Let’s face it—social media can be a massive time suck. Curating shareable content, writing copy, brand monitoring, outreach, engagement, and measuring can quickly turn into a full-time job.
But what happens when social media isn’t producing the results you’re looking for? Maybe you're not gaining followers or subscribers quickly enough. Or, even worse, you feel like you’re having a conversation with yourself.
Are you worried your efforts will never pay off? Apologies in advance for this cliched analogy. But social media can be a lot like your vegetable garden.
Your channels require daily attention. And sometimes you’ll need to shift your strategy. Maybe some mystery beetles ate large holes in your lettuce. Or you’ve over watered the tomato plants.
It’s frustrating when you think you’re doing everything right. And you’re still not seeing meaningful results.
But one day you’ll notice the watermelon vine is beginning to flower. And before you know it, you’re begging friends to haul an abundance of fruit out of your backyard.
I guess what I'm trying to say is social media requires a lot of time and hard work. But your efforts will pay off if you're consistent. Here's how I've used social media to land freelance clients.
Keep Your Profiles Updated
Are you actively seeking writing opportunities? Or social media consulting gigs? Do all of your social media profiles reflect that?
Your bio might be someone’s first impression of you. So make sure it's clear. You never know who may be sharing your content. And which of their followers may need to hire a freelancer.
Build Relationships with Other Freelancers
Everyone’s always talking about the importance of building relationships through social media. But how do they do it?
It’s simple: share other people’s work and join conversations when you’ve got something valuable to contribute.
Let me break that down.
- Dedicate time to reading lots of content in your niche.
- Share the stuff that you think is really amazing.
- Be genuine.
- Write interesting copy that makes your followers more likely to click through.
- Give the writer credit by mentioning them. They’ll notice and appreciate the share. Trust me.
You’ll be achieving two goals: helping out your fellow freelancer while simultaneously building trust with your followers.
Freelancers are constantly growing out of their gigs or becoming too busy to take on additional clients. And keeping yourself top of mind is a great way to get recommended for an opportunity.
Participate in Facebook Groups
Confession: I’m slightly addicted to Facebook Groups.
I recently realized I’ve joined over 50. And those Groups include everything from Nashville's Social Media Club chapter to a feminist bike gang (the Menstrual Cycles). I absolutely love how easy Facebook Groups make it to connect with such a wide range of people throughout the day.
You’re already logging into Facebook. Why not network or learn something useful in between watching the kitten video du jour and scrolling through your friends’ monthly baby pictures.
My number one tip? Instead of trying to sell yourself, focus on being a resource. Look for opportunities to be helpful without trying to plug your business. Offer thoughtful responses to another Group member’s questions.
Recently, I landed two leads and one client when someone tagged me to recommend my social media consulting services. Pretty cool, right?
Also, professional groups are constantly looking for freelancers. When someone is seeking the skills you offer, simply respond to the thread. And that will usually lead to a conversation via direct message.
Use LinkedIn More Like Twitter
I've heard friends complain about getting LinkedIn connection requests from people they don't know. But I embrace it. Why? More potential eyeballs on the content I'm sharing.
LinkedIn's algorithm is the opposite of sophisticated. And that means a small amount of engagement goes a long way. I save my very best performing content from Twitter for LinkedIn.
Leverage Active Social Media Channels To Add Value
Do you have a large, active social media following? Provide extra value to your clients by sharing your work across your channels. You'll drive traffic to their website. And promote your own work.
The same goes for media mentions. A writer may be more willing to work with you once they’ve seen you're dedicated to sending new readers to their articles.
It’s easy to look robotic in an ocean of scheduled tweets or auto-posted Facebook updates. And sometimes we all fall into non-stop work mode. But it’s really important to share posts about your other interests, too. Those things make you more human, more relatable, and possibly someone who'd be more fun to collaborate on a project with.
What Not To Do
- Send automatic direct messages or at replies to new followers on Twitter. It's an instant turn-off.
- Focus too much on selling your services. Your followers will see through you quickly.
- Join conversations if you don't have value to add. Spend more time listening.
Readers: Have you scored freelance work through social media? What are your best tips for beginners?