8 Simple Steps to Set Yourself Up on Social Media
Freelancers new to flying solo can be overwhelmed by the mass of marketing opportunities on the web. And while social media is a great way to promote your business, it can be enormously time consuming.
Like any marketing activity, it takes time to build up your brand, but there is no need for promotional work to distract you from your core business. With careful planning, some quality writing and a time limit on your efforts, you can soon have a strong reputation across a large network of potential clients and promoters.
Setting up an online brand can be done quickly by following these simple steps…
1. WRITE A BUSINESS BIO IN 100 WORDS
This gives you a succinct statement about what your business is all about. Include your talents, your achievements, your unique selling point (USP) and what services you provide. Use this as a base biography for the profiles in each media. Be careful to keep your business bio focused and professional. This is the first glimpse your new clients will have of you, so be sure to present the right image.
2. PLAN TO PERSUADE
Design a connection strategy to clarify what you hope to achieve, how and by when. Include a profile of your target connections. These may be potential promoters, customers, existing clients and end users. A simple strategy such as “to engage with ten prospective clients via three media by the end of month two” is all you need to get started. At this stage, simplicity is the key.
3. CHOOSE YOUR WEAPONS OF MASS DISCUSSION
Select three media as your launch pad. Google+ is the latest and comes at the end of a long list which now includes Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, Tumblr and Linkedin to name but a few. Have a look at each of them, then choose the three which are the best means of communicating with your targets.
4. LIMIT YOUR LAUNCH TO THREE ACCOUNTS
You can always add more once you are up and running. Opening an account requires information about you and your business. Use your 100 word bio as the basis and type in your profile. Twitter allows for 250 words. Linkedin has room for pages, plus your resume, but your can start your account there with your basic bio. Google+ is still finding its feet, yet is gathering pace and is similar to Facebook where personal profiles have no limits.
5. POST, COMMENT AND TWEET YOUR UNIQUE SELLING POSITION (USP)
This should be the driver for your communications. Use every opportunity to provide your unique information. On day one with Twitter, post your introductory tweets and follow ten potential clients. On Linkedin, make ten connections. These are generally people who know you and these can be your best promoters. On day one with Facebook or Google+ invite ten people, then post your introductory comments.
6. PLOT YOUR POSTINGS
Create a posting plan so that you have a list of monthly, weekly, and daily tasks. Half an hour each day should be ample to cover your three media. Set targets of how many posts, tweets, comments and connections you intend to make each day and include this task on your daily to do list. Keep a record of statistics and you will be amazed at how quickly you can build a strong following.
7. BUILD CONTENT IN BULK
Thinking up new posts and comments each day can be wearying. And just when you need it, inspiration will abandon you. Instead, write a month’s worth of tweets, postings and blog comments – then drip feed them into your media on a daily basis.
8. ASSESS YOUR SUCCESS
At the end of each month check your progress. Are you reaching target clients? If not, revise the information you are posting. Are you making an impression? Do your followers Retweet your Tweets? Are connections on Linkedin engaging in discussion with you? If not, rethink your strategy.
Before long you will find that your media clout is increasing and your network of interested connections is expanding. And who knows how many followers will convert into paying customers?