Marketing is important for anyone looking to promote their services and this is applicable to absolutely anyone; from those just starting a business, to freelancers, entrepreneurs to small or large organisations.
Many larger companies will have a marketing team where they can hire a social media manager to do the job however it’s not as easy for freelancers who are trying to make a name for their business, with just themselves to do the work.
As a freelancer you know your business better than anyone else and therefore can push your marketing in the direction that you know it will hit your audience but how do you do that well and effectively when time management can be a factor as well as understanding all the social channels in order to do a good job?
Embrace social media
Don’t think that just because you are a small fish in a big pond that social media is not important – it most certainly is. And for some freelancers it can be the main stream of marketing that brings in new clients and reaches out to even more people.
Whether you personally love or hate social media, as a freelancer you need to be using it to promote your services.
Embrace the social networks as if they were your best friends and find a channel that works well for you, and stick to it.
Which social network do you use?
This will totally depend on your type of business and who you are looking to attract. Before you do anything, you need to establish the basics.
- Who is your ideal client?
- Are you working B2C or B2B?
- What do you want to achieve from social media?
- Who is your competition and what are they doing?
By working on these basic questions, you can give yourself a basis to build your social media content around.
If you’re a B2B freelancer you will probably find that LinkedIn is a great place to discover clients. Check out our recent post on why LinkedIn is good for your business.
LinkedIn is a great place to network and build on your relationships, showcase your knowledge and expertise as well as getting your name known within the industry circles.
Facebook is good for brand awareness and building a community. Facebook is still the largest social network and one that is great for building a following. By creating a Facebook group and providing value through this to an audience that is interested in your services, you’ll build trust, reputation and loyal customers. If you’re not ready to create your own group, there are plenty that you can join and add your value to. Be sure to jump into conversations and give solutions to people’s problems. This way you become recognised as an expert and people will come to you when they need assistance. The way you manage this will determine if these people turn into paying clients.
Twitter is a place for opinions and news so this is a place to find your audience’s conversations and to offer solutions. You can search for #hashtags relating to your industry and follow trends that will lead back to your audience. Building a following on Twitter can be relatively easy if you’re prepared to put in the time to keep up the pace – but sharing your knowledge will definitely get you noticed.
If you’re love images and can showcase your portfolio or service through imagery, then Instagram or Pinterest will be the place for you. Instagram is rapidly growing and with 75 million people a day scrolling through their feeds, you have good reason to want to use this platform.
Instagram allows you to get creative so whatever you are doing, wherever you are, you can capture the moment and create content that will grab the attention of your audience. Motivate and inspire people, give them a reason to want to follow you and if they like and appreciate your creativity enough, they may even get in touch to work with you!
The same can be said for Pinterest, which has become an extremely effective search engine facility where people are searching for inspiration every day. Your images do not have to be perfect, and with Pinterest you can add text to tell your audience what you are offering. Just be super clear on what you’re offering and who your attracting and if you get the content right, people will discover you.
Pulling it all together
With all your social media efforts, there are few things that need to happen throughout all of it: engagement. The key ingredient to social media marketing is engagement. Without engagement, all your efforts, time and hard work will fall flat and will be for nothing. No one wants to think they are working for nothing, right!
With this in mind, all of your content needs to have a reason or a way for people to engage with you – on every single post or tweet. There should always be a call to action or a next step they can take. Even if you’re just asking for a ‘comment below’, the audience knows what to do next.
With so much content out there, it is so easy for a user to read and scroll past without a second look. But if you catch the eye of the audience and ask them to take action, they are inclined to do so.
In this way you build reputation, trust and expertise. People will recognise your name and your identity becomes your brand, you are building a name for your business which can grow and develop.
And when people engage with your content, be sure to engage back! Show that you are human, you have an opinion and you value theirs. Create relationships with your audience and provide value to them in every way possible.
Social media is a key part of a freelancers success and the more you do it and start to love one or two particular platforms, the more you will get to know your audience and love them too.
Don’t spread yourself too thin
This is one of the hardest things to stick to, there are many great social channels out there and sticking to one or two can be a hard discipline to get into the habit of but it’s much better to do a few extremely well than to be on all networks but do them all not-so-well. Your reputation is at stake with every post that you create. With every piece of content that you produce, it needs to be clear, to the point and be focused on your ideal audience. You can set up personal channels if you want to talk about things irrelevant to your freelancing business. Your business is your focus and yes you want to be ‘you’ but you also need to come across as professional and approachable. First impressions count when it comes to potential clients. Make that first impression good wherever they find your services.
Do you have a website?
Social media is great for promoting your services and shouting about what you can do, but do you have a landing page on where they can go to find you? This landing page or website is as important as your social media profiles. If someone finds you on Facebook and clicks a post to get in touch with you but is hit with an out of date, old website, they will move on to the next freelancer. Spend some quality time updating your website (or landing page) and ensure that it’s always up to date. If you change your prices or a service that you provide, update your website. Simple.
All the above should be workable if you manage your time well. As a freelancer, your time is most valuable as you only have one set of hands! (Unless you outsource your social media marketing of course!) But the fact is that you can only do what you physically have time to do. Planning and organising your time is important for any business owner, so the need to factor in your social media marketing is something that should be a part of that plan.
Social media should be fun and never a chore – planning ahead and being in front of your time is the best piece of advice we can offer and always know what’s coming up so there are no big surprises.
If you’d like help, we’d love to chat with you about how to go about putting a strategy and plan in place for your social media marketing and to get the most out of it for your business. Get in touch today!