By Matt Banner
Social media is a powerful tool for freelance writers, and many don’t even know it. We most commonly associate websites like Twitter and Facebook with casual conversations and random status updates, but they are so much more powerful than that. Many types of businesses and companies are already using social media to market themselves and grow their audience.
You can do the same, and it’s really not difficult. All it takes is some know-how and a bit of time, and you’ll suddenly have a wide range of connections and opportunities. Today we’ll look at some top tips for the three of the biggest social media sites that you can use to turn yourself into a freelance writing superstar!
Tips for Blasting Off Your Freelance Career Using Social Media!
Every social media site is a different beast in terms of strategies and etiquette. Combine that with the challenges and opportunities when working from home, and you’ve got a lot to consider as a freelance writer.
It’s worth mentioning that you should also have a personal blog that you can use to direct prospects towards your portfolio. I know this sounds like a lot, but don’t sweat it though, because finding work is your number one priority, and using these tips on the three of the biggest social media sites will help you do just that.
While most other social media platforms will scorn you for focusing on business, LinkedIn is entirely focused on it. This should be your top platform when you’re first starting out as it offers the most opportunities.
Many companies will go to LinkedIn to search for freelancers. That means you need to set up your profile in such a way that it’s easy to find. The best way to start this is by using keywords. For example, your top bio line should say things like “freelance writer,” “copywriter,” “blogger,” and terms like that.
Status updates aren’t as frequent here, so you can stop in periodically to remind your followers that you’re looking for work, and maybe present a specific topic or group. You can also comment on other groups with the same message.
Lastly, LinkedIn offers a cool feature that allows you to see who’s viewed your profile. You won’t be able to see the full list with the free membership, but you can easily find prospects and reach out them using the InMail feature. Introduce yourself and provide a one-sentence description of your experience. Offer some samples if they’re interested and you’re good to go.
As a writer, the concept of a 140 character limit probably scares the living daylights out of you, but it’s going to be okay. While Twitter does limit your length of posts, it also has a handy feature called hashtags that we as writers can use to our advantage.
Hashtags allows you to see all the tweets that have used that same term. This gives you the chance to hone in on your industry and see what people are saying. If you find a possible client, start by following them and retweeting anything you like that they post. Don’t go overboard here.
Once you’ve done this, reach out to them with a simple question via direct message. Ask if they are the right person to pitch a specific article or story to. You could also ask if they are the manager who hires freelancers for a specific company. Here on Twitter, you can be noticed faster and easier than if you applied with a cover letter.
And now we come to the big one. When it comes to Facebook, there’s a lot of competition, but very few freelancers actually have their own business page. This is a great gap that you can fill by making your own and promoting yourself much like you would on LinkedIn.
Searching for company pages within your writing specialties can also connect you with business pages that give you new potential clients to pitch your services to. When you create a Facebook page for yourself as a business, consider giving away something free to people who “like” the page.
It could be a free writing guide, a download of an e-book, or anything else. This kind of incentive will go a long way towards bringing more and more people to your page.
When you’re working from home as a freelance writer, you can’t go out and meet prospects in person. Instead, you need to meet them online in the virtual space. Use the platform-specific advice above to optimize your presence in each of the big three social media sites.
Thanks reading and be sure to share your own thoughts and social media strategies in the comments below!
Matt Banner is the creator of OnBlastBlog where “where we put proven strategies to the test to blast off your blog.” He’s been blogging for more than 10 years and his site is well worth exploring.