A Freelancer’s Introduction to Social Media
As a new freelancer, you need to get involved in social media.
If you’re coming from a traditional job, you may not have used social media. Or,you may view social media as a personal tool and wonder how it could possibly benefit your freelancing business.
In this post, I’ll list some of the ways that your freelancing business can benefit from a business use of social media. I’ll also list the top social media platforms that freelancers should consider. If you liked this post, you may also Like Social Media Basics for Freelancers.
How Freelancers Benefit from Social Media
Maybe you already have a Facebook account that you use to keep up with family and friends. Or maybe you think social media is just a big waste of time.
Whatever the case, now that you are a freelancer you need to understand how your freelancing business can benefit from your active social media participation. Here are just some of the ways that freelancers use social media:
- Showcase your expertise. Social media allows you to show that you really understand your field. By sharing relevant and valuable information through social media, you demonstrate that you are knowledgeable.
- Connect with potential clients. Most of your clients and potential clients are probably already on social media. You can use social media to build relationships with possible clients.
- Stay in touch. Did you ever meet someone at a business conference, exchange business cards, and then never hear from them again? With social media, you have a way of keeping in touch.
- Get your message out. Social media is also a great way to get the message out about your freelance business. You can use it to share your accomplishments and tell the story of your freelancing business.
- Find colleagues. As a freelancer, you no longer work in an office with others who do the same job. But knowing colleagues who do similar work can be helpful. Social media will help you find them.
As you can see, social media is a valuable tool for freelancers. But how can you get started?
Top Social Media Platforms for Freelancers
A great way to start building your social media presence is to join some of the most popular social media platforms out there.
Here’s a handy list of some of the top social media platforms, plus some tips on the special features of each that might be of interest to freelancers:
- Facebook. This is one of the largest social media platforms out there. It’s also most likely to be the one that you have experience with. Freelancers who participate here can expect to have a fairly easy time connecting with clients, since it is likely they have Facebook profiles already. Of special interest to freelancers: Facebook pages and Facebook Groups. With Facebook pages, you can create a profile for your freelancing business. Facebook Groups lets you connect with others who have similar interests.
- Google+. Google+ is a rapidly growing social media platform that entered the picture in 2011. While it doesn’t have as many users as Facebook (yet), the users here tend to be more technically savvy. I’ve found Google+ to be a great place for freelancers to connect with clients who are interested in current technology. Of special interest to freelancers: Google+ Hangouts and Google+ Communities. I’ve seen Google+ Hangouts used for training. Google+ communities gives you a more permanent connection to others with similar interests.
- LinkedIn. LinkedIn is a social media platform geared specifically to professionals. Most large businesses have a presence here. In recent years, it has become a tool for corporate headhunters and HR professionals to find qualified people. I’d say that having a profile here is vital to freelancers on a professional level. Of special interest to freelancers: LinkedIn jobs. While most jobs posted on LinkedIn are permanent, there are some contract opportunities.
- Pinterest. Pinterest is probably the most unique social media platform, with its totally visual interface. Freelancers have reported mixed results from their participation in Pinterest, but if you specialize in a visually oriented field such as design or run an online store, Pinterest may be of interest to you.
- Quora. Quora is a popular question and answer site. While there are many question and answer sites online, Quora seems to be one of the most respected and has attracted some high profile participants. Freelancers can demonstrate their expertise on a topic by answering questions on Quora.
- Twitter. Twitter allows users to broadcast 140 character status updates. Although it seems simple, this social media tool has become immensely popular. Participation in some fields (such as freelance writing) is expected. Of special interest to freelancers: Direct messages. A Twitter direct message lets you send a private message directly to a specific user that you are following.
What About You?
Has social media participation helped your freelancing business? What tools do you use?Learn how to earn $125 or more per hour as a freelancer - Free Test Drive