Social media is a powerful resource. For the average business person, it can get their product in the line of sight of countless potential buyers. But what if the product you offer isn’t much of a product at all?
Often a freelancer sells not a product, but more so themselves. Selling yourself is hard enough as is, but doing so over social media may take some additional effort. Once you get the hang of it, your social media campaign can mostly be switched to autopilot. All it takes is setting the framework, being consistent, and building a community around your personal brand. Though before you can build a community, there are some simple tasks that can help getting people interested in your services.
Have Something To Offer
Even if you have the most rapport in the world, you need to prove that you can get the work done. Social media marketing is best done with a portfolio on hand. You want to have a place to send your interested prospects, and a portfolio, landing page, or sample site is the place you want them to go.
Having a blog hosted on your own personal domain means extra brownie points as well. Make your presence as apparent as possible. This is important, as it strengthens your argument of “I’m an authority, pay me to help you”. This isn’t to say you should falsify your credentials. Consistently building a blog will tighten your skills as a writer, increasing your value.
Target Your Efforts
Among the social media giants, Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn will be your most worthwhile companions when looking to build relationships with paying clients. There are many different places you could end up on each site. How can you best optimize your time using these platforms?
- Twitter – Twitter has long been regarded as a safe haven for writers, publishers, and the like. It is a great platform for reaching out to businesses who may desperately need a writer. With consistent engagement and proper positioning of your content, it isn’t a far stretch to imagine successfully connecting with a prospect and landing a gig.
- Hashtags(#) – With your niche market in mind, target the appropriate audience by using hashtags. When used properly, and in conjunction with thorugh research on your audience, hashtags are a powerhouse in terms of getting your message in front of the right eyes.
- Influencers – Make an effort to find influencers in your niche. Follow them and retweet their content. Some day, they just might return the favor. (*even if it isn’t an influencer who shared your content, always be polite and thank them with a tweet)
- Lists – I haven’t entirely gotten the hang of this feature yet myself, but lists group together Twitter users, allowing them to interact. Anyone can make one. By adding people to a list of other users they fit in with, you just might make them feel special. People love feeling special so use that to your advantage.
- LinkedIn – LinkedIn is the usual hub for professionals to connect online. The functionality isn’t limited to browsing through profiles of people with more money than you, though. Make sure you have your profile filled out with all of the relevant keywords potential clients might use to find you. LinkedIn offers freelance writers the opportunity to join any of the diverse and abundant groups hosted on the site. These groups range from fish photography to digital marketing. Find a group that matches your target audience and become a part of the community. As members recognize the value you offer to their group, some will eventually want a piece of that for their company’s content.
- Blogging On LinkedIn – LinkedIn Pulse offers this handy little tool that allows you to publish articles directly to their Pulse application. This is an awesome feature, as it puts your writing directly in front of people who may need your services.
- Facebook – Facebook is at the top of my list for using social media to connect with prospective clients. There are Facebook groups that exist for a million different purposes. Joining active communities of freelance writers creates the option to ask questions and quickly get a response. Joining a group of tradesmen that fit into your niche gives you a chance to help them work through problems. All of these actions will lead to building relationships, the core to successfully securing clients through social media.
Keep in mind, you mustn’t join groups solely for the purpose of getting clients. Though that may be the end result you hope for, if you are too pushy with your propositions and not providing enough value, people will notice. The key is maintaining a healthy balance of offering guidance and value while sometimes promoting your service. As your writing becomes more relevant, watch as your following grows. People will be drawn to your profile and willingly offer to connect with you.
Just make sure you include your social network links so they know where to find you. Social media might be great for staying in touch with friends and family, but when used correctly it becomes a powerful tool in helping build your freelance income.
Most importantly, remember to be yourself and put in the work!
Categories: Freelance Writing Advice