The two major drivers of the freelance market today are online marketplaces and social media. These relatively new technologies are making freelance work more accessible and more productive. Independent workers now have a playing field to promote their skills and find paying work.
As freelancing becomes a preferred lifestyle choice for more workers around the world due to the COVID-19 outbreak, the freelance economy continues to grow.
Recently, Payoneer a global payment company surveyed over 7,000 freelancers from 150 countries to gain some insight into the freelance market and trends. The survey provided unique insights into how these freelancers operate, what makes them successful and how much they charge for their service. The survey also provided insights into which social media platforms freelancers used and that contribute the most to their success.
Which social media platforms do you think offers the most work opportunities for freelancers? Take a guess in the comment below. You’ll be amazed that it’s not the ones you think that make the top three.
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The competition in the freelance market is huge. So as a freelancer, you want to go where the market is. Counting down from number 3, here are the top 3 social media platforms for freelancers.
Instagram has quickly grown to become the third-largest social media network in the world behind Facebook and YouTube; and its 1 billion active users are highly engaged. An audience this large could be a goldmine for your business. But you need to use Instagram effectively to get the most from your marketing efforts.
As a matter of fact, Instagram has the most significant growth over the past two years for freelancers. About 21 percent of freelancers are using Instagram to build their online presence and to get new work, compared to 12 percent two years ago. This may come as a surprise since many people think of Instagram as a place for posting vanity pictures and day dreaming. As a result, you may not have looked in this direction to grow your freelance career.
Instagram has a higher engagement rate than Facebook and Twitter, which means that users are more likely to interact with your Instagram content. For personal use, Instagram serves as an excellent distraction and entertainment tool. But for a freelance business, you need to approach it in a more tactical manner. When you consider the popularity of the app and how many hours people (and potential clients!) spend on it, you’ll realize that could be worth making it work for you.
Instagram has become such a phenomenal success that many freelancers have turned it into their own professional blog. They post content that consistently positions them as professionals and experts in their field. The more people identify them with what they do, the more freelance projects they are able to land.
To make Instagram work for you, you have to start using the platform professionally. Here some tips to help you make the best of Instagram as a freelancer.
Create a business account: Business profiles get access to Instagram’s Insights tool, which gives you analytics tools to track the reach and engagement with your posts. You can see the demographics of your followers; along with the hours and days they’re most active.
Write a great bio: Your Instagram bio will be the first impression people form of your business when they come across you. Use it strategically to attract visitors and direct exposure to your website or portfolio. Within the bio area, you can use up to 150 characters to explain to your clients what your freelance brand is about.
Post text-based Images for longer messages: Instagram is a visual medium, and the text you write within your posts will have less impact than the visual itself. If you want to promote a specific product or service, or update your audience on a special promotion, create a text-based image. Include your logo and text, communicating your message.
Engage, don’t sell: this generally applies to using any social media platform. The best way to succeed in social media is to create compelling content that engages users. Social media is a powerful sales platform, but people don’t visit social media to be sold to.
Post video content often: Research shows that Instagram videos receive 38% more engagement and more than twice the amount of comments as still photos. The video will also help set your brand apart.
Develop a Visual Brand: Your brand should be known for a particular visual style in its Instagram posts. This helps create a brand identity on the platform and makes your content immediately recognizable to your audience.
Decide your primary goals for using the platform. It may be a combination of increasing traffic to your website; promoting your brand and or increasing sales. You may also consider working with influencers to jumpstart your brand and get in front of potential clients. Learn how other people have achieved success on the platform and model their strategy while testing out your own style.
LinkedIn is the second most popular and most effective social media platform for freelancers. 28 percent or less than a third of the 7,000+ freelancers use LinkedIn to build their online presence and attract new jobs. If you haven’t considered LinkedIn as a valuable option to attract paying clients, you may want to give it a try.
Most people simply create and forget their LinkedIn profiles. Having a LinkedIn profile is a good first step, but it isn’t enough to help freelancers grow their business. On LinkedIn, freelancers can do a number of things on a daily basis to build their visibility, engage with relevant companies, and demonstrate their expertise to companies looking for a new contractor.
Don’t be afraid to do a little self-promotion of the work you’ve been doing, as well as sharing content related to your field and expertise. Also take time to engage with content shared by other people in your network, commenting on posts and engaging in a dialogue.
Send personal Inmail and connection requests to prospects; influencers, and business executives. And take time to connect with them in a meaningful way. Reach out to people who view your page. It’s likely they are looking for potential freelancers or job candidates. Overall, read further on how to make LinkedIn work for you as a freelancer and a professional.
Now, for the number one social media freelancers use to build their online presence and get new clients.
More than a third of the freelancers use Facebook to promote their work. This shouldn’t come as a surprise since Facebook is still the social media with the largest number of users.
Facebook has multiple marketing avenues for freelancers and professionals to attract clients, namely, your personal Facebook profile, your official Facebook Page, relevant Facebook groups, and Lead Ads.
With a Facebook Group, you can build a community or tribe around your area of expertise, establish yourself as an authority in that field, and potentially get repeat and new freelance jobs. You can also use Facebook for your lead generation campaigns.
The method you use will depend on the nature, demands, and requirements of the service you provide. When done well, Facebook marketing can augment your brand building, networking, and lead generation efforts like no other channel.
Another interesting take from the survey is that just 9 percent and 13 percent of freelancers use YouTube and Twitter respectively to build their online presence and clientele. This does not mean that these platforms are not effective for freelancers. It’s possible that the majority of freelancers are yet to figure out how to use these platforms to generate consistent work. That makes it an opportunity for those who can crack the code to experience huge income.
If you want to make the most of your freelance career, consider using a combination of the social media platforms that suits you rather than trying to be everywhere. Its better to be great at one platform than to be mediocre at all of them. I hope you found this video helpful. If so, like and share it with someone. If you are yet to subscribe to After School TV, now is a good time to hit the subscribe button. Until next time, YOUR SUCCESS MATTERS!