Twitter is a great social media resource for any business, freelancing included. It can help you brand yourself, build a network of like-minded users, promote your work, and share news about your business. As the social media manager for three print publications, I spend a fair amount of time on Twitter each day. And I’ve learned a thing or two about Twitter etiquette.
Twitter offers you 140 characters to share information, but there’s much more to it. No matter if you are new to the Twittersphere or you already have a Twitter handle, here are five things that can kill you on Twitter.
Editor’s Note: Skellie is the director for the Envato Tuts+ network and drives the social media promotion for nine brands with over 100,000 Facebook fans. This article is an excerpt from her newest book, Successful Facebook Marketing, sold by Rockable Press.
Your goals with Facebook should not only be to get more Likes and more traffic. One of the first things people learn at Business School is that it costs much more time, energy, and often money to add a new customer than it does to retain an existing customer. Keeping your fans loyal and happy is just as important, if not more important, than finding new fans. For this reason, it’s important to use your Facebook Page to build more loyalty among your existing fans, and to gain a better understanding of them.
As I mentioned earlier, comments are one of the most useful ways fans can interact with your Facebook posts. Every time a fan leaves a comment it is shared on their profile and in their friends’ News Feeds. While you’re building brand loyalty and interacting directly with your audience, you’re also creating pathways for new fans to find your Page. For this reason, content that encourages discussion will be one of the best possible additions to your Facebook Page. Continue Reading
Freelancing comes prepackaged with a lot of concerns (mostly over the next pay check). These concerns can have a negative effect on us. It’s all too easy to fall into a path of neglect and poor health habits. For our careers to flourish we need to stay healthy, and not go down the dark road so many freelancers follow of ignoring their health.
Whether it’s that 24 hour session you pull off to finish client work on time, or the high blood pressure you gain from explaining to someone on Skype that you don’t do spec work, we are all affected (to some extent) by the rigors of our profession. As with most things in life, it’s better to tackle the issue head on, rather than await the inevitable burnout that is sure to follow.
Self-Regulation is the key to any successful, healthy freelancer, and knowing how you can improve a situation is central. Being healthy allows us to do our jobs better, remain focused on goals, not have to spend two weeks in bed feeling like you got hit by a truck, and it also allows us to live longer lives (which hopefully will suit those of you who do want to retire at a ripe old age).
We have day jobs, dependents, and responsibilities at work, so getting the balance right isn’t always easy to accomplish; however, there are proven, straightforward methods for keeping your health on track.
As freelancers, we tend to want to keep the number of tools we’re using to a minimum. We’ll set up some sort of accounting tool, maybe something to help us handle project management and not much more. But there are reasons that finding a customer relationship management (CRM) tool that you’re comfortable using is worth the added hassle.
- The more you know about your clients and (prospective clients), the better. Good CRM tools help you collect and maintain information about the people you’re working with. Many of the newer tools even go out and pull in information from social media about given people in your CRM database. You can use that information to better tailor your services: perhaps a recent tweet from a customer has given you ideas on how better to design a website for him. Similarly, a well-timed birthday wish can show your client you care about more than his checkbook.
Now that you’ve made the decision to become a fulltime, stay-at-home freelancer, it’s time to start thinking of ways to outfit your home office. There are a few things to consider when choosing home office equipment – form and function being part of it, but personality is important, too. The equipment in your home office needs to fit a set of criteria; such as: be supportive, ergonomic, useful, durable, affordable and yes downright cool. Let’s look at a few ideas to consider as you setup your home office.
Yep, I’m going there. I’m going in front of a crowd of freelance professionals and suggesting the use of stock, and I’m not just talking about photos. I’ve been a freelancer, and have been among freelancers long enough to know exactly what follows the mere mention of the word stock.
First someone comes out and says that anyone who uses stock is lazy and untalented. Then someone adds unethical to the mix. Then, inevitably, someone who calls themselves a web designer comes along and rubs your nose in the fact that he’s bringing in big bucks doing nothing more than customizing pre-made themes. Now before you join the cyber lynch mob, hear me out while I explain the appropriate way to use stock as a freelance professional, and demonstrate how using stock can improve your profit margin.
Rockable Press recently shared some statistics from their up-coming freelancing book, Freelance Confidential, with their mailing list. The book includes results from the survey conducted here at FreelanceSwitch a few months ago that polled 3,200 freelancers on every aspect of their work. There were a lot of nifty facts about freelancing in there, but nothing generated more heated discussion more than this simple line:
44% of freelancers are self-taught and never received any university or technical college training in their field.
Some responses were shocked that the number was that high and saw it as a bad thing for the industry. Others thought it should be higher and that education adds little value for freelancers. I thought the responses were so strong that it would be great to open it up to a discussion for the FreelanceSwitch community. So tell us what you think!
- Does a freelancer need a college education or technical training to be successful?
- Is there a difference between self-taught freelancers and freelancers with formal training?
- What value does formal training or education add for freelancers?
What do you think? Continue Reading
Being a freelancer can sometimes feel like a solo venture into the unknown, an exciting but nevertheless daunting prospect! We all have our particular strengths and individual weaknesses, but few of us would decline a little help with some of the more practical aspects of being a freelancer.
While not every tool on this list will be helpful for every freelancer, its overall aim is to provide you with resources that could help you significantly increase your productivity (do more…), get organized, work more efficiently, plan your to do items better, and maybe even save some money!
They say that persistence is important, and if you ask me, it’s an essential characteristic of successful freelancers. After all, sometimes you put out an inquiry to work for a prospective client, maybe you hear back, but you don’t land the job.
What do you do–move on or potentially “waste” your time staying on top of the client? Let me introduce a third possibility: Stay on top of your efforts to secure the client without wasting time.
How do you do that, you ask? Here are a few ways you can persist. While I don’t guarantee you’ll wind up landing the gig, you stand a better chance by simply hanging in there with minimal effort. Continue Reading
Like corporate website, which use phrases like “innovative strategies” and “leading-edge solutions” ad naseum, many freelancers’ online portfolios tend to use some of the same tired phrases again and again. I combed through dozens of freelance websites (many of them discovered through FreelanceSwitch’s Find a Freelancer Directory) to create this list of over-used and ineffective phrases.
If you’re using these in your own portfolio, consider finding other phrases so you can stand out from the pool of eager freelancers. Continue Reading
Following on from my last post on Building Image, once you have completed the suggested excises, you should have a good idea as to who you are and how you want to present yourself to your future adoring public.
Perhaps you see yourself as an aspiring classical music sex symbol, a romantic Bohemian traveler or contemporary superstar. Whatever the case, I’m sorry to bring you down to earth with a bump but in the final analysis, in regards to creating a unique, memorable brand, take a quantum leap sideways for one moment and consider yourself as a box of washing up powder.
Why do people buy a well-known make as opposed to a cheaper supermarket brand even though the contents are often manufactured by the same company and the results identical? Continue Reading
A few months ago a friend and I jumped on the ferry and took a day trip to beautiful Vancouver, BC, Canada, to experience our first ever Freelance Camp. The event was touted as a chance for freelancers, entrepreneurs, business owners, and anyone interested in learning more about freelancing to discuss ways to start, expand, or improve their business. Turns out there are dozens of these events going on across the world, making for fantastic opportunities for freelancers. Continue Reading