Does social media marketing (SMM) make sense for anyone with a creative business?
Recently, a successful freelance writer told me that as far as she can tell, she’s never made money from social media. She gets clients via word of mouth, and emailing prospects. To her, the networks are a frivolous waste of time.
Her question made me think.
A surprising way social media helps your writing business
I asked whether she has a website. She does, and she’s a member of several Facebook groups.
Hmmm… I suggested she Google her name, exactly as a prospective client might do. She was startled. Not only did her Facebook profile appear in the search results, so did her profile pages on several long-forgotten freelance portfolio websites.
This brought us to her name: her brand.
That’s our first strategy: looking at yourself as a brand, because chances are you’ve created one, whether you know it or not.
1. You’re a brand: check it to see how you’re perceived
If you want to check your brand, Google yourself, because your clients will.
Assess what you find. Like it? Don’t like it?
When I mentored a freelance writer who complained to me that “my clients won’t pay more”, I checked for her name on several search engines, and suggested she do it too. Her brand? Non-existent.
There’s a reason that writers brand themselves by writing for free: it has benefits in how you’re perceived. Although my student is an excellent writer, her clients perceive her as an easily-replaced “content writer”.
My recommendation: use social media marketing to build your brand. Specifically, create a profile and content on LinkedIn.
LinkedIn has a big advantage over other networks, because it’s seen as a professional network. Not only can you get gigs and make connections there, but your LinkedIn profile will also appear in the search engines.
This shows your clients that you’re serious about what you do. You never know: it just might affect whether they’re willing to pay higher rates.
2. Like and share: people do business with people they know
The social media networks make business easier, because people do business with those they know.
Which network you choose, and how you use it, is your preference. However, if you have a writing business, it will affect your business.
The best network for you can help you to:
- Increase traffic to your website (useful if you’re a blogger.)
- Sell more books, if you’re a self-publishing author.
- Make a higher income and get better gigs.
All the social media networks are “social”. They’re essential tools for business because people do business people they know and trust.
3. Choose the best platform for you: focus on results
Many writers spread themselves too thin; it’s easily done. However, each network takes time.
So, choose a primary social media network, and focus most of your efforts there. Which network? That depends not only on your preferences, but also on what you want to achieve.
Sprout Social has a good article on the networks’ 2023 statistics. Check the stats: is your favorite network likely to help you to achieve your goals?
We’ve all got limited time. Create a strategy, then choose the network that’s the best fit for you.
What if you have several goals? Perhaps you’re a web content writer for finance websites, but you also write cozy mysteries. LinkedIn is a must for B2B content; Instagram and TikTok are good for authors.
Tip: avoid obsessing over follower counts. For success, focus on results, rather than followers.
Your success with social media marketing depends on your strategies
Googling herself surprised the freelance writer who believed she’s never made money from social media. Now that she’s aware she’s unknowingly created a brand, she’s developing her SMM strategically, starting with a LinkedIn profile.
Think of a strategy as a plan for getting what you want. Could SMM help you?
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What if there was a social media network for professionals?
There is, and it can transform your business.
Check out: Join the LinkedIn Revolution: Ignite Your Business and Make Sales in 7 Days.
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Copywriter and marketing pro Angela Booth maintains a busy copywriting and ghostwriting practice. Fascinated by online marketing, she wrote one of the first business books for internet marketing, published by Allen & Unwin. She’s been an enthusiastic blogger since the late 1990s.