Social Media tips for writers from the Freelancer’s Toolbox


Social MediaSocial media can be a real productivity destroyer, but Rebecca Coleman says that freelancers just need to learn how to use it well in order to reap its many benefits. At the Freelancer’s Toolbox seminar in Vancouver earlier this month, Coleman — a blogger, teacher and freelance PR specialist — said that writers should be using social networks in three different ways:

  1. as a source of information
  2. to give your freelance pieces extended life
  3. to build your personal brand as a writer/reporter

Here’s some of the advice she offered on how to accomplish those things without letting the social media monster take over your writing life:

• Figure out how much time you have to devote to social media, decide which platforms work best for you and spend your time there.

• Be consistent. Post consistently and every day. If you can’t, then hold off on social media until you’re in a position to be consistent.

• Define your personal brand in 3 words. What are the top three things you want people to know you for? These are the things you should be posting about on all of your platforms.

• Own your name and brand it across all of the social networks you use.

• Find a balance between content creation vs. content curation. Posting good content gives you expert status even if it’s not something you created yourself.

• There has to be a mix of personal and professional in your social media presence in order for you to create a personal brand. You have to share parts of you the person, not just you the reporter. Show some imperfections, they make you more human and more likeable.

• Try to keep your tone positive overall.

• Don’t auto-post. Tailor your information to each platform — this makes you look like a real person, not a robot. Scheduling posts is fine, though, and Hootsuite works well for that.

• Create evergreen content — stories that don’t expire because they were related to a specific time. You can keep going back and tweeting these kinds of posts it even if they’re older.

• Use pretty images with your blog posts, they work well on Pinterest and Facebook.

• If you’ve written a blog post, tweet about it several times a day or over the next few days. Put a fresh hook into every tweet. Change it a little every time you post it.


And for freelancers who are looking for a way to stand out, Coleman had an unusual suggestion: put together a short one minute video introduction to post on your website. A video, she said, lets people get to know you on another level.


Which of the social networks have you found most useful to your freelance business? Do you find social media a productivity sucker or a useful tool?


Posted on November 21, 2013 at 9:05 am by editor · · Tagged with: , , ,

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