Advertising Option: Social Networking for Freelancers

In addition to traditional advertising, freelancers may want to consider social networking to promote their services and products. This guest post is written by Derek Kirk, a freelance travel writer and copy editor.

When I started pursuing my freelance career, all I could think about was getting out of the office. At first, it didn’t occur to me how much networking was actually taking place across the tops of cubicles and at the water cooler. When you make the leap to working from home, you miss out on serious networking potential, and you have to supplement this one way or another. Luckily, there are social networking communities for freelancers.

The Giants of Social Media

Take a moment and consider the following: China is the world’s most-populous country, with more than 1.3 billion residents, and India is right behind it with just over 1.2 billion. If Facebook were a nation-state and its netizens were bona fide citizens, then it would be the world’s third-most-populous country. Not only that, it would weigh in with three times as many residents as the real third-place holder, the United States.

Any business worth its salt is leveraging Facebook and Twitter for all they are worth. So what’s this mean to the average freelancer? If you’re anything like me, it probably means you’re not doing nearly enough to get your message out there.

Social Media for Freelancers

Using massive sites to connect with your target clients is too crucial to overlook. But there are smaller, more focused sites that are well worth your time if you work from home. Sites like these are a lot easier to navigate than the United States of Facebook.

I’m a freelance travel writer, but I’m no social media guru. That’s why I appreciate smaller networks that are targeted specifically to people who are pitching, reviewing and purchasing services similar to those that I offer. Connecting with these people makes it easier to get in touch with potential clients and lets me to keep an eye on the competition. I’ve also had a lot more luck finding work on freelance jobs directories than I have just pounding the pavement or cold calling.

The Value of Connecting to Other Freelancers

I can’t count the number of times my own clients have asked me if I can recommend a graphic designer or web designer who can help with a project I’m writing up for them. With that in mind, the most attractive feature of an online freelancer’s community is the opportunity to team up with other remote workers whose services complement my own.

Now, passing work to a friend or colleague is just common courtesy. But I say, why pass the work off, when you can bring it into your own fold? I’ve gone so far as to team up with a graphic designer that I met online. I know his rates, and he knows mine. Let’s say he’s working up a logo for one of his clients, who would also like to have a bit of well-written copy for a brochure. He tells them that’s a service that his company can offer. Then he sends me the specs, I do the work, and he pays me. Of course, I return the favour every chance I get.

Best of all, the client couldn’t be happier. They’re getting a turnkey solution with everything from logos and layouts to web design and content through a single provider. They pay one fee (that takes all of our rates into account) and they only have to correspond with one project manager.

For me, that’s the magic of social media for freelancers. Clients are happier because the process is simpler, and freelancers like me are able to maximise their exposure by connecting with complementary, non-competing service providers.

Derek Kirk is a freelance travel writer and copy editor based in Thailand. Connect to him on his favourite freelancers’ social media site.

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