Have your inbound freelance inquiries slowed recently? Are you looking for new ways to promote your work? You only have to look as far as a few key smartphone apps to kickstart your business’ traffic. Don’t shy away from developing a personal social media strategy to attract prospective clients.
We’ll talk more about Instagram in a second, but it’s a great example of how a visual platform lends itself to engaging follows — and potential customers. For example, tons of artists have taken to uploading sped-up videos of their creation process (which is completely mesmerizing), or doing print giveaways for their followers.
Time-lapse of the painting process for my previous post, ‘Ghost in the Shell.' This was for the upcoming release of the new Ghost in the Shell film on March 30th, which I’m super excited for! ? ⠀⠀⠀ ⠀ You can watch the full video of this painting process on my YouTube channel via the active link in my bio. ⠀⠀⠀ ⠀ ? – Stay Here by @olmosmusic #brbchasingdreams #GhostInTheShell #sp
The viral potential of social media lets you easily share your work and thought leadership to develop your personal brand and bring in new business. You may not see the results right away, but if you keep at it, you’ll eventually see the freelance benefits. To get started, use these tactics to promote yourself and your work on social media.
Self-Publish on LinkedIn to Share Your Expertise
Take advantage of LinkedIn’s publishing platform to share your perspectives, experiences or projects relevant to your work. These pieces appear directly on your profile to effectively showcase your expertise. As the most professional and resume-based social network, LinkedIn is likely the first place potential clients will go to evaluate you.
Plan a sustainable personal content calendar to consistently publish content. Besides publishing on LinkedIn, keep your profile fresh and full. Complete all the profile sections, such as “Skills” and “Recommendations.” The more complete your profile is, the greater your chances of appearing in relevant searches made by potential clients.
Keep your self-promotional angle to a minimum, though. As LinkedIn influencer, ghostwriter and speaker Jeff Haden shares, “No one reads ‘look at me!’ content. And even if someone does, definitely no one will share sales-pitch content. People read and share articles that benefit them — not you.” Write for your readers’ interests and needs, even if you’re vying for new clients.
Actively Engage in — or Lead — Twitter Conversations
Take the time to discover and participate in relevant Twitter chats or sessions led by brands and thought leaders you’d like to work with or learn from. Or, just organically start conversations one-on-one. The public nature of social media will help you connect with those you wouldn’t necessarily be able to engage face-to-face.
Maintain a steady stream of both your personal perspectives and those of others. Again, you want to appear actively engaged if — or more likely, when — potential clients check out your feed. “Focus on your specialty from the various services you provide and your followers will know what to expect from your updates,” advises freelance blogger Michael Poh.
Capture Your Creative Process and Lifestyle on Instagram
Think Instagram is just for artsy shots of food and frolicking? Think again. A dominantly visual social network, Instagram is an ideal forum to highlight your creative process or actual work. Even if your work isn’t visual, get creative to show off what you do. As a freelance writer, I always share snapshots of my published articles and tag the featured people or publications.
Use Instagram to capture your freelance lifestyle as well as your work. Freelance copywriter Lucas Miller advocates this approach since it “allows for fun and light-hearted content, but it also does an incredible job of catching the attention of people who both hope to follow in your footsteps or hire you for your services.”
Build a Presence on a Niche Social Network
There are countless social networks for any freelance specialty or niche. Find one specific to your area of expertise to prove your prowess and associate with other experts. Behance lets designers, illustrators and other artists showcase their portfolios, while Fleeber helps freelance musicians and bands connect with each other, studios and clients. Try to overcome any hesitancy about mixing your personal and professional social activity. Since freelancing is highly personal and individual, make it an integrated part of your life to present as part of your social media strategy.
Following social media marketing best practices, it’s better to actively maintain a few stellar social profiles than have a lackluster presence on as many as possible. Realistically consider your bandwidth and choose social networks that can best showcase your work. Even if you don’t immediately gain new clients, keep engaging to build your thought leadership over time.