Freelancers often have a favorite method or resource for finding work, but sticking with only one option may not always ensure continuous work. The traditional method of search for work online involved registering with freelance job sites and applying for or bidding on the jobs that were posted. But now many freelancers are discovering that they can also find work using social media. Websites such as Linked:In, Facebook, Twitter, and others have created tremendous opportunities for job seekers. Find out how you can also find work using social media with these 6 tips.
1. Create Brand Visibility
The first step to finding work using social media is to create your brand and then develop it across multiple networks. That doesn’t mean you necessarily have to have a logo and company website, but you should at least already have a Linked:In profile page. Linked:In is a site for professionals of all types to network with one another, and as a freelancer, it affords you tremendous opportunity to make new contacts that can lead to an increased work load.
Linked:In can connect to your blog, your Twitter account, Facebook, and more, enabling you to develop a strong image of yourself and your abilities across multiple networks so that potential clients can find you easier. It also serves to make you appear more professional and well suited for work, provided you keep your accounts clear of questionable content. You might consider creating separate Facebook pges—one for work, and one for personal use, which is private and can only be seen by friends.
2. Display Your Talents
Obviously there are many types of freelancers, but more often than not, you can post links to your work or display some sort of portfolio. Continually update your statuses on social networks with news about your work or to display a newly completed work, such as a website, graphic design piece, or article.
As your network grows, be sure to get involved in conversations. If you make your posts one-sided and never respond to anyone else, it will be harder to make the connections that will lead to work. Using social media to make connections is simple—you can chat with the followers you already have, and you can also join groups related to the type of work you do. You’ll be able to discuss industry information, new job opportunities, and even connect with possible clients that might not have been looking specifically for you, but because you have engaged them in conversation, might now consider giving you work.
4. Follow Freelance Job Sites
Many freelance job sites also have Facebook and Twitter accounts, and make consistent updates throughout the day. This is a great way to get news about changes to the site, new jobs being posted, or other important information in a timely fashion, without having to continually check in to the actual websites. You can also follow sites that are related to your industry profession, helping to make you aware of breaking industry news, new apps that help you improve productivity and efficiency, etc.
5. Be An Expert
Using social media, make posts not just about jobs you may be working on or have completed, but also engage in conversations or posts about any specific topics you excel in, such as SEO, web design, night photography, corporate logo design, etc. If you are a writer, you might post about your knowledge and expertise in writing food or health related articles. Potential clients who may be looking for exactly what you say you can deliver will be better able to zero in directly on your profile by utilizing keyword-based searches. Your expert status will make you more attractive to them as a freelancer for hire.
Unless your freelance industry is writing, then you don’t necessarily need to be a great writer in order to have a blog. But since sites such as Facebook, Twitter, and Linked:In only enable you to post statuses that are designed to be read quickly, blogging enables you to post much longer stories or thoughts on topics, and also serves to reinforce your status as a qualified industry expert. You can also connect with other blogs and make guest posts, further spreading your name and increasing your brand visibility. The links to your blog posts can be posted across your other social network sites, or even set to do so automatically once a blog post has been completed.
Gwen Stewart is a business development professional and writer for Outbounding.com.Her line of work requires she have a reliable solution for file sharing as well as a solid strategy for meeting tight deadlines. Any spare time she can scrape together finds her hiking, reading and enjoying the company of great friends.
Read the Small Business Guide for Social Media, an insiders guide to online marketing.