Due to the numerous issues surrounding social media; especially Facebook and Twitter over recent years, many are skeptical of having a presence on the internet. In many cases, some have even gone as far as eliminating their profiles after public scandals damaged the credibility of the aforementioned platforms.
Therefore, social media is the worst, and we should all ignore it?
Not exactly, especially if you’re a freelancer or planning to enter the freelancing vertical in the near future. Your business success will only expand if you plan to build social media around your work and unique persona.
Some are probably asking if social media is even necessary for freelancers:
What will Facebook and Twitter do for my business?
I asked myself the same question and had the same doubts until I began implementing social media strategies into my work routine. Throughout this blog, I will talk about how freelancers can build their social media profiles, and why doing so is beneficial.
1. Stay Up To Date On Recent Trends
Gaining bandwidth on social media, especially on viral platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter will require being aware of recent and popular trending topics.
It may not be intuitive on why commenting on trending topics on Twitter may help your business; however, doing so with the proper strategy can expose you to a larger audience.
If there is a light topic trending going on, tweet something out using the hashtag. If your Twitter profile is optimized with your website information (more on that later), what you do for work, and business e-mail (also more on this in a bit) this will likely bring you a number of business inquiries in the short or long-term.
Freelance digital artists will be able to thrive by applying this strategy, especially if their work is featured heavily on their accounts. Building social media in this fashion will bring more followers to your profile, which could result in work or referrals in order to receive further work.
Instagram has been used by younger millennials to completely build their businesses. While some may detest the idea of being active on social media; multiple platforms are a powerful tool for freelancers to maximize their earning potential.
2. Make Your Business Information Visible
I told you that we’d touch back on these subjects. If you have a business website (you should have something of the sort), have it visible on every social media profile associated with your work. This allows potential customers to learn more about you, what you offer, and your rates.
Leading social media platforms allow you to place such information in your profile, Twitter even allows you to pin tweets at the top of your timeline. Use this feature to make a promotional tweet highlighting your work and where those interested can inquire about working with you.
Every social media platform connected to your freelance work should be considered an asset which can help make your job easier. Having your information visible will help you convert sales, prevent you from having to go out of your way to pay for marketing, and freely build your bland on popular social media outlets.
Having your e-mail present is just as important as your website. Some professionals prefer to speak business through e-mail and away from social media.
Don’t worry about endless spam; my business accounts have not been filled with spam messages. Well, public relations firms do often send messages which read like spam, but that’s more on their poor communication and formatting rather than someone malicious looking to inflict harm.
Providing options for potential clients is the best approach as it allows them to approach you in a manner which is to their comfort level.
3. Always Remain Professional
It’s nearly impossible to avoid trolls on social media. Sucks right? Yet, when encountering them it is counterproductive to enter a shouting match with them, as doing so will negatively affect your business. Even if your brand is light-hearted, don’t use your persona as a method to troll others for attention.
However, your brand could benefit from being uplifting and inspiring. Companies in which Corporate Service Responsibility (CSR) is a core of their practices will likely gravitate towards your business.
Smaller business and consumers who also value CSR will also be more likely to do business with you if you publicly display positive ideals.
Remember social media platforms allow users to ‘mute’ or ‘block’ those who become abusive. It may be more fruitful to use mute of platforms which allow it, as most users will be none the wiser.
4. Don’t Expect Overnight Results
It does take some time in order to build social media in an effective manner. It’s important for your brand as a freelancer to stick to the process and have fun with whatever persona you build in order to stick out on social media.
If you have enough extra time, hosting a podcast focusing on your craft will create another marketing avenue for potential clients to discover you. Whatever path you take on social media, don’t give up after a week if you don’t immediately double your workload. As with most aspects of business, it will take some time for the long-term benefits to take effect.
Having active accounts on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter especially will allow you to make industry contacts who can point you in the direction of clients. The same goes for hosting a podcast, which you can market on your various social media platforms.
I hope the tips provided here have shown you the importance of social media for freelancers, especially those who avoid it like the plague. While far from perfect, multiple platforms can help freelancers build social media in a fashion which is helpful to their business and goals.