So this week’s blog was going to be about LinkedIn and why it was important for freelancers to take a look at it, but then Fuel Your Writing had an awesome article about whether or not writers should delve into fan fic writing. And I was torn, but as I have made a stand to blog four times a week, today’s post will be all professional and talk about how social media can help you and then tomorrow I’ll go all writing and talk to you all about fan fics. So here we go!
Social media is crazy hip right now. Everything from Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, You Tube, etc, everyone’s keeping connected by the world of the Internet. As a beginner freelancer, no matter what your chosen area, having a presence online is uber important. But why? You may think all that social network hype is good for businesses and teenagers, but how as a freelance does any of that impact you?
It’s simple – social networking brings you and your work to a broader audience. While doing projects gets your name out, nothing gets people to see more of your work than posting on a place where others upon others will see it. Facebook has hit the 500 million mark of those who are on it and use it. That’s 500 million folks that can see your website or portfolio of your work.
I get it, I do. When the whole MySpace and Facebook war started, I said “who cares?” They are both places where teens go when they aren’t doing homework or something useful (no offense to the teens out there).
But eventually, I broke down and got a MySpace page because I had friends on it. Sadly, of course, I haven’t been on my MS page in forever, but from a business experience, there is an impact of having a page dedicated to your business or brand.
Earlier this week, I completed the social network circle by making a LinkedIn page. I’ve just started it of course, so not sure how much of a benefit that I can gain while on it. During Thanksgiving holiday, one of my Twitter followers, Becki Sams tweeted a question – what did we, as freelancers, find more productive? Twitter or Facebook? From the responses, mine included, it seemed that folks felt that Twitter was a better way to getting out to a ton of people.
So as a beginning freelancer, which site is better? That if of course personal preference. I personally am using Twitter as more of a professional networking place, meeting other freelancers and writers. With the exception of some friends and He Who Must Not Be Named (because he was sending DEs out to protect Betty White, which is paramount in protecting comedy as we know it), the majority of people I’m following or who are following me are freelancers or writers. I’ve also made friends with some in Denver, while I will hopefully be in 2011.
Personally, Facebook, for me is more personal and private. The majority of friends are on that site and I’ll admit, anything kinda goes on my Facebook page. That said, I don’t want professionals or businesses to view my Facebook page. In fact, I don’t even have people from Twitter on my FB page (unless they are friends).
The important thing here is to choose just one of the social networks around. Don’t expect that you’ll be picking up contracts and work like a snap, however it means that you can start to get your name out if you haven’t already. All of the social networks allow for people who follow one person to see who that person follows and in turn, follow them if they so choose. And so on and so on. As a beginner, it’s important to get your name out, so that when you get to be big and famous, people can say “I knew you before the fame.”
On the weekend, as we enter the holiday season and new year, I’ll discuss my favorite thing ever – finances *please insert eye roll and sarcasm* Tomorrow, it about fan fiction!