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Zoë Björnson

Social media can help your business and your brand as a freelancer. Instead of spreading yourself too thin, use social media to your advantage by finding your niche and focusing on the networks that show off you and your work in the best possible way.

 

Introduction 

“Everyone’s doing it, so you should too!” is a common response to the question of why a freelancer should be on social media. In reality, you should only do it if it makes sense for your business or if you can find a creative way to market yourself. Don’t post just for the sake of it. Look for an opportunity. Post to share your knowledge, find inspiration,connect with others and stay up to date on developments in your industry

How do you utilize social media to your advantage?

 

Step 1 - You can’t - and shouldn’t - do it all.

A writer doesn’t need to be on Flickr, and a photographer doesn’t need to be on Twitter. There are many different social networks and chances are one of them fits your niche already. Think about your skillset as a freelancer and what network may work for you. For example: 

  • Twitter is a good fit for writers, marketers, and developers
  • Instagram works for photographers, designers, and artists
  • Facebook is great for designers and writers
  • Periscope / Meerkat is ideal for videographers and artists

 

Step 2 - You can find new clients through social media

Don’t ask people for jobs on social media. Rather, use it as a listening tool and an opportunity develop relationships with people you admire in your industry. Your followers may not be your next clients, but they might know someone who will be.

 

Step 3 - Connect with other freelancers like you, and not like you

Social media is a continual conversation. Even if you don’t necessarily need someone’s services, give them a shout on Twitter or comment on their latest work on Instagram to fuel a potential relationship. Remember, your network is the best way to get more gigs, and developing a virtual network of supporters on social media will help you expand your reach.

 

Step 4 - Find inspiration

Social media is an endless well of inspiration. No matter how deep you dig, you’ll continually find people, places, objects and things that will inspire new ideas or your next project. Collect all of this inspiration and share it with others. Going back to step 2 and 3 — this is a great way to connect with other freelancers and creators and start that conversation. Create a Pinterest board of things that inspire you and you may just inspire others. Repost content to your Instagram. Consistent participation is important, but do it by focusing on quality - not just quantity.

 

Conclusion

Social media can be a valuable source of knowledge, inspiration, and new gigs or a complete waste of time. It all depends on how you use it. Remember: Be yourself and stay real.

 

Resources

  • Buffer - An amazing social media scheduling tool for anyone new - or old - to social media. I love Buffer because I am able to read articles throughout the day, and then share them at a casual pace. Their Chrome extension is a must-have. They also have fantastic resources for social media newbies on their blog and truly make it easy to manage your social media presence.
  • Pablo - Part of Buffer, Pablo makes it easy to create text over images for social media. This increases the engagement of your posts (images always perform better) and spices up your feed. Perfect for quoting an article or showcasing tips.
  • Canva - For all the wannabe graphic designers out there, Canva is for you. You can use it to make awesome images for social media that are a little more dynamic than Pablo and are more in the realm of ads or flyers.
  • IFTTT (If This, Then That) - IFTTT is like a simpler version of Zapier that allows you to automate part of your social media so you can expand your reach. For example, if you post to Instagram and want to it to go to Twitter with the actual image, IFTTT has a recipe for that.
  • A How-to for Snapchat - It’s all the rage, so why not try it? If you’re into creating video and candid content, Snapchat could be perfect for you. Mashable has a great beginner’s guide.
  • Latergramme - Instagram can be a bit daunting but Latergramme makes it easy. You can bulk upload images from your computer and schedule them out. You’ll then receive a notification on your phone (don’t forget to download the app!) and you can publish the post on Instagram from there. They’re also great about keeping their community up to date on the latest and greatest from Instagram.

 

Me! Have any questions on how you can use social media as a freelancer? Tweet me!