Finding clients can be one of the most daunting things you’ll face as a freelancer, new or established. It can often feel like clients are like the holy grail… you know they exist, but have no idea where to find them.
Enter social media. Social media provides a much easier way to connect with potential clients and allows you to showcase the work that you’re doing on a regular basis.
The issue that many people can find with social media is knowing when to draw the line about sharing personal information via professional social media profiles. The key is to maintain a personal tone but not divulge on personal details. So you can keep it friendly, but you don’t need to mention the break up with your ex or the silly things you got up to over the weekend.
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Before you jump on your fav social media platform, there’s a few things you should know to be effective on each one. For freelancers, that means following a few key principles.
Most Effective Social Media Platforms for Finding Clients
Facebook is a great way to market yourself online using your personal profile. But, you need to keep your personal and professional networks separate, so it might be better to set up a professional Facebook page instead and move your followers to connect with you there.
By all means, promote yourself via your personal network, but have once you start connecting with someone, send them to your Facebook page instead.
Facebook can be a minefield of awkward photos and inappropriate posts, don’t make the mistake of getting too personal with your clients.
Lise's Tip: Send a private message to some key people in your personal profile network. Tell them what you're doing and ask if they can help by mentioning your services to anyone they think would be a good fit, or ask them to share your new Facebook page with their friends as well.
The key to making this work is to ensure that you know these people personally or that you've at least helped them in some way in the past.
As a freelancer, this is your number one social media platform. It’s where your online resume and professional network connect and because it’s business orientated in the first place, it’s one of the best social networking platforms available to find clients on.
Start by ensuring your profile is up-to-date and showcases your freelancing skill. Link to your portfolio where applicable. Once you’re profile is humming, then you’re ready to start joining some groups that are relevant to your niche.
Next, search potential companies that you want to work with and connect with them on their other social media platforms as well. Be seen. When the time comes, you’ll be in a ‘warm’ position to pitch them if you do this.
This is one of my fav platforms for connecting with people, both clients and colleagues. You can have some great discussions about your work here and talk about industry trends.
It’s also a great way to find potential clients, particularly when you understand how powerful the hashtag really is. Search hashtags on Twitter to find people who are looking for help from people with your specific skill set. You’ll be pleasantly surprised at just how many people take to Twitter looking for a recommendation for a specific service.
Don’t be spammy though. Social media is about building connections and relationships, fail to do this and you’ll always be met with silence.
Google+ is more about sharing your work and your thoughts because whatever you share on Google+ will show up in a Google search as well, which is why this is so powerful from an SEO perspective.
Share your blog posts, social media images, thoughts on industry news etc on this platform. While you won’t directly find clients here, if someone is searching for your skill and you’ve properly tagged each of your posts, then you’ll show up in a Google search above a website, how cool is that?
Before you jump on Instagram, think about whether it’s a good fit for your freelancing business to be here. Instagram is a very visual platform, so you need to be prepared to be sharing images/videos more than written words.
Instagram is a unique way to connect with and find clients, in an indirect way. Connect with others in your field and see if there are ways that you can collaborate together. Share projects you’re working on (where you can) and show your personality. This is the perfect platform for any creative freelancer.
It’s About the Content…
Attracting clients to your social media accounts is all about the type of content you share and how active you are on that platform. The more active you are on a platform, the more likely you’ll be there to maximise on opportunities. Keep this in mind when considering the social media platforms you’ll use in your freelancing business.
Do you use social media in your business to connect with clients? If you do, share your strategies below!