In fact, 71% of all online adults use Facebook.
In March of 2013 Facebook said they had 1.11 billion people using their social network every month! Even Twitter – the network of short 140 character posts – claimed 645,750,000 active users in 2013. And, the social network for professionals – LinkedIn – reported more than 259 million acquired users as of June 2013.
Surely you agree that’s a staggering amount of people you could share your message with. That’s why more service providers, entrepreneurs, marketers, and freelancers than ever are levering the power of marketing through social media.
Social media is a great way to market to potential clients and it doesn’t have to take long. In fact, you can build your network and spread your influence to potential clients in just a few minutes each day.
The key is using social media effectively.
Get More Clients From Social Media By Using It Effectively
My social media presence has provided more than enough leads for it to be well worth my carefully managed time.
But, when you want to get more clients from social media, think of your efforts as a trickle effect … your goal should be to build relationships with your followers and potential clients over time – not immediately.
In fact, don’t create a Twitter account – or any other social media profile – and expect an instant and loyal following to appear. It takes time and effort to build and expand your sphere of influence.
That’s why it’s important to develop a strategy for your social media marketing efforts. Without a strategy you could be spending a lot of time trying to market to social media users and see very little results.
Here are 6 tips to help you plan your strategy and grow your sphere of influence on social media in less than 15 minutes per day:
1. Choose your platform and set up an account.
Before you begin you need to choose a platform. To do this find out where your ideal clients or customers are hanging out. Is it Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, or a more professional network like LinkedIn? Whatever the answer, focus your efforts there.
Of course you don’t have to rely solely on one social media platform. You can find qualified clients on any of them. But don’t bite of more than you can chew. It’s best to manage one account really well then multiple accounts in a mediocre fashion.
Setting up your chosen social media platform is simple. Some accounts are so easy to create that you can login with existing accounts from other platforms. For example, you can create a Pinterest account by logging in with your email or Facebook account.
2. Optimize your account.
Setting up the account may be a breeze, but you also need to optimize your account with your information to make your profile attractive to potential clients. Fill out your bio and details completely. Use a nice professional photo of yourself that still shows a little personality.
Remember to use your keywords so people searching for your services can find you. For instance, if you’re a freelance nature photographer you might want to mention that. Finally, don’t forget your URL in your bio. People will want to learn more about you without having to search.
LinkedIn makes this easy by telling you how strong your profile is. As an example, this is my husband’s before and after profile strength after just five minutes of working on his LinkedIn profile:
3. Post or share something relevant to your audience.
Daily is best, but 3-4 times a week can work. Just make sure you’re posting enough to stay engaged. Also, you’ll likely find that joining the conversation on social media will get you a lot more traction than simply sharing your own stuff.
Simply set up an account. Then, when you run across something you want to share, hit the Buffer button and schedule it to post to your social media. There’s also a Buffer extension for Google Chrome so you can add social media updates directly from your browser. Just remember to check back in later and join the conversations you start.
Need some ideas for shareable content?
How about talking about a conference, webinar, or event you attended? Share something you learned and mention the speakers to help boost your social currency.
Also, share links to information or tools your ideal clients will find useful. For instance, this post by Home Depot was brand new when I clipped it and already it had one nice, appreciative comment:
4. Connect with other freelancers and people relative to your industry.
Many social media networks will recommend that you follow popular people – like celebrities. However, even though they have a lot of followers, their posts may be completely irrelevant to you and your target audience.
Instead, connect with people you admire, colleagues, other freelancers or companies you’d love to work with, and your ideal customers. For instance, if you’re a social media marketer interested in working with Bidsketch maybe your first step should be to connect with them on social media and send them a persuasive sales proposal.
5. Pay it forward.
People love to be “liked” and shared so be sure to pass along other peoples’ social media updates.
Plus, if you’re sharing updates from a potential client, they’ll have a better chance of remembering you when they need your services.
Here’s a post that has been shared 16 times in 2 hours. It may not seem like a lot, but 16 shares can equal thousands upon thousands of impressions! (And, if your main focus is getting more clients, 16 may be more than you can handle) –
6. Engage (carefully) with your audience.
Thoughtful discussions will certainly help you spread your message, but you must be involved. Commenting on posts and responding to comments shows you’re active and listening. Most social networks will notify you when there’s a new comment on a discussion you’re involved in.
Be helpful and avoid highly divisive subjects – unless that’s your thing. Here’s an example:
In 2012, KitchenAid posted this tweet, “Obamas gma even knew it was going 2 b bad! She died 3 days b4 he became president. #nbcpolitics” went viral.
The tweet was quickly blamed on an employee accidentally tweeting it through KitchenAid’s account and not their personal account, but either way, KitchenAid posted this apology on social media afterward:
If you aren’t managing your social media accounts personally, be sure the person who is is careful, reliable, and strategic!
By following these strategies above and dedicated a few minutes each day to my accounts, I’ve seen significants returns. Not only are influential people in my industry mentioning me and sharing my stuff, but my social media strategy has also brought client referrals, inbound leads, and great paying projects! These are freelance projects and income I know I wouldn’t have received without my social media presence.
So what about you? Are you marketing your freelance services through social media? If so, we’d love to hear about your results in the comments below.
If not, why not start today by sharing this article? 🙂