What? Yet another social networking platform to take up my time and attention?
But it’s from Google–therefore, you can’t lightly brush it off as a flash in the pan. In fact, no sooner had I joined Google+ when I started seeing emails from marketers publicizing their Google+ links so I could follow them.
In my attempt to wrap my brain around Google+ and see how I could use it to reach my freelancing goals, I discovered a number of online guides and tutorials–all free.
Here’s a rundown of some of the best ones I’ve found and why each might be useful to you:
My Picks of the Google+ Guides
Here are my picks from among the many Google+ guides that have been published:
- The Google+ Project. An overview of Google+ and its main features, straight from the people who are creating it.
- How to Get Stated with Google+, Your Complete Guide. A step-by-step guide, including screenshots, of how to join Google+, create your profile, create circles, and manage your settings, among other basics.
- Getting Started with Google Plus. Chris Brogan’s quick-start guide, with screencasts on how to set your privacy settings and start connecting on this new platform.
- How to Use Google Plus. Another beginner’s guide, complete with screenshots. This goes into more detail about sharing photos and how your Google+ account ties into your Google Profile.
- Google’s Latest Social Network: Google Plus. Take a peek at Google+, from one of our favorite social media and tech blogs, Mashable.
- A Beginner’s Guide to Google+. Get started with Google+ in five slides.
- Google+ Tutorial: How to Make the Most Out of Google Plus. Another detailed guide, with the addition of tips on how to maintain a clean stream, stop annoying notifications (unless you want to get even more emails), connecting your other social media accounts, keyboard shortcuts, and more.
- Getting Started with Google+. The techie author shares his first impressions of Google+, including why in some ways it’s better than, gasp, Facebook. Also mentions the Google+ Android app.
- 10 Google+ Tips to Help You Get Off to a Good Start. Additional tips for Google+ newbies.
- How to Use Google+ Sparks. A video tutorial and brief post on how to use a specific feature of Google+, Sparks.
- How to Use Google+ Tutorial (Basics). If video is more your thing, you’ll appreciate this four-minute tutorial.
- Google+ Tutorial. A longer, more detailed video tutorial on Google+.
- A Walkthrough of Google’s New Social Network, Google+. If you’re still undecided about joining Google+, this slideshow may help you make up your mind.
- Google+: A Collaborative Document. Over 100 Google+ users are helping write and develop this Google+ guide. Warning: It’s long. But the hyperlinked table of contents makes it easy to find the information you need.
- Google-Plus Playground. If you do decide to join Google+, check out this post about tools to enhance your experience.
- Getting Started in Google Plus: A Photographer’s Guide. A guide geared specifically for photographers. Includes a list of “Awesome People to Put in Your Photography Circle!”
- Google+ and Freelance Writing. A thoughtful post on how Google+ can potentially change social media marketing for writers.
- Google Plus: A Freelancer’s Best Friend. Lists which features of Google+ would be good for freelancers.
- Google Plus for Freelancers. A brief post on why Google+ has plenty of potential for freelancers.
- What Google+ Could Mean for Freelancers. Encourages freelancers to strike while the iron is hot and create new business for ourselves through this new social network.
If you want to learn what Google+ is all about, how it can benefit you as a freelancer, and how to make the most of its features, the posts and resources above will keep you busy for a couple of hours.
Of course, new resources are being added every day. If your favorite Google+ resource isn’t listed, feel free to link to it in the comments.
Will You Or Not?
Should you join Google+ or not? If you’re the disciplined type who can control the amount of time you spend on social networks, then I’d say go for it.
As with all networking, sometimes the ones who get in early are the ones who benefit the most. I see a similar thing with Google+. If you join now, it’s much easier to get the attention of people who may be potential clients, or who could connect you with potential clients.
Later on, when everybody else is already on board, the noise level will be much like Twitter and Facebook. It will be much more difficult to stand out in the crowd.
That said, don’t feel you’re missing out if you decide not to join yet. Keep focusing on the marketing strategies that are already working for you, and you can’t go wrong. You can always catch up later.
As for me, I’ve set up my profile and have even posted a few notes. I can’t wait to try Sparks. I’m particularly excited about starting a Hang Out. But to tell you the truth, between Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn, I just don’t know how I’m going to fit Google+ into my already busy social networking agenda.
How about you? Do you think it presents another huge opportunity for freelancers to find more clients? Or is it yet another dangerous distraction?
I’d love to read your thoughts. Post a comment and let us know what you think.