Freelancers have a friend in social media — as long as they’re using it correctly.
As the economy continues to recover, freelance work has become increasingly popular. Taking advantage of the power of social media can help you find writing opportunities and promote your work. Improving name recognition and increasing earning power is a matter of maintaining a strong online presence. Social media can help you attain this goal, but posting on a regular basis and choosing the right outlets is a must.
When clients hire freelancers, they typically want some assurance that the writer can produce high-quality work. Searching for the freelancer’s name on Google or another search engine is one way to verify writer credentials. It’s particularly important to tie samples and published material to an online presence, as this will give clients a better idea of the quality of work they can expect if they hire you.
Building up your profiles on the most popular social networks can help you draw the audience you want.
You have two options when you use Facebook: create a name for yourself by maintaining a personal profile as a professional tool or make a separate business profile for your freelance persona. The latter choice tends to be better, since personal profiles make more sense as tools for connecting with family and friends. Your name should be included in the business profile, along with an identifier like “Freelance Writer” or “Content Developer.”
Using Twitter allows freelance writers to follow past and present clients, maintain a connection and improve the chances of landing more jobs from existing clients. Retweeting posts written by potential clients also helps freelancers stand out and get noticed.
When freelancers maintain a presence on social media for business purposes, it makes sense to focus on LinkedIn. Creating a LinkedIn profile gives you the opportunity to build a professional resume — complete with a photo — that will be available to potential clients. Connecting with current and past clients, as well as fellow freelancers, will help you become an active part of the freelance writing community.
Although you don’t have to write posts every day, you should share posts about the industry on a daily basis. Posting during peak hours increases visibility, as most clients view these posts during business hours. If you connect your social media profile to a professional blog that you write and maintain, write at least three blog posts per week, with one or two of these posts topping 1,000-2,000 words. Sharing other posts, posting insights about the industry and making general posts about holidays can push post frequency to five or more times per day.
Along with social media, an online portfolio is an important part of your Internet presence. Maintain and regularly update your online portfolio with your most recent work. Don’t add articles or posts that are used without attribution to your portfolio, such as in cases when you’ve sold the rights to the work. If you’re a new freelancer and don’t have a large collection of samples, you may need to write a few on your own and add them to your portfolio. Review the work in your portfolio every month to ensure that the samples accurately reflect your current abilities and style.
Self-promotion can help you become more successful as a freelancer, and social media posts are an excellent way to achieve this goal. Create social media profiles and write regular posts to improve your online presence.
How do you succeed with social media as a freelancer? Let us know in the comments below.