Answer me this: how long do you spend on social media a day? Whether it’s trawling through mundane update after mundane update on Facebook or pinning your favourite food and DIY pics on Pinterest, I’m guessing it takes up a good chunk of your day.
Well, if you’re anything like me it does.
The thing we forget though is how much potential there is lying there behind the quick “like” of a post or the retweet of a passing joke. Think about it. How many people are logged into Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest every single day?
A HUGE amount of people, that’s how many (exact numbers to come… or not).
In fact, pretty much everyone from your aunt Sally to the lady who works in the patisserie at the end of the road has a social profile which means GREAT things for you as a freelancer.
Why? Because there are potential clients right at your fingertips day in, day out.
If you spend so much time on social media anyways, why not incorporate it into your marketing plan for your creative business?
Get Awesome Freelance Gigs Using Social Media
First things first. Before we begin, let’s start at the beginning. If you haven’t got yourself set up on the major social media channels (that’s Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest), go ahead and do that right away. I mean, what are you waiting for?
If you’re feeling a little overwhelmed with all the jargon talk of pins, tweets, and likes, try getting your head around one just to start with. Go on, pick your poison and roll with it.
Secondly, if you’re already set up on social media, make sure your profile tells people what you do. I’ve seen so many missed opportunities when freelancers forget to state they’re.. uh… freelancers.
How are you supposed to get awesome freelance gigs if no one knows what you do?!
Okay, now we can begin.
Get Awesome Freelance Gigs with Facebook
Ah, Facebook. I’m pretty sure my mum thinks it’s still just a platform for teenagers to upload pictures of themselves getting drunk at the weekends only to regret it two years down the line.
In fact, I’m sure there’s a lot of that going on in the world of Facebook, but thankfully there’s a whole lot more it brings to the social media party too.
Facebook is actually pretty diverse, from the ability to set up business pages, to private messages, to Facebook groups, and ads, there’s a whole menu of goods for freelancers to tap into to promote their businesses.
- Facebook Groups
Facebook groups are not only a great way to meet likeminded people who might share the same job as you, but they’re also great for picking up clients. A lot of businesses seek out groups to find an elite pool of freelancers to tap into.
Because being part of a dedicated group shows you’re committed and you’re doing everything you can to better your craft. Ergo, you’re super perfect for the job, right?
How do you use Facebook Groups?
Easy. So, so easy. You can either search in the Facebook search bar for your industry key words and then filter the search to only include groups, or you can simply type in “Facebook groups for freelancers” into Google. Here’s a great post with a whole host of awesome groups for freelancers to start you off with.
Remember, once you’re in the group you don’t want to be a bulldozer. People join these groups for intelligent conversation, to ask questions they can’t find an answer for elsewhere, and to generally connect with other people with similar interests.
- Be useful and help others out
Try and offer your help and expertise whenever you can. Not only will you get brownie points, but you’re putting yourself in the spotlight for potential clients to see. If you’re helpful enough to fellow groupies, you might also find yourself on the receiving end of some referrals too, which is never, ever a bad thing.
- Boosted Posts
Bleurgh, I know. Boosted posts. A.K.A. ads. Does it make your blood run cold? As freelancers we’re often a little shy of promoting our services, but if I told you there are some classy, tasteful ways to do it would you be all in?
Of course you would.
Boosted Facebook posts are great. Firstly, because you can make them look GREAT by designing them to fit your brand (oh look, you’re cementing yourself as an authority at the same time!) and because you can really get niche with the audience you want it to reach.
The in-depth algorithm means you can target a really specific kind of person to see your ad – basically, your ideal audience, yeah?
Get Awesome Freelance Gigs With Twitter
Twitter’s another hard-hitter when it comes to seeking out potential clients. It can often feel like you’re swimming upstream when you’re scrolling through your feed, but ignore that fast-moving mush of mentions for a moment and focus your efforts elsewhere.
- Twitter Lists
Did you know you can make private Twitter lists where you can keep an eye on brands you really want to work for?
No? Well keep reading, friend.
Twitter lists are great for not only giving you defined feeds that centre around specific niches, but they are also great for checking in with your favourite brands and companies every now and again.
Because when you start interacting with them, they’ll start noticing you and, well, you never know, one day they might be looking for an awesome freelancer. Cue you just hanging out there being all twee on their Twitter feed.
Gah, I have a confession. I blimmin’ hate hashtags. I always feel like I should be doing the old bunny-ear fingers when I put one in a tweet.
But if you step away from the lengthy hashtags no one’s going to read (#stepawayplz), there are some great feeds out there where potential clients might be hanging out and asking questions.
Have a quick search for some keywords in your industry and see what comes up. If there are any that particularly stand out you can make a single stream for that hashtag in Hootsuite.
- Reach out to Followers
I’ve talked about this before and I’m sure as hell going to talk about it again because it’s pretty dang awesome.
The great thing about social media is that it’s not just you putting yourself out there. Everyone else is, too, including potential clients.
Every time a brand or company follows me on Twitter who I think I could really help out with their content and copy, I send them a quick email.
The best thing? You’ve already made that initial connection because, duh, they followed you, so obviously there’s something they likey.
Just a quick “Hey, you recently followed me on Twitter, and I just wanted to reach out and say Hi,” will do perfectly to start with.
- Twitter Chats
I was all over Twitter chats like a rash when I first started blogging, but I’ve backed away more and more now that I find I’m busier and have less time to dedicate to them.
That being said, they can be GREAT tools for finding potential clients and putting yourself out there in front of them.
Even if you only stop by for a short while you’ll be increasing your chances of a potential client seeing your contribution and snapping you up immediately. Think of creative ways you can answer the questions and offer genuine advice whenever you can – basically, make yourself stand out, as it can seem a bit of a wipeout if there’s hundreds of people tweeting about the same thing.
Get Awesome Freelance Gigs With Pinterest
Pinterest kind of came from nowhere, didn’t it? One minute it was all cupcake recipes and home furnishing pics, and then all of a sudden it was a goldmine for everything you could ever want.
As you can see I’m absolutely crushing on Pinterest at the moment (follow me here if you fancy it!).
Whilst it might seem like a vapid image sharing site, there’s so much more to it that pretty pictures and recipes you’d never be able to replicate in a million years (oh wait, is it just me who can’t bake to save her life?).
You just have to know how to use it right.
- Create a Portfolio Board
Creating a portfolio on Pinterest is a great way to get awesome freelance gigs. Set up an individual board to promote work you’ve already done – just remember to make it look really, really pretty so people want to share it around and get it in front of the eyes of your ideal client.
- Create a Testimonials Board
If there’s one thing that people love it’s testimonials. Okay, maybe they don’t, but testimonials do increase trust, which is absolutely what you want to harness and build with potential clients.
Why? Because they’ll keep coming back for more and they’ll be more likely to refer others to your services.
You can get awesome freelance gigs by creating a board solely dedicated to tooting your own horn. If you feel a little squeamish about putting yourself out there so nakedly, you can always make it a private board that you can send to potential clients when you’re in the pitching and proposal stages.
- Join Group Boards
Like Facebook, Pinterest has group boards where you can connect with likeminded people and share content related to a specific niche.
Group boards are a great way to meet new people (potential clients, cough) and to showcase your awesome work.
Do a quick search on Pinterest to find some great group boards in your niche, follow the instructions to join, and regularly share your work to get yourself noticed.
Phew this post is getting pretty lengthy now, but hopefully it shows you just how much social media can help you get awesome freelance gigs, whether Pinterest, Twitter, or Facebook is your weapon of choice.
- Tip #1: Don’t be too salesy.
People use social media to connect with friends and generally have a good time. They don’t want services and products shoved down their throats until the cows come home, so don’t be that person. Seriously, don’t.
Be useful and entertaining, share interesting stuff and really think about how you can leverage these sites to get awesome freelance gigs for yourself.
- Tip #2: Get Creative
There’s a huge opportunity for you to get creative here, too (uh, isn’t that what us creative freelancers do best?!). Take David Michael Moore, for instance, who sketches tweets for potential clients. Isn’t that such a great way to get noticed?! Now think about how you can do the same (but steer clear of the stick figures if you’re challenged in the drawing area).
Okay, your turn! How do you use social media to get awesome freelance gigs? Any tips or questions to share? Join the discussion below!