This post is written by Ben Walker, CEO for Transcription Outsourcing, LLC. They provide transcription services to various business clients all over the United States. Ben was generous to offer up this post on how to use social media to grow your freelance business.
If you plan to run a remote business or offer freelance services, either from your RV or anywhere else, this post will help you understand the best social media practices to promote your business. If you are new to this and looking for freelance ideas, click here to read Top Freelance Jobs for RVers,
Using Social Media To Grow Your Freelance Business
Growing your freelance business using social media is one of the most powerful marketing methods available, and it’s easy to see why. It’s free, it’s accessible, it doesn’t require an enormous learning curve, and it has a built-in audience all ready for you to find.
Social media marketing isn’t only for conventional brick-and-mortar businesses or mega corporations—it’s also an invaluable tool for freelancers who are getting started growing their businesses. As the owner of Transcription Outsourcing, this is something I understand all too well myself.
Using social media to promote and grow your freelance business does require a few specific strategies so that you can actually connect with your audience, make the right impression, and keep them engaged long enough to develop them into clients.
In this post, I’ll take you through some of the most important strategies you need to have in place for your social media marketing to make an impact on your business.
Consider Keywords When Writing Your Profile’s Bio
You may already know that websites are optimized for keywords to ensure that it shows up in search engines like Google or Bing. You need to do the same with your social media channels, optimizing each profile so that it will show up in the platform’s native search engines. This will expand your reach on each platform that you’re on and help you connect with users who are actively looking for you.
Your Facebook Business Page
For some platforms, you may have to guess at what terms you think your audience would use to find you most often. This is true for Facebook in particular, which has a frequently used search engine yet no real way to determine what keywords to optimize for. Choose a mix of broad and specific terms, and put them into your business’s “About Us” section.
Promoted Pins on Pinterest
When it comes to Pinterest, you can take advantage of their Promoted Pin keyword tool even if you never intend to actually run an ad campaign. Proceed through the Promoted Pin creation process until you see the keywords section. Enter in the generic search terms you’re considering using, and take a look at the list of suggestions provided (and their specific search volumes). You can apply these terms to your organic pins.
Search Terms on LinkedIn
When you look at your personal profile on LinkedIn, you’ll have the ability to see what search terms people are using to find you currently. If you notice that the job titles aren’t quite right, take a look at what other titles people are looking for, and see if those fit you better and optimize your profile accordingly. Add keywords to your profile’s tagline, description, and resume sections.
Keywords on YouTube
Ideally, your YouTube videos should even be optimizing for keywords in the video’s title, description, and even the closed captions in the form of an SRT file for search-friendliness. You can learn more about this here.
Keep the Personal Separate from your Freelance Business
It’s common for the lines to be a little bit blurred on social media, especially in the age of authenticity where everyone wants to get to know the real you. It’s important, however, to have a clear and distinct line between personal and professional when you’re deciding what you’re sharing on your professional accounts.
Remember that you can use your personal profiles to talk about your business. Professional accounts need to be more carefully crafted. You really shouldn’t be talking about your craving for that last Diet Coke; instead, focus on showcasing your work, building relationships with clients, and only sharing semi-personal information if you think it could contribute to your brand. An example of this can be seen here:
Before uploading that Snap or your latest Instagram filter, consider how it will impact a client’s perception of you if they see it. And if you are adding clients to your personal profiles, be mindful of the content you post.
Share Industry-Relevant News
Sharing industry-relevant news on your social channels is a great way to foster a community, offer valuable intel to your clients and peers, and establish yourself as an expert in the field—even if you didn’t write the original post!
Take to Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter to share links to the latest information in the industry. I always recommend writing a sentence or two when uploading the post, sharing your thoughts and expertise. This makes users more likely to click, and it shows that you know what you’re talking about, too.
Sharing industry news can work on Instagram, though depending on what the news is, it may be best suited for Stories that can use the “Swipe Up” feature link to send users to another site for more information.
Focus On Community Building and Watch Your Freelance Business Take-Off
It’s important to remember that the point of marketing your freelance business isn’t to scream into a social media void that looks something like a black hole; it’s to establish a community that will stay engaged and benefit your business long term.
Engage with other content, and focus on sharing posts and updates that will generate conversations between you and your clients, and also your clients amongst themselves.
If you choose, you can always go big and create an exclusive Facebook group exclusively for your regular clients. Before doing this, make sure you can offer enough content and value to keep the group sustained.
Tag Clients In Your Work
You’ll naturally want to feature your work on social media; it’s a common part of marketing your business. As long as it doesn’t go against any NDAs or isn’t in bad taste, share that work on social media and make sure you tag your client in it!
Your clients will appreciate the extra boost of attention, and it may motivate them to share, getting you more views in return. This is particularly important on Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Facebook, which all have tagging abilities.
Advertise Your Services & Availability
What’s the point of social media if you never get to advertise what it is that you’re doing, right? While at least 80% of your content on social media should be community-oriented instead of sales focused, that still leaves 20% for promoting your business directly.
Go ahead and mention that you have availability when you have some, and discuss your services and packages in-depth.
On LinkedIn, make sure you add related skills that others can endorse you for.
On Instagram, when you’re promoting any services or availability, use hashtags that are relevant for your industry to get a bigger reach.
Don’t wait for people to come to you; be proactive, following accounts of potential clients or influencers that you want to connect with before they follow you. Go ahead and reach out on LinkedIn with a custom, personalized message explaining exactly why you’re doing so.
Don’t be afraid to send the first message; if you are, there’s a good chance you’ll be waiting for an intro email from those dream clients for a long time because they might not hear of you otherwise.
You should keep the introduction message simple, however. You can use the following example as a template:
“Hi (user name),
My name is (your name) and I’m the owner of (business name). I appreciate (nice thing 1) about your business, and think that I could help with some of my services. If you’re ever interested in connecting, I’d love discussing how I could help you.
Both LinkedIn and Facebook allow you to collect reviews natively on the platform, and they’re readily apparent for all profile visitors to see.
These recommendations are exceptionally powerful; 92% of B2B buyers (which is typically going to be the audience of a freelance business!) are much more likely to purchase after reading a review, and displaying reviews can increase conversion rates by up to 270%.
Ask your clients directly and one-on-one for them to leave a review on your profiles. Once you have them, share them in a post, preferably with an image if possible to garner attention. Tag the client if appropriate and thank them for their kind words.
By the same note, make sure that you’re utilizing any user-generated content coming your way to its fullest advantage. Share it on all your social channels, and put out a call for other customers to share their experiences. If you provide specific instructions telling people exactly what you want them to share, you’d be surprised how effective this can be.
When it comes to growing your freelance business using social media marketing, keep in mind that creating value and establishing relationships are going to be the best way to promote your services.
It can be difficult to build trust as a freelancer, especially with prospective clients or new leads, and this gives you an exceptional opportunity to do exactly that. And the more you do this successfully, the more your audience will be engaging and sharing, which can open you up to even more potential clients along the way.
You can find out more about Ben and his transcription services at Transcription Outsourcing.
*Feature photos credit: Photo by Hans Vivek on Unsplash.