Process and organization
You need to have a good strategy combined with creativity and consistency to see results. To help you navigate this, here's a checklist to follow for success!
The use of social media is one of the best ways for freelancers to connect with potential clients and other professionals in their industry.
While this is true, social media can also be a noisy and crowded place. Without a solid strategy, it might be difficult to see significant positive results from your social media marketing efforts.
So any freelancer serious about social media will need to have a good strategy combined with creativity and consistency to see success.
To help you navigate this, we’ve compiled this social media checklist to help freelancers get started with marketing themselves on social media.
Let's get started.
As a freelancer, how do you decide which social media channels to spend your time on?
The best practice is to determine where your target clients are most active. Rather than trying to be active on every social media platform, choose the ones that make the most sense for your niche and the services you offer.
To help you narrow down your choice, here is a brief overview of the main social media platforms:
For individuals just getting started with freelancing, Facebook is a good place to join. On Facebook, you have a network of family and friends who can help you promote your freelance service. Some of your family and friends might even want to work with you or know someone who needs your services.
Freelancers can also join Facebook groups related to the services they offer. For instance, if you are a social media manager, you can join a Facebook group for business owners/online entrepreneurs. Business owners who want to get active on social media will need your service. After joining the group, showcase your skills by providing value. And with time, people will remember you when they need your services.
Instagram works best for freelancers that offer visually-oriented services. For example, visual artists like graphic designers and animators will do well on Instagram. The platform allows you to demonstrate your value by showing off your work; similar to a portfolio page. On the other hand, a freelance writer will not get much success on Instagram because it will be difficult to show your value through the platform. A writer will see more success on Twitter and LinkedIn where they can create threads and blog posts.
If you are looking to get started with online networking, Twitter is one of the best places to connect with your peers and potential clients. It is also a great place for building a personal brand and authority. And as a freelancer, these two factors can help boost your freelance career. First, building a personal brand helps establish your freelance business as an authentic entity. Second, the content you share on Twitter will help showcase your authority in your niche.
And similar to Google, Twitter has a great search functionality you can use in looking for freelance jobs. You can search for a phrase like “social media manager needed” to see people who have tweeted that recently. If you apply for the role in the first few hours after the tweet, there is every possibility you will get the gig.
Every freelancer should have a presence on LinkedIn. The platform is dedicated to helping professionals network with each other. Two good reasons to join LinkedIn is that the companies that will hire you are most likely on the platform and are actively recruiting. It's also great for researching companies that you can approach for jobs. There is a job board on the platform where you can perform job searches on your industry and skillsets.
If you are still not sure where to pitch your tent, ask yourself: where do my audience and freelancers who offer similar services to mine hang out?
There are two main reasons to have a complete social media profile: One, it makes your business look professional. Two, it makes it easier for businesses to find and contact you. By completely filling up your profile, you become easier to find on the native social search or Google search.
While each social platform might have different looking profile sections, here are some tips to consider when filling out your social media profile regardless of the channel.
Your username is what people will use to search for you on social media. On most social media platforms, your username will also serve as your URL (e.g https://www.linkedin.com/in/brianedean). So as a freelancer, it's best to use your full name as your username on social media.
While it's not always possible, try and use the same username across all the social media channels you are active in. You might be confusing potential clients if you are using @yourname on LinkedIn then @yourmiddlename or a nickname on Twitter. And in a situation where someone else is already using your name, make sure you use your full name as your display name.
Freelancers should always go with a picture of themselves as their profile picture. Preferably a quality headshot. Using your picture helps with your branding so avoid using abstract images.
It's also a good idea to use the same profile picture across multiple social networks. It solidifies your brand identity and increases recognizability.
Also, make sure you are the right image sizes for each network. Here is a summary of the top platforms:
When a potential client comes across you on social media, the first place they will check is your bio. So your bio should tell any visitor to your profile who you are and the services you offer. Some sites like Twitter, only allow 160 characters; so go straight to the point. Say what service you offer and include your contact email address.
On the other hand, LinkedIn allows you to write up to 2000 characters on your bio. This will allow you to talk more in-depth about your services and make a first good impression.
In your profile bio, job title and description, include keywords and phrases that people usually search for. This will increase your chances of showing up in searches.
Finally, always finish your bio with a call-to-action. It can be as simple as asking visitors to check out your portfolio page.
After you have completed your bio, the next step is to look at your privacy settings. Make sure that all your information is visible to the public. For example, on LinkedIn, you can turn your profile visibility on or off. When it's off, your profile won't turn up in the search bar. So always check your setting to make sure that potential clients can locate you.
Tip: On LinkedIn, there is an option to select “Open to work”. This will notify recruiters and businesses who visit your profile that you are accepting opportunities.
Now that your profile is set up, the next step is to get active by posting on a day-to-day basis. Sharing content relevant to your niche shows that you know your work. It builds your authority and gives clients reasons to hire you.
Here are some tips you can use to create your content strategy:
Following companies and industry experts you want to work with will keep you updated on new opportunities and trends.
Don't just follow them, also engage with their posts. Liking, sharing, and leaving valuable comments on their posts will put you on their radar. It also shows them that you are a knowledgeable person.
Trends differ from platform to platform and niche to niche. When you keep up with the latest trends and hashtags, you can easily adjust your content strategy and create relevant content around them. This will allow you to build your authority and increase the chances of you being found by clients. Also, businesses want to work with freelancers that are up to date on the latest happenings in their industry.
One of the fastest ways to grow an audience on social media is by being authentic. Do not steal other people’s content just so you can keep up with other freelancers. If you’re authentic, you will attract a larger audience and you’ll get more clients.
One way to be authentic on social media as a freelancer is to avoid hard-selling your clients and focus instead on how you can help them achieve their goals. Demonstrate your value by creating content that offers solutions to the potential client's pain points.
Also, when you find an interesting topic, do more research and talk about it in your own words. And if you are commenting on another person’s thoughts, always give credit to the original creator.
It's best practice to use the features available on your social media platform of choice. Freelancers who use these features will most likely experience more traction than others.
For example, Twitter introduced Twitter Spaces to allow users to have audio conversations on the platform. You can create your Space or join the Spaces of other individuals in your niche. Try to deliver value in the spaces because a potential client might just be listening.
Similarly, freelance videographers and graphics artists can use Instagram Reels to showcase their work and show their creation process.
To grow on social media, you need to be consistent with your posting. The more consistent you are, the more your reach and engagement. And to ensure that you keep to a schedule, it's best to build a content calendar. A content calendar also ensures that you do not keep posting the same content over and over again.
Also, evidence shows that there are best times to post on social media. Posting at the right time also ensures that your content gets seen by your target audience. Once you know the kind of content you want to post, create a content calendar around the best post times for that social platform and your audience.
Tip: Posting regularly is a good way to stay top of mind of your audience, but don't sacrifice quality for quantity. Do not just share irrelevant content just so you can meet your daily or weekly quota.
We understand that keeping a regular posting schedule can be exhausting. With the help of a social media management tool like Iconosquare, you can schedule and publish your social media content in one place. This will allow you to keep your online presence active even when you are not online.
When you are using social media to promote your freelance career, it's important that you interact with other freelancers and the communities in your niche.
Engaging with other freelancers and being part of a freelance community will keep you informed on the latest gigs, trends, and news. In some communities, freelancers post jobs that they received from clients that they can't handle to see if someone else will take the job.
If you are also active in your community, another freelancer might refer you when they find a client that needs your services. Companies and recruiters also check these communities to find freelancers they can work with.
Make it a point to interact with a few freelancers each day. Focusing on building relationships with others on social media will only take a few minutes and is beneficial in the long run.
It's important to monitor your mentions and notifications on social media so you don't miss opportunities. For example, some clients will leave reviews of their experience with you on social media. Other freelancers can also give you a shout out. If you are not monitoring your brand, you can miss responding to these mentions.
If you are using multiple social media platforms, tools such as Iconosquare monitoring solution is useful. It will help you monitor any chatter about your brand in real-time so you do not miss any opportunity to engage with your community and potential clients
To ensure that the social media strategies you implement are helping your business grow and also generating leads, you need to monitor your growth.
Analysing your performance across social platforms will help you identify which network works best for you. For example, you might be putting a lot of effort on Twitter and seeing little returns in terms of leads and engagement. On the other hand, Instagram where you put little effort is seeing significant growth. To help you save time and increase your ROI, it will be better to concentrate more on Instagram. If you weren't doing any analytics, you might not notice this.
With Iconosquare's social analytics, you will be able to monitor the performance of your social media strategy on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. You will also get engagement insights to help you understand how your content affects your brand performance.
Social media can be a useful tool in helping freelancers expand their online reach and also attract new clients. Which is why it is important to follow the steps in this social media checklist. The tips in this article will help freelancers build a strong marketing strategy.
The key thing to remember is that you have to create valuable content and show potential clients that you have the skills they are looking for.
You also have to ensure that you are active in freelance communities as this will help you stay informed on new gigs and the latest trends in your niche.
Finally, you need to analyse the performance of your social media efforts so you don't end up wasting your time. And to make it easy to perform this analysis, invest in a dedicated social media management platform like Iconosquare. Iconosquare offers advanced analytics tools to help you gain actionable insights to optimize your social media strategy.
Advanced analytics for Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin and TikTok. Peace of mind scheduling, time-saving reporting, and visual statistics for all your social media!