If you ever feel a little lonely as a freelancer, you’re, uh, not alone…While your non-freelance friends are out celebrating a colleague’s birthday or sharing their
What, you thought Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram were the only social media profiles your freelancing soul could make use of? That’s far from the case. We’ve already put that trio under the microscope, so let’s jump right in and explore a few more.
LinkedIn for Freelance Gains
When said earnestly, “networking” is one of those words that either makes you perk your head up or cringe harder than Desiigner at the 2016 VMAs. That feeling seems to carry over to LinkedIn. Some people are super-enthused about it, while others got one during their senior year of college to make themselves look more attractive during the job hunt then never touched it again. But LinkedIn can be a valuable tool when building your own personal brand or sharing your work with a wider audience.
Pulse, LinkedIn’s self-publishing platform, can be your best friend. If you’re someone who spends every lunch break reading it, consider posting for once. And if you avoid LinkedIn altogether, this very well may change your perception of the platform. Because of its accessibility, it puts everyone on the same level. Sure, there are some people who may misuse it, but at the end of the day, a lot of people are reading it for self-improvement, productivity, or industry insights. And if you have even a grain of self-starting spirit in you (and you, should, considering you’re a freelancer), those are opinions you can provide. If you come across an interesting article that’s relevant to what you do, be sure to share your thoughts. Give an impassioned defense or respectfully disagree. If you’re a writer, talk about your creative process and how it fits into your freelancing lifestyle.
While Pulse is a text-heavy platform, don’t let that deter you from taking advantage of it if you do visual work. Talk about why poor UX or web design is something that can tank a fledgling business, then link to a couple of your projects to demonstrate how you’re fixing it. Someone who’s oriented towards audio and video production might keep a finger on relevant startups, and share the ways in which the media are keeping up with the times. And if you’ve ever experienced a nightmare client situation, be sure to share how you dealt with it. People will be thankful for that.
Tumblr for Freelance Gains
It may just be the silliest and most ill-defined social media platform out there. “What’s Tumblr for?” just might be one of the hardest questions to answer in recent memory. But Tumblr’s lack of structure and purpose means that users have largely decided which kind of content fares best (hint: it’s multimedia). For the freelancer, it’s almost an opposite of LinkedIn. Graphic designers and visual creatives have an obvious outlet here. There are loads of gorgeous themes— both free and premium— that will make your portfolio shine. Everything is already pre-built, so using a fun interactive theme requires zero extra effort.
Exploring Tumblr for about 10 minutes will reveal that in most cases, longer texts posts are lower in the pecking order of content consumption. But don’t despair, there’s a space for you writers, too. Use Tumblr as a sort of bait to get users to visit your main writing portfolio. Use only a choice quote or the lead for your post, coupled with an attractive image. Pepper your page with relevant media (a cool TED Talk/short lecture, a Soundcloud interview) and images that give it life.
Tumblr skews young, and so you need to play that up. It might sound harsh, but assume your audience isn’t bringing their A-game when it comes to attention spans. Keep everything you’re posting relatively short and to the point, unless it’s a longer video. After all, who has time to dwell on one post when there’s literally thousands of cat gifs to explore?
Reddit for Freelance Gains
If you can’t take criticism, you really don’t belong here. Reddit can be wholly unforgiving and critical at times, but if you work it right, your fellow users can provide a wellspring of insights that you otherwise may have missed.
There’s pretty much a subreddit for everything, from video editing to podcasting to general writing. If the community is well-moderated, you’ll not only share your work, but you can also subject it to honest feedback that will make your future creations that much better. It can take time to build your clout on Reddit, and spamming is only discouraged. Benefits won’t be immediate, but if you stick with it those interactions may pay off. There’s even subreddits dedicated to most freelance specialties and job boards that have hidden freelance gems in them.
Even if you are a bit shy about sharing your work with strangers, you should still make a goal to take the Reddit plunge. It can feel weird at first, but when you deliver your assignments to clients, you can be sure they’ll share them with their colleagues and industry friends. A hidden portfolio is no portfolio at all. Find a good, supportive sub (just research the comments section and you’ll know when you’ve found one) and get active. Who knows, in time maybe someone will come to you for advice— or refer you to a future client.