How to Land Freelance Jobs with Social Media

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.

  1. Dedicate time to reading lots of content in your niche.
  2. Share the stuff that you think is really amazing.
  3. Be genuine.
  4. Write interesting copy that makes your followers more likely to click through.
  5. 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.

Hat tip Larry Kim for these suggestions! His LinkedIn hacks from SocialPro completely changed my mindset about the platform.

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.

Be Human

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?

Are we connected on social media? Find me on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, InstagramPinterest, and Google+.

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Discussions — 35 Responses

  • Cat@BudgetBlonde January 27, 2016 on 7:58 pm

    Great suggestions! I think social media can be a great tool, but the more “organic” you are with it the better. I’ve gone through periods in my business where I’ve done more scheduling and automation on my social media and it never seems to get the same results as when I use my social media organically.

    • Kate Dore Cat@BudgetBlonde February 1, 2016 on 8:24 am

      I totally agree that too much automation can be a bad thing! People start to feel like they aren’t interacting with a real person. Thanks for sharing your experiences, Cat!

  • Eva Rabinovic January 28, 2016 on 6:15 am

    This is great post, i will forward this link to my friend to motivate him , he is still struggling with social network. Almost quit because audience is still in small numbers and growing by small percentage. Thanks for sharing

    • Kate Dore Eva Rabinovic February 1, 2016 on 8:23 am

      Very cool, Eva! Thank you so much for sharing my post with your friend. 🙂

  • Broke Millennial January 28, 2016 on 10:44 am

    Ugh, LinkedIn! I know I need to get my game up (even my Dad’s LinkedIn game is better than mine). I’ve never thought to use it like Twitter though.

    • Kate Dore Broke Millennial February 1, 2016 on 8:22 am

      Honestly, I really need to work on optimizing my profile. Apparently keywords make a big difference. I haven’t experimented enough with that yet.

  • Melanie @ Dear Debt January 28, 2016 on 12:40 pm

    Love this! I’ve totally gotten gigs from Twitter and Facebook. I hate LinkedIn though 🙁 But should try to use it more. Totally agree about auto messages or replies. I can’t stand that stuff!

    • Kate Dore Melanie @ Dear Debt February 1, 2016 on 8:19 am

      Awesome, Melanie! I remember hearing you talk about how you landed a new client on Twitter by reaching out and telling them how much you loved their mission. So awesome!

  • Chonce January 29, 2016 on 8:33 am

    I love all these tips! Especially the one about using Twitter like LinkedIn. That’s how I landed a very good freelance client of mine. I’m surprised by how many FB groups you’re in though. I’m only in about 5 or 6 and I always get blown up with notifications, haha.

    • Kate Dore Chonce February 1, 2016 on 8:17 am

      That’s awesome, Chonce! Yeah, I need to cut back on some of these Groups. Honestly, if I’ve turned off notifications that probably means it’s time to part ways 😉

  • Steve Miller January 31, 2016 on 8:02 am

    Hi Cait — I use Crowdfire to grow my Twitter accounts and I use Viral Content Buzz to distribute my blog posts to Twitter followers. These are two of the most beneficial tools I’ve used for social media. If you want to dive into how I use Social Media, check out my post at

    • Kate Dore Steve Miller February 1, 2016 on 8:10 am

      Nice, Steve! Thanks for sharing! 🙂

  • Brian Robben January 31, 2016 on 12:07 pm

    I’m currently at over 25,000 Instagram followers (brian_robben) and over 4,000 Twitter followers (@brian_robben), but I haven’t found a good way to monetize it yet. For now it’s helpful in sending traffic to my blog and book though. Solid post!

    • Kate Dore Brian Robben February 1, 2016 on 8:10 am

      That’s really impressive, Brian! Twitter is a great source of referral traffic for me, as well.

  • Jason B January 31, 2016 on 1:40 pm

    Excellent post. I hate getting those automatic DM’s when I follow someone. It just doesn’t seem authentic.

    • Kate Dore Jason B February 1, 2016 on 8:09 am

      Completely agree, Jason! Automatic DMs really are the worst. And it causes a headache at my day job because I have to constantly delete them to keep that channel clear for real messages from customers!

  • Jen @ Frugal Millennial January 31, 2016 on 1:43 pm

    Great tips! I have found that sharing others’ content does seem to be helpful. Your followers get amazing content to read, the other bloggers get more traffic, and they appreciate you sharing their content. It’s a win-win-win.

    • Kate Dore Jen @ Frugal Millennial February 1, 2016 on 8:07 am

      Completely agree, Jen! There’s too much great stuff out there not to share! 🙂

  • Tonya@Budget and the Beach January 31, 2016 on 1:55 pm

    I quit FB recently and I don’t think I could ever go back. I’m trying to use Linkedin more for professional networking and contacts. At least there so much of the FB bs is non existent. But I do think there is benefits to groups, and if I ever need to use them more for landing jobs in the future I won’t hesitate to go back.

    • Kate Dore Tonya@Budget and the Beach February 1, 2016 on 8:06 am

      I’m really impressed, Tonya. I’ve thought about social media detoxes many, many times. I recently left my neighborhood’s Facebook Group to stop getting sucked into the drama. And I feel like it’s given me so much time and energy back. I can only imagine how freeing it must feel to leave Facebook completely!

  • Shannon @ Financially Blonde February 2, 2016 on 10:08 am

    This is an awesome post Kate and I am sharing it with just about all my clients. I have a handful right now who are looking for side hustles or new jobs and I keep telling them that they have to get on social media, specifically LinkedIn. I know there’s a lot of LinkedIn haters out there but I have seen firsthand, dozens of people use it to get jobs.

    • Kate Dore Shannon @ Financially Blonde February 9, 2016 on 8:46 am

      Aw, thank you Shannon! That means a lot 🙂

  • Temmy February 3, 2016 on 4:41 am

    Great advice’s, blog worth of sharing! Social media has no alternative. Way you explained is just unveils potential. Anybody who follows these steps will make significant raise in traffic and revenue. I can personally confirm.

    • Kate Dore Temmy February 9, 2016 on 8:47 am

      Awesome, Temmy! I love hearing about people successfully growing their businesses with social media.

  • Holly@ClubThrifty February 3, 2016 on 7:15 am

    These are definitely great tips! I think social media is essential if you have a blog or run a business with an online presence. If you can’t learn to leverage the powers of social media, you’re missing out – period!

    • Kate Dore Holly@ClubThrifty February 9, 2016 on 8:49 am

      Totally agree, Holly! The platforms will continue to evolve. But social media’s importance is here to stay.

  • Tawcan February 3, 2016 on 3:15 pm

    Great tips, I need to look into my social media strategy especially when it comes to promoting my blog.

    Auto DM always makes me want to unfollow someone.

    • Kate Dore Tawcan February 9, 2016 on 8:49 am

      Seriously, can we all sign a petition to ban automatic direct messages?! 😉

  • Tod Gamboa February 5, 2016 on 9:30 am

    Great blog advice’s about potential of social media, but what is average time to get visitors and advertisers on your blog. I am struggling for five months and it is slow process. OK, I have another job and this is not my primary source of income. But my plan is that blogging become my primary source of income. Currently I am active about one hour per day on social networks and have some audience but it is not much. Thanks

    • Kate Dore Tod Gamboa February 9, 2016 on 8:55 am

      Thanks for commenting, Tod. My bounce rate really varies from channel to channel. Right now, I’m seeing the lowest bounce rates with referral traffic from Twitter. But I’ve been ramping up my Pinterest presence. So I’m curious to see how that goes. Don’t give up! Blogging is definitely a long game. And if you keep working hard, you’ll see results.

  • Financial Samurai February 14, 2016 on 7:21 pm

    Gosh, I’m totally not into FB. Maybe I should? I never post there or anything.

    I was thinking I should get a new freelance gig this year as well since the economy is falling apart.



  • Katasha @ broke girl rehab. March 15, 2016 on 8:45 pm

    Dude. This list was awesome. I’m saving this to my desktop.
    It’s weird, I work in Social Media Marketing, but all these tips and tricks are so GENIUS and I’ve never thought to use them!

    You’ve probably stepped up my career game with this post eight-fold.
    Thanks again 🙂

    • Kate Dore Katasha @ broke girl rehab. April 10, 2016 on 9:44 pm

      Aww, thank you so much Katasha! That means a lot coming from a fellow social media marketer 🙂

  • Lila May 23, 2017 on 7:56 pm

    I even see fine artists and illustrators get consistent gigs from social media. I was in an online class with Ohn Mar Win, a successful illustrator, and she said that many of her commissions from art directors, have come from Pinterest. That totally blew my mind. Social media affects almost every industry in my opinion. 🙂

  • Rebecca November 13, 2017 on 5:15 am

    I’m in a few great groups on Facebook. Lots of referral work goes back and forth which is great! Thanks for the article- I found you on Pinterest!


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