6 Tips for Using Social Media to Get Freelance Writing Jobs

Social media can often be a complete time suck — especially for freelance writers and others who work online. However, it need not be that way! Today, most of us realize that social media use can actually help our bottom line if undertaken proactively.

Here are six tips for ​finding freelance writing jobs through social media.

Be Goal Oriented

smartphone with social media icons on screen
Christiaan Colen/Flickr/CC 2.0

The passive use of social media is what's killing your bottom line! If you enter into these convoluted communities and conversations without an end in mind, you’re lost! (Wait, is that just me?) One approach, then, is to venture in armed and ready. Consider a couple of goals that will build toward freelance writing jobs and project offers, and then break down how to forge that path.

For example, at this writing, I’m seeing a surge in education-focused writing work, likely due to Common Core implementation. So, an example goal would be to enter into the Twitter-sphere to find out which companies have received contracts to provide textbooks or curriculum for the implementation so that I could then follow the trail to their job postings.

I would then break down my goal into its logical parts: 1) Try a Twitter search on terms like “common core” and “curriculum,” 2) Note if any of the results are current contacts or past clients, and so on. Can you think of a similar goal and break down?   

Build Relationships

This tip is specifically for those freelance writers who know where they want to end up. If your heart beats for a future where you write content for Mother Jones’ website, then you should approach their social outlets with the long-term relationship in mind.

Some actions you could take are being sure to follow specific editors, or evangelizing on behalf of that brand (that is, share their triumphs, thereby aligning yourself with them).

Promote and Market Yourself Carefully

Got some work you’re proud of? Feel free to link to it, or mention it on your own platforms. Although this may not get you a job immediately, it does help you to build a profile that reflects your caliber of freelancing.

That way, once you do attract the attention of a potential client, they’ll not need to look far to see some samples and clips.

Match the Platform With Your Goal

With the multitude of potential media platforms available, there is definitely a need to choose the “right” social media platform for your goal. Most of my readers are fairly well-versed on the different aspects of each platform, but let’s look at a few tips just in case.

LinkedIn tends to provide the best authentic interaction with those who share your interests and niches, whereas Twitter will serve a similar purpose, but loses a bit of the authenticity due mostly to sheer volume. However, it’s this volume that makes Twitter ideal for announcements and brags. It is also given to the kind of quick research I mentioned in the Common Core example above.

Pinterest is an interesting topic due to the belief that a graphics-based service would be of little use for writers. However, I've used Pinterest quite successfully as a writer, and I've seen many other writers do it well, too. Using it for promotion is fairly easy, right? But what about finding work and projects?

Well, one good practice is to use Pinterest to focus on your niche topics. For example, a writer dedicated to copy about weddings and decorations could interact with companies such as those that sell silk trees, globe lanterns or other decor, whereas a fashion writer can easily interact with their favorite designers or fashion events.

Be Balanced

Implement a balanced approach to the different uses of social media. Give and take—make yourself available as a resource to others as often as (or more often than) you push your completed articles or post about your book launches.

Be You

Be someone! Take the time to fill in your profile. This not only gives your readers and audience a full picture, but it also makes it easier for search engines and social platforms to figure out who you are.

In addition, let your personality shine through, so that you’ll be remembered when that plum project comes up, and an editor is looking for the perfect fit.

It's All About Being Proactive

Finding work online is more easily achieved when you retain your power and guard your time and investment. Using social media in a proactive manner does this, and improves your bottom line in the process!