Freelancing Opportunities in Social Media

Freelancing Opportunities in Social MediaWhile many social media platforms began as fun places to hang out online, most have become de rigueur for marketing a business, both big and small.

The demand for a professional and effective social media presence gives freelancers plenty of opportunity to provide specialized services.


What’s Social Media Anyway?

Wikipedia defines social media as:

“Social media are media for social interaction, using highly accessible and scalable publishing techniques.”

Breaking it down, social media is characterized by:

  • the use of web-based technology
  • user-generated content
  • interaction between users

Under this definition, social media includes blogs, social networks (e.g., Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn), social bookmarking sites such as StumbleUpon.com, and media sharing sites like YouTube and Flickr.

The growing use of social media for business opens up vast opportunities for freelancers, such as:

Freelance Writers

The main opportunity for writers is the need to generate seemingly endless amounts of content. Blogs, for example, succeed when they provide high-quality content with as much regularity as possible.

Written content is also needed for social networking profiles, such as Facebook fan pages. Even audio and video content begin with the written word.

If you want to sell content, private label rights content are in high demand among online marketers.

Designers

Blogs need to be designed. Even the best WordPress themes need tweaking and customization.

Designers are also needed to design Twitter profiles, YouTube channels, and Facebook fan pages. Anytime these social media platforms change, the designs need to be changed as well. An example is when the new Twitter rolled out and made all previous profiles practically useless.

For some passive income, ready-made, customizable templates are a good product to offer those who can’t afford to hire you.

Photographers

The demand is high for top-quality portraits and product images for social networking avatars and profile pictures. Photographs have been shown to increase the perception of trustworthiness online. Those who are social media-savvy are already investing in sitting for portraits for the special purpose of using them in social media platforms.

Programmers

Scripts and applications that work with certain social media platforms are all the rage. Think of all the programmers making a killing selling 99-cent apps in the Apple applications store. Or, how about those games on Facebook?

Virtual Assistants

Self-employed solopreneurs and small business owners usually don’t have the time to do social media marketing by themselves, and can’t afford to hire a full-time employee to do so. Virtual assistants can fill the gap by implementing their clients’ social media marketing strategies.

Virtual assistants can write and schedule social networking updates, post comments on blogs and forums, and manually screen and add friends and followers. They can also keep Facebook fan pages updated.

Gearing Up for Social Media

I’m not entirely convinced you need to invest hundreds of dollars to learn how to use social media. At the very least, be an active social media user. That will give you first-hand experience and knowledge of how everything works.

Also, regularly read some of the leading social media marketing blogs, such as:

These are only some of the social media blogs you can learn from. Keep your eyes and ears open for more social media blogs you can get free but valuable education from.

Start getting more active in social media today and you’ll be ahead of your competition.

Where Are You At?

So far, have you been offering social media-related services to your clients? Why or why not?

Share your thoughts in the comments below.

Image by adactio

Comments

  1. says

    There really is an enormous amount of need for writing in the social media world. In fact, I often argue that people write more today than they did even when they were in school without even realizing it.

  2. says

    Lexi – this is really good, thanks for sharing! I think you’re right “be an active social media user”. It’s important to always be present but not appear as a spammer.

    Currently I offer “avatar design” in a branding and start-up package I have. I’ve thought about designing twitter backgrounds and having some freebies and some for a small price. I think you’ve convinced me to do that!

    Thanks -

  3. says

    Nice article. Freelance writers probably get the most social opportunities to me. There’s always content that needs to go on people’s (or companies) websites and accounts. :-)

  4. says

    Social media is a great tool for any business out there. Once I added a blog to my site and started doing more on Facebook and Twitter my visitor count went up and bounce rate went down dramatically. Also within 24 hours of setting up a twitter account, adding some friends, and posting some tweets I got a few leads which I never would have gotten otherwise. I’m not saying it’s guaranteed that everyone will get something out of it, but it’s just another tool in your business toolbox.

    I’ve also seen a lot of people doing it wrong. They try to sell to much and use it more like Google Adwords…it doesn’t work with social media. Sharing information is the key and doing it tactfully.

    Google Reader is a huge help with following blogs that match to your industry. Once you get going with a few (as listed in the article) it’s very easy to find some more. The more you have to share the better you will do with social media. Giver’s gain.

  5. says

    @Charity Van Cleet – I work with several VAs myself, and I love and appreciate my VAs very much. If you equip yourself properly by being an expert in social media, you can become a much sought after VA for business owners :)

  6. says

    I’m currently managing a client’s social media program. I write, I design, and yes, I develop. :) On one hand, it’s a lot of fun. It allows me to use (and improve) my various skills, and contribute a lot of value. On the other hand, it’s harder than it looks. Unlike a regular project, it doesn’t really end. You have to constantly create, publish, and promote content, interact with the audience, and think of ways to engage them better.

    To answer your question, I’m mainly a web designer, so I design and develop websites for businesses. Occasionally, this includes designing blogs, if that counts. I never actively promoted myself as a social media consultant or manager. I did web development for a client, they liked my work, they discovered my writing skills, and now I’m doing social media for them as well.

  7. says

    The world is truly changing to the virtual world! I think the idea of social media is incredible, but like you mentioned there is so much content that must be created. Soon there will be programs and systems designed to minimise and sort through all sorts of information. The age of information overload is truly here. Thanks for these great tips though =)

  8. says

    @Maddy – Having a client project that “doesn’t really end” is a GOOD thing. That’s how you get the semblance of a regular paycheck as a freelancer. And as somebody who can both design and write, you’re one mean, social media freelancing machine!

  9. says

    @Lexi & Maddy,

    You’re not kidding! I have zero design skills (nor do I want to) so I often partner with designers for the social media (twitter pages, facebook pages, etc) and website designs. I can be creative with content but not with art/graphics. My brain just isn’t wired that way. I can share/lead a vision easily but seeing it – not so much. So definitely leverage yourself Maddy, as the powerhouse you are!

  10. says

    Hell yes! I love this post so much because I just fell into the whole social media thing because the demand for people who know their stuff is surprisingly huge. While I think many people (I was one of them) don’t need to spend a penny on learning how to use social media, many people do need guidance along the way, so I’m going to respectfully disagree with you there.

    One of my main sources of income involves “critiquing” (or revamping) people’s social media profiles. So someone can learn how to use Twitter, tweet a few times, get bored or don’t see it working right away and give up. This is especially true for freelancers and brick and mortar shops. What I do is take my client’s goals – for example, sell more books, find an agent, get hired, land design projects – and show them how to use things like blogging, Twitter, Facebook, etc to accomplish those goals.

    Just last week I was critiquing the profile of a yoga retreat who spent so much time tweeting @ other small business owners and entrepreneurial blogs that she wasn’t connecting with other yogi’s or resorts. Sometimes people can easily learn the basics on their own, but in terms of really growing their business or landing clients, they do need some extra help or a kick in the pants ;-)

    So that’s my two cents. Sometimes you do need to spend a little money in social media and for freelancers there are a TON of opportunities to help businesses learn and perfect their presence. A year and a half ago I wasn’t even on Twitter and now there’s a three week waiting list for my critiques!

  11. says

    There are multiple freelance opportunities in social media. If companies have no idea how to use social media, it is wise to spend a “couple hundred dollars” on a freelancer or agency that does. They can immediately implement a social media plan and reach those goals like @Marian said (sell books, build a brand, get clients). Great article.

  12. says

    Thanks Lexy, this article is greatly insightful. There are so many blogs and articals out there shouting about the same things, it has been quite difficult to find quality research for social media. i am a social media student in the making and have alot to read and practice before i can have any sort of opinion on the proffessional workings of social media. But when it all goes well and i get my first client through it i shall keep you in mind for protruding a great insight into the meaning of Social Media and the imprtant stamp it has become on new media letter writing.

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