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

headshot1

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 4 Major Trials of Being a Freelance Writer

I live in Kansas City, MO. Our big theme park is called Worlds of Fun. The city and suburbs are buzzing about a new ride the park bought РSteel Hawk. Not because everyone is clamoring to ride it, however. Apparently the park bought the ride really cheap from another theme park because of its issues and multiple deaths associated with it. Some daredevils are willing to risk life and limb to ride it and prove how brave they are. Most are upset the park chose to buy a ride that is unpredictable and unsafe.

That is what being a freelance writer is like. You are willing to risk everything to get the benefits of freelance writing and only truly understand the danger once you are on the ride. The rest of the world doesn’t get why you would ever want to jump on that ride without any security.

I became a freelance writer for a number of reasons. I majored in English with the hopes of having more open career options and to learn the craft of writing as a skill. Employers didn’t see it that way and finding a job in my field where I live proved to be impossible. I wanted to write for a living in some capacity, but at the time no one was hiring writer straight out of college with no field work experience. So, after many different career changes, useless further education, and times of complete poverty, I started to get into freelance writing. It took a year to find a modicum of full-time success and even then work is still an insane roller coaster.

Starting Out

Via Pixabay kropekk_pl

Via Pixabay kropekk_pl

Choosing to become a freelance writer is not easy. You start off spending hours joining job search websites, building profiles, creating websites, working on blogs, pulling together some semblance of a portfolio, and more. After you have started getting jobs (ever so slowly while the bills pile around you), life as a freelance writer only gets harder and crazier.

Striving for Security

Via Pixabay PublicDomainPictures

Via Pixabay PublicDomainPictures

It is very difficult to find clients that stick with you, no matter how great your writing is or how much they love your work. Many of my past clients have posted they need blogs every week only to slowly reduce that number to zero in favor of cheaper writers or different business goals. The only clients I have kept long term are not even related to article or blog writing. I work as a Content Manager, Social Media Manager, and Marketing Strategist for my long term clients and rarely get the opportunity to write anymore. Finding clients that will guarantee payment is extraordinarily difficult, which I outline in my next point.

Working with Unpredictable and Unclear Clients

Via Flickr db Photography  |Demi-Brooke

Via Flickr db Photography |Demi-Brooke

I cannot even tell you how many clients I have gained in the past that fell in love with me and said they wanted more more more of my time. Inevitably, I get excited about their projects and their enthusiasm, put prospects on the back burner, and commit all of my time to them only to be disappointed. I have reserved my time to receive much less work than promised and also have clocked many hours only to never receive payment. This is one of the terrors of being a freelance writer and sadly all too common.

Unclear clients are another huge peril in this career choice. I recently lost a huge client who taught me so much and I really loved working with due to communication barriers. I would give my available times to work only to not receive work or receive panicked messages hours before I was available about why I wasn’t around. I was thrown into an extremely complicated process with zero training and then constantly drawn into angry conference calls about things I did wrong according to the company’s policies. I was also given 4-8 hour tasks without ever being given a due date, only to be messaged angrily an hour after receiving the assignment why it was not complete yet and how I could never accomplish a due date.

The point – even when some opportunities seem spectacular, a huge growth opportunity, and a blessing for your finances, most opportunities are not what they seem. I am trying to come up with a better screening process, but have yet to find something that works. In this field, however, it is impossible to be both cautious and an entrepreneur.

Battling the Worst Timing

Via Pixabay Collage Arts

Via Pixabay Collage Arts

It seems no matter what, I can never get my timing right. And I don’t mean I can’t organize and get all my work done, that part is easy. I mean there are weeks where I have a packed due date list and then I have people headhunting me and reaching out for my services. I often say, “I don’t have time,” and don’t spend as much time with these prospective clients so I gain their business. Then, a week or two later, my clients hold their work or are done with my services and suddenly I have no income and no prospective clients. This causes me to go back to square one and the deadly cycle repeats itself.

This job is not for the faint of heart or those who need financial security. There are so many hurdles and danger to this career choice. But what keeps us freelance writers going is passion for the job. We miss out on having coworkers, grabbing drinks after work, dressing up cute everyday (for my female writers!), financial security, healthcare, a great retirement plan, and even more. But we get to do something we love every single day and that is what is important.

Welcome to the Rebranded, Revamped HS Writing Blog!

Hello followers!

Pink Sherbert Photography 7

Via Flickr Pink Sherbert Photography

I am so sorry for my long, long absence. I gained a client that took up my entire time, which caused me to abandon the blog in the first place, then budget cuts left me with scrambling to find new clients. Currently, I am playing the waiting game for multiple clients and projects to see where I land – a very exciting (and nervewracking!) time for me!

This afternoon, I made time for my blog and came up with this! The rebrand, as you can see, is much simpler than the previous design and name. The main focus of the blog will still be social media marketing (hence the presence of my Twitter banner I am very proud of creating), but I am also branching out to talk about the tips, tricks, and trials of being a freelance writer. Expect a post tomorrow about the world of freelance. I am excited to include this topic since I have never written about it before!

I want to hear what you think of the new blog and want your suggestions on post topics. Now my blog is more accessible for a variety of topics. I am no longer restricted to certain topics to post on certain days, so anything you want to know about I will write for you!

Don’t forget to check out my Contribution Page on my blog! If you want to write a post for the blog, I will include your name and give you full rights to show it off to clients, friends, family, your dog, whoever! I also offer sponsored posts if you want to promote a product, app, software, website, etc.