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#FreelanceFriday: Finding Clients Through Social Media

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  • Tip Bones

What's up, Folks?

This week, I got a lot of questions about finding clients as a freelancer. How do you reach out to them? What tools can you use to find new leads? And most importantly: can social media help? I'm here to answer your questions, so let's get started.

Most of the questions I received centered around whether or not social media should be part of the client base building process at all. Every small business owner knows that they need a Facebook page for their business, and some even interact on Twitter and other platforms. While this is important from a marketing standpoint, I argue that your time spent managing your brand presence online shouldn't be limited to creating and sharing relevant content and chatting with fans and other businesses. You can actually use the platforms you engage with to find more work. And that's what building a freelance empire is all about!

But how? Do you send private messages to users you think might be interested in your brand? You could, but that's not using your time in the most effective way. What's great about social media is that it keeps you connected to people you know, and to events that might interest you. Check that 'events' section regularly, because you might just find a networking or sales event that you can get into, sometimes even for free! These events are a chance to make your brand persona come to life, and give out your card. I'm sure I don't need to tell you savvy freelancers that the more relevant networking you can do, the more clients may find you! You can also use platforms to look up former colleagues or classmates in the same field, and see if they have recommendations, or even a lead or two for you!

HOW you interact online makes a big difference, too. If you 'cold call,' that is, send out mass emails or private messages in order to get attention, you'll probably get binned more often than not. And if you spend your time in online communities posting your #pleasebuyfromme spiels, you're probably not going to get more than a few eye rolls. Consider seeking out people looking for answers to questions in your industry. Somebody already looking for solutions will be more open to your pitch after you've helped them out. Just be sure to be tactful: a sales pitch in comments sections should look like a conversation, not a marketing strategy.

Finally, USE YOUR ANALYTICS. Track what people are engaging the most with your posts. Are your fans overwhelmingly female? Cater to those ladies! Popular in ages 18-25? Start thinking younger. Learn what your fans like to see most through what they like and view more often, and what other brands they enjoy. This will help you target your online marketing to find clients more directly. Use the tools that platforms already provide you to track where you're hitting or missing your engagement goals, and start raking in those sweet, sweet leads.

That's it for this week! Tune in next time, and drop me a line at [email protected] if you have a topic you think should be featured on #FreelanceFriday!