Savvy freelancers take note this is your business at stake
Planning social media for others doesn’t make me good at managing my own freelancer journey. Why? I don’t have much time. That is the irony. Neither do my clients, of course. That’s why they utilise my social media and writing services.
So what can savvy freelancers do to leverage their own social media? Here are some basic pain points that should be addressed learned from my own mistakes.
1.You are your brand. Every savvy freelancer knows they are selling themselves as well as their service. We don’t have the Klout of Apple or any of the ‘money is no object in the marketing stakes’ brands. So how disadvantaged are freelancers in the social media market? That depends on how you build your brand. It also depends on the foundations you choose to lay down.
2.Take time to work out who you are. Savvy freelancers will be able to summarise what their strengths are. You should know what you want to see on a freelancer’s gravestone. Are you reliable, friendly, always available, known for a quick turnaround, a go-to expert, social media strategist or what? Capitalise on your reputation. Think about why people hire you and start offering that as the cornerstone of your message. That doesn’t mean you broadcast: ‘Hire me, I’m great’ messages. Start imagining the customer journey. Why would a potential client need you? What can you solve for them? A savvy freelancer will begin to offer information, tips, ideas. Show what you’re good at. A savvy freelancer shows, she doesn’t just tell.
3.Developing a customer base is a hard slog. Any savvy freelancer knows that developing relationships everywhere underpins the potential for success. Building a reputation means being visible. It means pressing the social media flesh. It’s about creating touch points. What do I mean? I shall quote my guru from Squared, Aiden Carroll.
A touchpoint goes like this:
This makes me laugh for all kinds of reasons that I’m not prepared to go into now! But it’s true. Unless you reach out, unless you offer a solution, an idea, help, advice or whatever what chance do you have? It’s conversations that throw up ideas, problems and opportunities. Be social on social media. Every savvy freelancer knows this is a huge part of their social media marketing. If you broadcast endless people just switch off eventually.
4.This is so embarrassing writing this. I am squirming. If you were to fillet your Twitter feed for example what would you, savvy freelancer find? Are you really communicating with your target audience? I am a writer and social media strategist. I have been on Twitter since 2009 and started, obviously, with no idea what the bloody hell was going on. Have I ever really looked at my target audience. I am red in the face. My feed is filled with social media influencers and hilariously: writers. Why would I be pitching my writing skills to writers? Doh! My feed should be filled with tradespeople, small businesses, people whose skills don’t include marketing, copywriting and social media knowledge. This is where I made a massive mistake not setting up a business Twitter feed. I am my brand I thought and carried on with my personal feed. I haven’t got the balls to change it now it must be said. So however brilliant a sales pitch or information provider I have become I am actually giving this hard-won experience to people who are going to use it themselves! Lovely!
Is your freelancer social media profile blossoming?
5.Don’t rely on people you already know. They cannot be the backbone of your social media efforts. Get our there and become irresistible. A savvy freelancer will plan their target groups carefully. Are you listening, Vivienne?
6.Take some time out. Go for a walk, leave the computer and assess just what you offer. What is your USP? What value do you offer? What reputation are you working towards? Why should people want to hire a savvy freelancer like you?
7.Work on your message. Twitter is not about random postings. It’s about consistency, about showing up to every party, it’s about being reliable. You need to share and post information they need. You must become their ‘must see, must read, go to’ social media experience. Ha! There she is again, what message has she posted to make my life easier. Come here ‘my precious’!
8.Remember, attention is earned not a given. In f2f networking someone who thrusts their business card at you gives the wrong impression. Have the scintillating conversation. When they say, ‘Do you have a business card?’ How much better does that feel?
Employ a freelancer to do the things you don’t have time for! We are savvy freelancers after all!
9. So, if you are feeling overawed by this then employ a savvy freelancer! They will do for you what they don’t have time to do for themselves! Think about even offering a skills swap. ‘I’ll sort out your social media strategy and management if you sort out my onsite SEO’ kinda vibe. There are many ways to make social media work for hard-pressed but savvy freelancers like you and me.
10.Remember you don’t have Ford’s marketing budget. But you do have a personal bedside manner in your small, but perfectly formed social media community. Go on be what people need you to be! I’m working on it! I’m looking forward to a few more ‘moments’ too!
See you on Twitter!
Hands Image by Heatseeker text: Aiden Carroll