As a freelance writer, building relationships is an important part of personal and professional development. Making new connections with others will increase your knowledge and can also lead to referrals. But in such a solitary profession, how do you do it?
Social media has become one of the most effective channels for connecting with other writers, building your social circle, and attracting potential clients.
Through various platforms such as LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, you can quickly tap into the expertise of others and promote your own writing. Here are some tips on how to use social media to build your writing career.
[bctt tweet=”A Freelancer’s Guide to Social Media Networking” username=”constantcontent”]
Each of your social media profiles should contain key information about you as a writer and as a person. Follow these steps to add professionalism and authenticity to your online profiles:
- Upload a professional-looking photo.
- Give clear contact information.
- Link to your website, if you have one.
- Explain which areas you specialize in.
- Include keywords about your services.
- Add a call to action to contact you for work.
- Keep all online profiles as consistent as possible.
Show Your Work
Your social media account is like a living resume for potential employers. Use the pinning feature on Twitter and Facebook to fix a post at the top of your timeline, linking to your most recent content. One of the first things potential clients will look for is a link to your work.
Listen and Interact
The point of social media is to be social, so find a few minutes each day to read other peoples’ posts and join in conversations. Follow people in your niche to find out about the latest trends and topics that people are talking about.
Make Friends with Other Freelancers
To extend your network, find others who are in the same boat as you are. Join social media groups, or start your own. Most freelancers are happy to exchange ideas and tips about working as a writer. They can also give you client recommendations and some may even work with you on larger projects.
Consider even attending a freelance writing conference.
Networking isn’t just about finding people to connect with you; it’s about bringing other people together. If you connect two other people, both parties will remember you in the future.
Post valuable information such as writing tips to boost your credibility. Follow hashtags and offer advice to others when appropriate. Being generous is one of the best ways to get noticed by others, including potential clients.
On social media, you need to engage and be proactive. If you don’t, your following won’t grow and you’ll miss out on potential writing opportunities.
If you’ve connected with any influencer in your industry, point them in the direction of your content. Ask them to share it with their audience. Keep in mind that others will only want to share your content if it’s helpful to their audience.
Be More Professional Than Personal
As a freelance writer, social media is not the place to share political opinions or private feelings, unless it’s related to writing in general. It’s important to remain professional, because you never know who might be listening. You can be conversational, but keep your posts professional and clean. And remember, your language skills are there for all to see, so before you post anything, check your grammar and spelling.
Here’s a checklist you can use to make the most out of various social channels:
- Use your bio to highlight your writing expertise.
- Include keywords related to your niche.
- If you have a website, link to it in the bio.
- Use your timeline to share stories about your writing life.
- Regularly share links to your published content or work samples.
- Follow and reach out to people, organizations, and businesses in your niche, including content marketing managers and publications.
- Search for and join writer groups.
- Introduce your contacts to other people, when appropriate.
- Use social media tools such as Hootsuite and Keyhole to discover news and conversations around your niche.
- Join in with conversations and offer your own advice.
- Respond to questions and comments whenever possible.
- On LinkedIn, write a detailed profile, highlighting your skills, qualifications, experience, and the niche topics you write about.
[bctt tweet=”Check out the social media networking checklist” username=”constantcontent”]
Freelance writing can sometimes feel like a lonely profession, but you don’t have to go it alone. Being more active on social networks is a great way to meet other writers, learn new skills, and organically build your online visibility.
Don’t worry if networking doesn’t come naturally to you. In the end, it’s about being more open, helping others, and being honest about your abilities. Treat your social media activity as a key part of your writing life and new opportunities will naturally come your way.