ from one brand to another. Some brands hire one specialist to take on several areas of work when others share responsibilities among different people. Let’s clarify what kinds of Instagram managers are in the market and what tasks they take under their control:

Content Manager

The main area of responsibility of this specialist is the elaboration and implementation of a content strategy. He comes up with ideas for content both visual and textual and then controls the work of designers, photographers, copywriters, and Stories makers. Content managers also analyze the reaction of the audience to publications to find out the areas of improvement for the next time.

Visual Manager

A visual manager works in tandem with a content manager. This specialist searches for references, follows visual trends, takes photos himself or briefs photographers or designers, edits photos, visualizes content ahead. In a word, everything that refers to visuals on Instagram is his task.

Stories Manager

Stories manager deals exclusively with Instagram Stories. He selects the best time to post Stories, comes up with concepts, ideas to engage followers, keeps an eye on analytics, and, of course, posts Stories himself or schedules them via auto-posting tools.

In the ideal world, Stories manager doesn’t create visuals, pick up fonts, stickers, gifs, or edit videos. This is the responsibility of a designer or visual manager. However, sometimes he takes on this set of tasks too and becomes both Stories maker and Stories manager.

Promotion and Advertising Manager

A promotion manager is responsible for various kinds of advertising on Instagram, usually besides targeting. He deals with free promotion methods such as hashtags, mass following or mass liking, SFS. A promotion manager also conducts competitions and giveaways. Sometimes, he takes on collaboration with influencers from searching for them to the analysis of the results.

Influencer Manager

This specialist can work both on the side of the brand and on the side of the influencer. According to the first scenario, an influencer manager searches for suitable opinion leaders, checks their stats manually or using such tools as trendHERO, negotiates the terms of cooperation, creates influencer agreement, monitors the execution, and analyzes results.

When an influencer manager works on the side of a blogger, his responsibilities include searching for advertisers and communicating with them regarding formats of cooperation, prices, deadlines. He also looks for designers, photographers, copywriters to join a team of an influencer. Sometimes, an influencer manager takes on the responsibilities of a PR manager. In this case, he works with influencer reputation, follows mentions of blogger’s name in media, and works with negative comments if there are such.

Account Manager

He is also called a moderator or a community manager. This specialist replies to comments (both negative and positive), moderates tagged photos, follows mentions of the account by other Instagram users. Sometimes, an account manager is responsible for replies in Instagram Direct. In this case, he is a little bit an administrator and a little bit a sales manager.

Based on your preferences and skills, you can choose both of these positions and develop in one direction or take on multiple roles, and become a more complex specialist.

What skills do you need to become a great manager on Instagram

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Based on a lot of variations of an Instagram manager job, each specialist should have different hard skills. We will list the main ones below. When it comes to soft skills, they are almost the same for any specialist who works on Instagram. So, what hard skills and soft skills can’t an Instagram manager do without?

Hard Skills

  • It’s vital to know at least the basics of sales and marketing. Instagram managers should understand what pushes people to purchase, how to present a product or service to them in the most enticing way on social media, etc.
  • Even if composing texts for Instagram is not a direct responsibility of an Instagram manager, correct writing is a must. No matter whether it is just one phrase on the banner or a reply to a follower’s comment, you should write it without mistakes, taking into account the TOV of the brand you are working for.
  • Knowledge of the analytics tools. Analytics is the responsibility of the SMM manager. However, if you want to make progress to a higher position, we recommend studying data analysis right away. Try the trendHERO tool that has 90+ metrics for account analytics. Choose any Instagram account and attempt to analyze its stats.
  • Working with social media means dealing with client’s concerns and demands. Each Instagram manager should know the basics of customer service and customer care to be a helping hand in any issue that a client has with your product or service.
  • Trend watching is a very important skill for Instagram managers. They should be aware of what is going on in the niche and on the market in general, how the demands of their clients are changing and what offers they are expecting. The world and people together with it are evolving at breakneck speed, and Instagram managers should always keep abreast.

Soft Skills

  • Creativity. To help your brand stand out from the crowd and beat the competition, Instagram managers should know creative techniques to come up with unique ideas to resonate with the target audience.
  • Strong communication and networking skills are obviously very important for everyone who works with social media. Instagram managers should know how to make connections with contractors, communicate with followers, influencers, etc.
  • Self-organization. Most Instagram managers work remotely, therefore, they need to be good at time management and self-organization.
  • Responsibility. This is a hygienic standard for each specialist on the market and Instagram manager is not an exception. Meeting deadlines, doing tasks efficiently and thoughtfully, and an ability to admit mistakes – this is the responsibility, and each Instagram manager ought to take it.
  • Flexibility. The digital world is in a state of flux. Instagram managers should easily adapt to changes and get ready to make adjustments to their work very quickly.
  • Self-development. Education, reading, and scaling your skills show you as an active person who never rests on laurels. Taking into account that Instagram often adds new features and changes the work of algorithms, you as an Instagram manager should be the first to know them.
  • Inquisitiveness goes together with self-development. Those specialists who are on the lookout for new knowledge and answers to hundreds of their questions can greatly contribute to the development of the brand on Instagram.
  • Attention to detail. Instagram managers should notice even negligible nuances and solve small issues as soon as they find them.

Work on gaining or developing these both hard and soft skills, and you will become that Instagram manager each company will strive for having in its team.

Step-by-step guide on how to become an Instagram manager

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Let’s move on to the specific actions you need to take on the way to the desired job.

Get Educated

There is no need to study for several years in college to master an Instagram manager profession. We live in a time when there is loads of information freely available online. Read books and articles, watch YouTube tutorials, find marketing experts on social media who share content on this topic, and learn from their posts. It would also be great if you enroll in some courses, for example at Coursera. Besides theory, you will be able to put your knowledge into practice, and also will get a course completion certificate.

Work on your personal brand on Instagram

If you are just starting your journey into the world of Instagram marketing, it’s a good idea to work on your personal brand and grow your Instagram profile. For everyone who wants to become an Instagram accounts manager, a personal Instagram account is a calling card. May it be appealing, informative, and demonstrating your expertise. Your own Instagram page can be your first case in the portfolio, and this is already a good start.

Build a Portfolio

Nowadays, a portfolio is much more important than your CV, especially when it comes to those people who work in digital and creative areas. At the very beginning of your career, you can do several projects for free or at a discounted rate to put your skills into practice, prove yourself to be a good specialist, and get cases for your portfolio. If you have trouble finding clients, come up with a fictional project. Switch on your fantasy, visualize a brand and come up with ideas to greatly present it on Instagram. The main thing is to show the way you think and the way you find solutions to make a project successful.

Establish Processes

At this step, you need to choose a preferable niche you want to work in (beauty, fashion, food, etc.), study the rates the market offers Instagram managers in your region, and form your price list for various kinds of services. You should define an hourly rate, a package rate, or understand what salary you want to get if you choose a full-time job. You should also build a workflow, from the first communication with a client (briefing, strategic session) to working itself. At this stage, it’s also necessary to understand what tools you are going to use in your work. This mainly concerns Content Instagram managers and Visual Instagram managers who need third-party tools to create a content plan, organize a feed, edit pictures and videos. One more thing: if you decide to be a freelancer, figure out how you are going to deal with contracts, invoicing, and other papers. It’s better to solve this issue before you get the first client.

Find Clients

As soon as you are ready with the previous steps, do not delay the search for clients. It’s the simple and obvious truth that the longer you wait, the longer it takes. Write on your social media pages that you are looking for a job as an Instagram manager, join the groups with vacancies in social media marketing and daily monitor them, message your favourite brands and ask whether they have vacancies at the moment. Besides, attend offline events on social media marketing, meet new people, and introduce yourself. You never know who you can get acquainted with there and when your skills can become in handy.

Pros and Cons of an Instagram manager job

It seems to beginners that an Instagram manager job is a dream job. You can spend a lot of time on Instagram without qualms of conscience because this is your work. However, each job, even if it looks like a dream one, has both its advantages and disadvantages. What are they for an Instagram manager job?

Pros:

  • As this is mainly remote work, Instagram managers can work from anywhere in the world.
  • There are a lot of courses and other materials freely available to gain knowledge and start working quickly.
  • Working with marketing on Instagram, you do not stop learning something new every day.
  • Career prospects. Great Instagram managers can evolve to social media managers, social media strategists, digital marketers, marketing directors.
  • You can take on several projects to gain skills in different niches, and, also, earn more.
  • Despite the fact that everything is quite unpredictable at present, Instagram is most likely not to disappear from the market. It means that you are safe from becoming an unnecessary specialist in the nearest future.

Cons:

  • Irregular schedule. It happens that Instagram managers work 7 days per week, or they have to reply to comments after 9 pm. Get ready for this.
  • Employers still have a blurred concept of what scope of work an Instagram manager should do. They often burden one specialist with a number of tasks that usually several specialists are needed for.
  • There are no fixed rates on the market. Your remuneration depends on a brand, niche, your competences, and scope of work.
  • Frequent tiredness from screens and communication.

Conclusion

Instagram manager job is a good start when you want to connect your life with marketing. Managing Instagram accounts of brands, you will work in the area which is developing every day, therefore, you will gain new knowledge and grow your expertise. Hope that our ultimate guide on how to become the best Instagram manager will assist you in attaining your goal and getting a dream job.

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