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:
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.
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.
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.
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?
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:
- Problogger–The number one resource for anyone who wants to make money through blogging
- Social Media Examiner–Stay on top of social media trends with this insightful blog.
- Lewis Howes’ Blog–Get it straight from the LinkedIn expert.
- Chris Garrett on New Media–Chris conceptualized “authority blogging,” which is the foundation for business blogging.
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.
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