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It can be hard in today's world to leave your mobile device at home while you're out and about enjoying your summer vacation. Today, being social without actually being social is kind of a sad reality. But it isn't really that sad—it can actually be a huge asset for those with a knack for making connections online.

If this is you, opportunity awaits! When classes are over and you have the free time to post, tweet, pin, blog—whatever—consider starting your own summertime social media management business. It sounds challenging, but it really isn't if you have the social media bug and you're a killer personality.

The potential to make some summer cash while working in social media is endless. The McKinsey Global Institute conducted a study in 2012 which says an annual value of $900 billion to $1.3 trillion could be unlocked by social technologies in four business sectors, adding that 90 per cent of companies using social technologies reported some business benefits from them.

As a social media management pro, your job will be to create and manage online engagement campaigns for clients on various social platforms to drive consumer traffic to their business.

Getting started

Martin Waxman is the president of Martin Waxman Communications and lead instructor of the Digital Strategy & Communications Management certificate program at the University of Toronto, School of Continuing Studies. He says the first step to your social media management startup is to recognize your own potential and where you fit in the industry.

Find out who else is doing it, how original the idea is, and what you do better than anyone else, says Waxman.

Asking family, friends, and professors about your idea is also a good way to see if it's viable.  Next, you should figure out how much you need to earn to live between paycheques, which can be hard if you were never self-employed before.

When you have a job, you don't think about cash flow; your cash flow is almost automatic, he explains. When you have your own business, it's really important to think about.

Figuring out how much your services are worth is really important when your income isn't determined for you. You need to figure out what your value is. So, what do you bring to an organization? And equally as important is: what value can they pay? Waxman says, adding that larger corporations might be willing to pay more than small-time startups. Also, the level of your experience should be taken into consideration. For now, think about working for less until you have enough satisfied clients that can back up your expertise.

Building relationships

Relationship building is the key to success in social media management. Waxman's advice is to start cultivating relationships with potential clients before your startup's summer launch.

Meet people and follow up with a thank you note. When you connect with someone on LinkedIn, take two minutes and write a personal note; the person who you're sending it to will remember you because you keep their interest.

And when the summer comes to a close, keep nurturing those relationships. In no time, your days will be booked solid and your pockets will turn green with cash.

Photo: g-stockstudio/Thinkstock