Short answer: No, there are many ways that freelancers and small business owners can grow their business.
Long answer: With consistency and dedication, social media platforms are the perfect way to carve out your niche and cultivate your audience, amplify your work, and attract new clients. Though freelancers have and will continue to grow their business without social media, the rise and prominence of social media has disrupted the way we live, both personally and professionally. With the sustained changes it’s bringing, these social networks are an effective avenue and resource to take your business to the next level.
Making Social Media Work for You
As a freelancer or consultant, working relationships with your clients, network, and community can help you grow. Lacey Trejo, certified business coach for freelancers, puts it best:
“If you are going to spend the time marketing on social media, make it work for you. Make sure and grow your social network with people who make decisions about hiring people like you.”
Here are some of the ways you can leverage your presence and strategy on social media to your business’ benefit:
Showcase your business information
Platforms like LinkedIn are created specifically for business opportunities and connections. By ensuring your profile is up to date and eye-catching, you will stand out to potential users. Even if you aren’t on the platform actively looking for new clients, they may be looking for you.
Did you know? 100% of the current Mylance team was found, connected with, and hired from LinkedIn! And all of us are freelancers 🎉
On other platforms, ensure that your profile is filled out completely:
- Profile Picture: Put your best face forward! Psychological Science says that it takes 40 milliseconds to draw conclusions about people based on a photo.
- Bio: This is arguably the most important part of your profile. It should be concise, yet informative, while having enough personality to help you stand out from the professional crowd.
- Contact Information: Most platforms have space for your email, phone number, website. Include this information to make it easy for someone to connect with you or view your portfolio.
- Content: Make sure your content is appropriate and consistent with your particular brand or public image. Your content as the first impression with potential clients. It should clearly communicate who you are, your previous work, what you stand for, your area of expertise as a freelancer, ways to connect with you, etc.
Focus on one or two platforms
You or your freelance business does not have to be on every social or professional network. That is too much work and will get overwhelming quickly. Find a platform that works for you and benefits your business.
We caught up with Mylance Member and Cohort 05 graduate, Nick Jones earlier this week about how his business was growing and he updated us on his success with Clubhouse:
“As someone who never really clicked with social media I didn’t pay enough attention to it’s value for my business. After exploring Clubhouse I found that it wasn’t social media that didn’t make sense to me, it was the format. Once I found that all audio based space I quickly amassed a following and now almost 80% of my clients come from just Clubhouse. Finding the space that you can thrive in and show off your skillset and knowledge is key to leveraging social media for your business needs and client acquisition."
Every social media platform is unique in functionality, use, and audience, so it’s imperative to pick the right account for you and your users. Embrace the social networks as if they were your best friends and find a channel that works well for you, and stick to it.
Below you can find an overview on each major platform to help you focus on the ones where your users are and the ones that make the most sense for your company, brand and message. Although this overview focuses on the main platforms we all know and use such as Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube, other social networks such as Pinterest are also great options to be posting in.
Interact with your community
Social media platforms aren't just useful for creating connections and forming an online portfolio. When you’ve found your community and navigated what platforms they are on, it’s time to interact.
Follow the brands, businesses, individuals that you’d like to work for - it’s a good way to stay on top of what they’re doing and find out the latest news and updates. Like, comment, share their posts and services to put yourself in front of them, and more importantly, begin to connect and be a familiar face.
Social media best practices tell you to follow the 80/20 rule. For 80% of your content, create value for your audience. It could be how-to guides, insights, hot takes, and other valuable information that other people a.k.a. prospective clients find useful is a great way to create good standing and a space of your own in the digital world. For the other 20%, sell your services, products, ideas. As you position yourself to be a thought leader, it will help provide the social proof people need to buy into you as a freelancer or small business and keep them returning to your page and/or purchasing your product or services.
Social Media is a Powerful Tool
Creating authentic and meaningful connections, warming up potential clients, curating your digital space, gaining a large following and achieving success won’t happen overnight. Building up your social profiles will take time and dedication, so be prepared for the long haul. It’s worth it. Just ask Nick.