Using Social Media to Find Freelance Writing Opportunities

You can read hundreds of articles online listing the latest and greatest websites to find freelance writing opportunities. These can be a great client resource pool, but often you will find clients expecting to pay less and expect more. Using social media to find freelance writing opportunities is a great alternative to these sites.

For example, I maintain an up-to-date LinkedIn profile and a Twitter account with over 350 followers, as well as this blog! One example of a client that I have now is Hipmunk. Thanks to my social media presence and passion for travel, I have been writing for their #HipmunkCityLove campaign for a few months, and love every post! To find great opportunities like Hipmunk, here are few social media tactics you need to start using.

Use the Same Professional Headshot

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You want your headshot to be the same on all your social profiles. This is a branding move so you are instantly recognizable. Don’t use any old photo from a family gathering or a night out. Invest in a professional photographer to take a decent headshot.

Update Your LinkedIn Profile

Via Flickr clasesdeperiodismo

Via Flickr clasesdeperiodismo

Proudly proclaim you are a freelance writer in your title, and summarize your experience and how long you have been a writer in your summary. I recommend putting your contact information and all of your social profiles in the summary section as well.

Complete your work history, but make it more freelance-geared. If you had a past job that influences your freelance career, feel free to put it in. However, I want you to focus on freelancing clients, provided you have not signed a non-disclosure agreement. List the major clients you have worked for and what exactly you did for them. A huge client list on LinkedIn is impre

Get Active on Twitter

Via Flickr by mkhmarketing

Via Flickr by mkhmarketing

LinkedIn is known as the job recruiting social platform, but I have found some of my biggest clients from Twitter. Other clients have been so impressed with my presence on Twitter that they have hired me from it! The key is to be active. Post at least two times a day. Half of your Tweets should be your thoughts or opinions on the freelance industry or a subject you commonly write about. The other half should be a combination of talking to industry professionals and fellow freelance writers, as well as sharing your content. More on that later.

Write to Self-Promote

Via Flickr by danpeerflix

Via Flickr by danpeerflix

Start writing blogs and LinkedIn Pulse articles about the freelance industry, business advice based on your experience, tips for focusing when working from home, work-life balance, or whatever else pertains to the life of a freelancer. Even though you are not getting paid to write these articles, they showcase your knowledge and who you are. Often, you will receive clients based on your posts!

Share Your Publications

Via Flickr Book Work Laser & Design

Via Flickr Book Work Laser & Design

Not only should you share any blogs or LinkedIn Pulse articles you write, but you should also share every publication with your name in the byline. Showing that clients have hired you to write for them is a big recommendation for your services.

Once you know how to master social media, you can get away from those low-paying freelance sites and start finding better clients.

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The Four Keys to Finding Better Freelance Opportunities

Becoming a freelance writer is extremely tough, especially when you are new and starting out. Whether you are unemployed, testing the waters while maintaining a full or part-time job, or just out of college and having trouble with the job market, freelancing is exciting but full of the unknown. The first and continual difficult hurdle is finding freelance opportunities.

Even as an established freelance writer, finding writing opportunities is something I struggle with. One of my favorite clients I write for, Hipmunk, has given me more insight into what it takes to find these opportunities with amazing clients that respect who you are as a writer. I have been writing for their #HipmunkCityLove campaign, and have enjoyed every minute. With this experience in mind, here are four ways to find freelance opportunities with outstanding and respectful clients like Hipmunk!

Build a Portfolio

Image via Pixabay User fill

Image via Pixabay User fill

The most important first step to find the best freelance opportunities is to build a great portfolio. This is tricky when you are just starting out. A good way to build your portfolio from scratch is to give away your writing skills free. Ask to guest blog without pay to blogs you love online, a friend or family’s blog, or a local business’ blog. While you won’t receive payment, you get experience and your name out on the Internet. It is easy to direct potential freelance clients to your expansive portfolio online with these links.

Write About Anything

Image via Pixabay User annazuc

Image via Pixabay User annazuc

Many freelance writers feel they need to set themselves up in a niche industry and never leave to be successful. This is a myth. You don’t have to write for a certain industry or topic to be sellable. Write for whoever and whatever you feel comfortable writing about. As long as you write it well and present yourself as knowledgeable, future freelance clients will take a chance on you based on skill alone, even if you aren’t an expert in their industry.

Decide What You Are Worth

Image via Pixabay User titidianita

Image via Pixabay User titidianita

Notice I said decide what you are worth, not what price you think clients can afford. I went through the tough times where I sold my skills for pennies. While these were educational opportunities and helped me build my portfolio, I also had a tough time paying the bills. I knew I was worth more, but didn’t have the confidence to tell clients I was. I thought I would get solid rejections and get paid nothing as opposed to pennies.

This is a wrong way of thinking, and it takes much courage to overcome it. Do some research about what freelance writers with your similar experience and education charge, then tailor that for your specific skill set. Stick to your guns on this price! Clients who are respectful and awesome (like Hipmunk!) will pay what you are worth because they understand the great investment you are getting.

Love What You Do

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Image via Pixabay User TheAngryTeddy

The most important thing to remember when searching for freelance opportunities is to show your passion and enthusiasm for the project. Only apply to jobs from clients you love and are excited about. If you don’t find an interest in it, the client will see it reflected in your work and you will not enjoy yourself. The whole point of freelancing is pursuing a career you love, so make sure you love every client you write for!

3 Amazing Twitter Hashtag Campaigns

I have been writing for Hipmunk, a travel booking company that gives awesome city and hotel reviews, with excellent deals for every destination. The experience has been so much fun, and I have admired theirĀ #HipmunkCityLove campaign on Twitter. Their campaign encourages everyone to share their favorite cities they have traveled to, or what they love about their own city. Not only is it fun to share, but people who are looking for their next escape get a real look at what makes each destination so great!

The #HipmunkCityLove campaign made me think about other great hashtag campaigns. Every brand wants to start an excellent hashtag campaign that captures interest, commentary, and shares of its target audience. Many times, these hashtags flop miserably. This raises the question: what makes up a great hashtag campaign? Here are three examples of great hashtags from brands, and why they were successful.

#soirritating

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Unlike many hashtag campaigns that brands start, Edge Shave Gel started the #soirritating hashtag without any real mention of their brand name or product description. They pointed out how irritating it was to get razor burn and other nuisances from bad razors or shaving gel. They invited everyone else on Twitter to post what irritated them the most, even unrelated to shaving!

Edge even tried to solve their problems by sending people different products to make their irritation go away. For example, one woman said her husband refusal to wear his hearing aid was #soirritating. In response, Edge sent her a megaphone to use to speak with him.

The brand realized you could not have much conversation around shaving, and social media is all about talking. Opening their brand to allow the audience to share irritations about their day or life, gave them many new customers. Much like having a friend complain about aspects of life, these followers became forever fans of the shaving gel company.

#kindofabigdeal

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To celebrate their partnership with Verizon Wireless, RadioShack hosted a hashtag campaign titled #kindofabigdeal. What made this hashtag unique was that RadioShack conducted it in real-time! RadioShack placed a bunch of Verizon phones on a table. Anytime someone Tweeted with the #kindofabigdeal hashtag, the phones would vibrate in response. All the vibration caused a phone to fall of the table and the Tweeter that caused that last vibration won the phone. Not only did people win a free phone by participating, both brands received a ton of Tweets and attention.

#tweetfromtheseat

CHARMINYES

Thanks to that little fudge pile emoticon on so many phones these days, talking about “bathroom time” has become the norm. Charmin, makers of crazy-soft toilet paper, took advantage of the open bathroom conversation with their hashtag #tweetfromtheseat. They encouraged people to start Tweeting during their regular bathroom schedule with the hashtag, and it had a great response!

The hashtag did so well because Charmin took advantage of their fun and quirky brand personality to create a campaign. The language is full of funny doublespeak and insinuations, all the while telling their audience to take an action (which they gladly did!). What made it more successful was the six best potty Tweets using the hashtag won tickets to the Superbowl.

Each of these campaigns introduced innovation into the hashtag world. These campaigns were not simply asking people to talk about something. Instead, they did something different in a space that social media conversations do not happen in.