7 Social Media Channels Freelance Creatives Should Keep In Their Marketing Toolbox To Attract Clients And Employers
Utilising social media as a freelancer/small business can be a profitable marketing strategy. Using it effectively enables you to find, engage with and bring in clients. There are a lot of social media channels out there so picking the right ones to utilise can be tricky, there’s a number of points to consider when choosing.
- Business Offerings. What is it you offer? What’s the best way for you to show off your services online? Is it through blogs, videos, photography or something entirely different?
- Time. How much time do you have to set aside for focussing on social media marketing? Different channels require different investments of time, we discuss channels below requiring little time to lots of time.
- Budget. Are you looking to run paid marketing campaigns? If so, what channel would be best suited for you? Which channel is home to the most people in your targeted demographic?
We’ve summarised a selection of popular social media channels you may consider using for your business with a few quick reasons about how they could be valuable to you.
It’s an open video platform (like Youtube, but ad-free), used by over 80 million people (as of May 2019). In fact, their revenue model is based on subscription plans which you can check out here. What’s great about it is that it’s more of a professional tool given its features (ad-free, supports 4K video, privacy, collaboration, etc…), and the community includes a whole network of professional creatives which you can interact with. Just check out the difference in comments on Vimeo vs. those on Youtube: the community is a lot more supportive and/or constructive in regards to people’s work. Their own staff hand picks videos which they feature on a dedicated page, and they even have their own yearly awards.
With the largest combination of demographics of any social media platform through it’s 1 billion users Facebook is a great marketing tool and a must-have for any business. Additionally, Facebook is actually the largest English social media network. So if you’re UK based then you’d be silly to miss out.
Facebook is also home to thousands of groups and communities which you can join and use to distribute your offerings to people directly in the space you want to target, you could also utilise these groups to network with professionals in a similar industry to yours.
Creating a business page is very simple and allows you to share any content type to your network, from short snappy posts to long videos, to the latest offers. It also lets you message potential customers directly. Awesome!
With roughly 215 million active users Twitter constantly proves itself a great place to connect with existing and potential customers. To reach your audience you have to ‘Tweet’. A tweet is you updating your network with an up-to 280 character message, short and sweet for those of you who don’t like writing long posts or articles!
Twitter utilises a #hashtag system which allows for your tweets (or other accounts tweets) to be discovered by people searching for a said hashtag, hence Twitter can be a great way to reach larger markets who are already showing an interest in your content by exploring content around a certain hashtag.
Both Twitter and Facebook require relatively minimal time with regards to posting and scheduling content. Using a powerful tool such as Buffer allows you to schedule your content to be posted at pre-specified times weeks in advance so you can sit back and let the content run through its schedule.
Instagram is the visual marketing platform where photo and video content is used for connecting your profile with existing and potential customers. Think of Instagram as window shopping but on your phone or tablet, where photos bring your products or services to life. The rapid growth of Instagram (its engagement rates that are 58 times higher than on Facebook) is attracting businesses to this social media network.
These high engagement rates are achieved by utilising (like Twitter) Instagram’s powerful hashtag and sharing functionality, you can use up to 30 hashtags on every post and all of these hashtags are searchable and discoverable by people worldwide. Using researched and targeted hashtags allow you to really reach the people who might be interested in your offering or services.
The downside of Instagram is the time needed to run the account in full, creating content takes time, especially when to achieve solid growth you’d need to be posting and interacting with your followers daily.
You can find out more about getting set up on Instagram here.
LinkedIn is you or your businesses online resume, the online equivalent to a corporate/professional style of networking. Building your network by connecting with people is crucial as the platform doesn’t allow you to message people outside of your 3rd connections.
Other users are ranked by their connection type. 1st connections are people you’re directly connected with, 2nd connections are people who you have a mutual connection with and 3rd connections are people who are connected to your 2nd connections.
If you create a profile for your business, LinkedIn is perfect for job-posting and creating a company resume displaying your offers and services. If you create a personal profile, it’s a fantastic way to expose your skills and connect with industry experts locally and worldwide.
More than 100 hours of videos are uploaded to YouTube every single minute and with over 1 billion individual users per month, your target audience simply couldn’t be bigger! If you’re able to showcase your business or your offerings visually then YouTube is the place to be.
There’s a whole spectrum of video types which do extremely well on the platform, these range from educational to top tips, from how-tos to behind the scenes style videos.
You can find out more here about getting set up and started on YouTube.
42% of online women use Pinterest so the reach towards the female demographic on Pinterest is undeniable!
It’s similar in essence to Instagram in that it’s a visual platform designed for sharing images so once again if you have striking imagery around your business or offer then this could be the platform for you. You store images on boards and can create as many boards as you like. Clicking on an image links directly to a website, so Pinterest is well proven to generate very high-quality traffic, especially in the e-Commerce space.
Pinterest primarily is best for businesses or individuals in the fashion, travel, design or beauty sectors, however, is widely used by people in creative industries too.
In conclusion, I’d recommend you utilise social media platforms wisely: the more social media platforms you use and/or time you spend managing and optimising your online presence, the longer you’re going to have to spend focusing on marketing your business (from occasionally handling everything yourself, up to building a marketing team).
Your core channels are Facebook, Twitter and Instagram and I’d argue that these are a must. Pinterest is a super cool way for creatives to distribute their content, in comparison to LinkedIn which is a lot more corporate. Ultimately, it’ll come down to the kind of client you’re looking to find, LinkedIn is a great way to target corporates businesses, with Pinterest and Instagram giving you the option to rather reach out target individuals. If you’ve had experience using certain social media platforms, then please let us know in the comments below what has, hasn’t worked for you, what you’d be tempted to give a try and why!