After neglecting social media for too long, I decided to get involved in freelancer-focused social media groups. It’s one of the best decisions I’ve made since going freelance.
I joined two freelance Facebook groups: Freelance Heroes and Doing It For The Kids (a group for self-employed parents). The conversations started in these groups quickly transitioned to Twitter, which has become my natural social media home.
Regardless of what you think about Twitter, the freelance community is extremely encouraging and helpful.
These groups are a fantastic resource for freelancers and I’d encourage anyone who’s self-employed to get involved with them. They’re a safe space to ask for help and discuss common issues that we all face.
Here are some things that have happened as a direct result of my social media activity this year:
- I’ve been a Freelance Heroes Featured Freelancer
- Started a side project (this blog)
- I’ve been interviewed on Being Freelance
- I’ve secured work through the connections I’ve made
I’m grateful for all of these things, but the biggest benefit of these groups has been the friendships. On some days, Twitter and Slack keep me sane.
If the only thing you want to get out of Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, etc. is to market your products and services, then you’ve missed the point of social media.Ed Goodman
How I use social media
A freelance question I see come up time and time again is: “if I’m on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, YouTube and Pinterest, won’t I be spreading my online presence too thinly?”
Well, possibly. Choose platforms:
- Appropriate to the content you’re sharing
- You’re comfortable using
- You can commit to
I’m terrible at using Instagram, Pinterest and Snapchat – mainly because I’m not a regular user so don’t fully understand them. I’d also love to delete my Facebook account if it wasn’t for Freelance Hereros and DIFTK.
I’ve found a combination of Twitter, Facebook groups, LinkedIn and Medium to be my social media nirvana.
Twitter and Facebook are fantastic for building connections with other freelancers. Occasional work may come along, but they’re mainly great for friendships and humour.
LinkedIn is good for sharing articles as the lifespan of a post is much longer. I’ve had good engagement on my mailing list subscriptions from there, too.
Medium is awesome for reaching new audiences. I wondered about the value of making content ‘members-only’ for a long time, but now I know that it’s the only way Medium editors will ever curate content.
If this happens, it will be pushed to Medium subscriber’s inboxes and landing pages, meaning your content reaches a much wider readership. You can also submit articles to publications, which can send the views and reads of your content off the chart.