I Think My Social Media Posts Might Be Hurting My Professional Reputation

I Think My Social Media Posts Might Be Hurting My Professional Reputation

Hi Angela,

I’m wondering if you can help me with a question I haven’t found an answer to on any other site.

I’ve been freelance writing for several years.

At the beginning of my freelance career, I wrote primarily about music. A lot of my social media posts use speech and vernacular common in that industry (some profanity, outspoken opinions, etc). I am write and tweet about sensitive subjects like race, class and politics–sometimes all three at the same time.

As I move towards higher paying (read: corporate) markets, I am wondering what impact of my social media posts might be on editors at these markets. For example, could an editor take a look at my Twitter page and decide my tweets are too controversial for their magazine to feature my byline?

A friend advised me to make my Twitter private but that would remove the possibility of me using it to promote my work.

I’d love your opinion on this.

Social Media Rebel

Hi Rebel,

Yes, an editor could look at your Twitter page but it’s doubtful they will, especially if you don’t provide a link to your Twitter account.

I have hired thousands of writers over the years and I have NEVER, not even ONE TIME, looked at their Facebook or Twitter pages during the vetting process. I simply respond to their query with an acceptance or rejection.

If someone is a good writer, and if they have pitched an idea that I know will resonate with my readers, then I really am not concerned about their personal use of social media.

If you do want to distance yourself from your rebellious social media activities, use a pseudonym for your freelance work and, when the contract or payment is due, only then give them your real name. By that time, they’ll have already assigned the piece to you. And, it’s not that unusual for freelance writers to use pseudonyms.


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