How to Become a Content Manager

Lessons from a Digital Marketer Who Actually Does the Work

In today’s digital age, businesses are in constant need of skilled professionals to curate, create, and manage their online presence. As a Content Manager, you have the power to shape brand identity, engage with the target audience, and drive business growth through strategic content planning. In this blog, we’ll explore the essential skills, tools, and strategies you need to excel in this role.

If you’re working as a virtual assistant, love creating and managing content for your clients, and would like to take your skills to the next level, keep reading to find out how you can uplevel and become a Content Manager. 

What is a Content Manager?

A content manager is a professional responsible for creating, managing, and publishing digital content for a company or organization. They oversee a team of content creators such as writers, designers, and social media managers and ensure that the content produced aligns with the brand’s messaging and goals.

Content managers also analyze data and user behavior to optimize content strategies and improve engagement. Their primary focus is to develop and execute a content strategy that supports the company’s business objectives.

It’s not about throwing content against the wall and hoping for the best. Content marketing is distinct from sales or outbound marketing, which involves paid media placements like billboards, Facebook ads, Google ads, and sponsorships.

As a freelance virtual assistant, you should also focus on tasks that will help you become a content manager, such as: 

  • Researching and writing blog posts, newsletters, and social media content 
  • Creating content calendars and schedules 
  • Managing content optimization and distribution 
  • Analyzing and reporting on content performance 
  • Collaborating with designers and other team members to create effective content

In this quickie video from our Content Marketing series, Sophia Vega shares her freelancer story about how she went from a teacher to a VA to a Content Manager. Sophia is a data-driven digital marketer who specializes in SEO and content marketing for small businesses.

Subscribe to my YouTube channel for Online Marketing Techie Skills & Strategies for Digital Marketers

How to Become a Content Manager

As a content manager, you’ll be responsible for creating, managing, publishing, and marketing valuable content to help your company or clients grow their business. 

To excel as a content manager, consider taking a grassroots approach. If you’re new to this role, your strategy will differ from those who are already guiding their clients.

By paying attention to your client’s needs, and continually refining your skills, you can flourish as a content manager. Embrace the journey and invest in your growth!

Here are some steps you can take to become a content manager: 

Step 1: Develop your writing skills

As a content manager, you’ll be responsible for creating content that resonates with your audience. Take some time to improve your writing skills by reading books or articles about writing or taking writing classes. Read other people’s work, pay attention to their styles, and practice consistently.

Step 2: Hone your research skills 

In order to create effective content, you’ll need to research your topics thoroughly. Learn how to research using various sources, including books, articles, and online resources.

Understanding your Ideal Customer Avatar (ICA), their pain points, and their buyer’s awareness journey is at the heart of marketing. Researching competitors, identifying their strategic weaknesses, strengths, and opportunities, and conducting Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats (SWOT) analyses are essential aspects of this process. 

Step 3: Get familiar with content management tools

Content management tools like WordPress, HubSpot, Asana, and Trello are essential for content managers. Get familiar with these tools and learn how to effectively use them.

(Unicorn Digital Marketing Assistant School covers these tools in detail, giving you the necessary skills to create, manage, publish, and repurpose content efficiently.)

Step 4: Build a portfolio

High-end clients value marketing assets. Showcase your design skills, writing capabilities, content management expertise, and ability to follow through with data-driven results. Use case studies to highlight your prowess as a content manager and boost your credibility.

Step 5: Network with other content managers 

Networking is key to becoming a successful content manager. Attend conferences, join groups and communities related to content management, and connect with other professionals in the field. 

One of the best ways to stay in the know is by talking with peer Content Managers. Compare notes, ask questions, trade ideas, and join a community of specialists in various niches like those inside the Digital Marketer’s Workgroup. Learning from peers already doing the work is faster and cheaper than taking those 5k specialty courses and certifications, plus you’ll get solutions to common tech or marketing issues.

How can you stand out from general virtual assistants?

Becoming a proficient content marketer isn’t an overnight process. It requires dedication, trial and error, perseverance, and attentiveness to the outcomes of your efforts. It’s important to closely monitor what happens after you publish and post content, continuously learning from the results.

Tips for showcasing your expertise:

  • Come to client team meetings prepared
  • Think ahead and strategize for click-throughs
  • Embed podcasts within related materials for continuous engagement
  • Analyze best-performing posts and share ideas based on what’s working
  • Offer opportunities like ranking keywords and content surveys
  • Utilize and repurpose existing content in funnels and promotions
  • Understand algorithms, track data, and use tools like UTM links in Google Analytics

What are common mistakes new content managers make and how can you avoid them?

As a new content manager, there are a few common mistakes that you should try to avoid: 

Mistake #1: Not having a clear content strategy in place. 

It’s important to understand your audience, create goals, and plan out how you will achieve those goals with your content. Without a clear strategy, your content can become fragmented and not as effective. 

Mistake #2: Not being consistent with your content. 

Your audience expects to see content from you on a regular basis, and if you don’t deliver, it can hurt your overall engagement. Make sure to create a content calendar and stick to it. 

Mistake #3: Not measuring the success of your content. 

It’s important to set up analytics to track how well your content is performing so you can make adjustments and improvements as needed. To avoid these mistakes, make sure to start with a clear content strategy, be consistent with your content, and set up analytics to measure your success. 

Continue to learn and stay up to date with industry trends and best practices. This will help you become a successful content manager and provide value to your clients.

🎧 Related Podcast Alert: Unicorns Unite Content Marketing Series

Tune in to this Content Marketing Series on my podcast to learn more about content managers, customer insights, Canva, YouTube, social media, podcasting, and more ⤵️

Content Marketing with Emily Reagan

Content Marketing with Emily Reagan · Playlist · 5 songs

Subscribe: Apple Podcasts | Spotify | iHeartRadio | Google Podcasts | Amazon

How should a freelance content manager price and package their services?

Determine your hourly rate: Consider how much you want to earn per hour and base your rates on your experience and qualifications. Content managers typically charge anywhere from $50 to $150 per hour. 

Consider project rates: You may find it helpful to offer clients a project rate for specific deliverables or longer-term projects. This can provide a clearer expectation of costs for both you and the client. 

Create packages: Consider creating packages that offer a set number of services or deliverables for a set price. For example, you could offer a package that includes content strategy development, content creation, and publishing on a set schedule. 

Consider value-based pricing: Instead of charging based on hours worked or specific deliverables, consider pricing your services based on the value you bring to a project or business. This approach can help you earn more for your expertise while providing added value to your clients. 

Adjust as needed: Be open to adjusting your pricing and packaging over time as your experience and skills grow or as you attract new types of clients. Don’t be afraid to raise your rates for existing clients if your value has increased or if you are taking on more complex projects.

Curious about starting your own service-based business from home?

This list is for you!

Grab my list of digital marketing-related tasks and services that online business owners are outsourcing and always need help with.

This is a goldmine of services you could be offering to your clients in your digital marketing VA business.

Where do you find clients for my freelance content manager business?

There are several ways to find clients for your freelance content manager business: 

Referrals: The easiest way to find clients is through word of mouth. Let your friends, family, and colleagues know that you offer freelance content management services, and ask them to refer you to anyone who may be interested. 

Social media: Platforms like LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook can be great places to find potential clients. Create a professional profile on each platform and share your services with your network. 

Freelance marketplaces: There are several freelance marketplaces like Upwork, Freelancer, and Fiverr that can connect you with clients looking for content management services. 

Job boards: Check out job boards like Indeed, FlexJobs, and for content manager job listings that you can apply for. 

Cold emailing: Identify potential clients in your niche and send them a customized pitch explaining your services and how you can help them with their content management needs. 

The Digital Marketer’s Workgroup: We get jobs from high-level clients looking to hire content managers. Join my online referral community for digital marketers who are already working billable hours and are ready to land seriously high-paying jobs. Apply here, doors open in June!

*Expert Tip: Remember to always have a professional-looking website that showcases your skills and experience, as well as testimonials from past clients. This can help attract potential clients and increase your chances of winning new work.

What’s the hardest part of being a content manager?

As a content manager, one of the biggest hurdles we face is crafting content strategies that perfectly align with our client’s business objectives, target audience, and brand voice.

It’s not just about creating great content; it needs to be strategic and tailored precisely to meet the unique needs and goals of each client. In the world of content management, a one-size-fits-all approach simply won’t cut it.

Another challenge we encounter is striking the delicate balance between delivering high-quality and engaging content while staying true to our clients’ established brand guidelines and tone. It can be tricky, but it’s absolutely crucial for the content to genuinely resonate with the intended audience.

And let’s not forget the importance of collaboration and coordination with other teams or departments. Content creation often requires working hand-in-hand with stakeholders from various areas like marketing, sales, design, and development. Effective communication and coordination are paramount to ensure a seamless content creation process.

How can you capture my client’s voice as a content manager?

Capturing your client’s voice as a content manager is crucial to creating content that resonates with their audience. 

Here are a few tips:

1. Study Their Branding: Look at your client’s website, social media channels, and other marketing materials to understand their brand messaging, tone, and style.

 2. Ask Questions: Ask your client about their brand persona, target audience, and the voice that they’d like to convey through their content. 

3. Read Previous Content: Read any previous content created by your client to get a sense of their writing style and tone. 

4. Develop a Style Guide: Once you have a better understanding of your client’s voice, create a style guide that outlines the tone, style, and language that you should use when creating content for them. 

5. Collaborate: Work closely with your client to make sure that you’re on the same page and that their voice is properly reflected in your content. It’s important to maintain open communication throughout the content-creation process

The Takeaway

Becoming a content manager is a rewarding journey, but it’s no walk in the park. It takes dedication and hard work, If you embrace the power of data, rock your research and analysis skills, and bring some actionable insights to the table, you’ll be on your way to becoming a forward-thinking content manager who delivers real results.

-Emily, Digital Marketing Consultant and Implementer

Emily Reagan is a mom of four, milspouse, freelance digital marketer and Virtual Assistant coach who has helped 400 go-getters, including military spouses, stay-at-home moms, and professional women learn in-demand skills and find flexible remote work as digital marketing assistants and specialists. She’s shared 2,000+ job leads with her freelance marketers & VA community.

Ask her any questions over on Insta @emilyreaganpr

“I help smart women learn the in-demand digital marketing strategies and profitable tech skills to get hired as a unicorn digital marketing assistant.“

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1. Do you need to acquire digital marketing implementation skills and build your workflows so you can solidly put yourself out there for work? Check out the Unicorn Digital Marketing Assistant School. (It only opens once a year so jump on the waitlist now!… I also share job leads with my students so it’s a gateway for anyone who wants to build a freelance business that gives them flexibility and meaningful work). You can also choose to go through the self-study program now. Enroll here.

2. Already doing the work and have clients? But need more clients and a better referral network? Apply for our Digital Marketer’s Workgroup. This is a tight-knit community of freelancers like you, supporting each other. Plus I’ve shared 2000+ job opportunities with this community.

3. Need to hire a Unicorn Digital Marketing Assistant? Submit your job opportunity here. I’ll share with my workgroups totally free.

Further Reading: Explore Other Manager Roles

DOO vs Online Business Manager vs Virtual Assistant

How to Become a Launch Manager

Working as a Freelance Facebook Community Manager

Yes, you really can work online.

Feeling overwhelmed and not sure how you can work from home and build your own online digital marketing business? Take a deep breath – you can do this. Start here with my list of 10 popular tasks that online businesses need help with the most!

These are the tasks that new clients are constantly asking for help with, and skills that they really need to find in a virtual assistant. Get access to this free download right now. Then make sure your own VA toolkit is up-to-date and relevant, and decide where you might need to invest in new growth and development for your biz.

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Emily Reagan is a jill-of-all trades when it comes to digital marketing and techie skills. She’s worked as a behind-the-scenes digital marketing implementor and strategist for a decade for online biz owner clients.

She’s a mom of four, Air Force wife, and founder of the Unicorn Digital Marketing Assistant School, where she teaches smart women the in-demand, highly-coveted digital marketing skills to get flexible, online work.

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