How do you feel about promoting yourself as a writer? Love it? Hate it?
Personally, I dislike it. A lot. Despite how we might feel, though, the hard truth is that, as freelancers, we must maintain some level of promotion if we want work.
Like most writers, I’ve experimented with various approaches on social media to find work. LinkedIn yields good results, I’ve discovered, even when I’m not directly promoting my skills.
For example, my favorite LinkedIn “success story” came about unexpectedly. I’d sent a connection request to a notable author and speaker who spoke at a conference I’d attended years ago. She’d shared wonderful advice that equipped and inspired me on our family’s homeschooling journey. So, in my LinkedIn “thanks for connecting” message to her, I thanked her, and briefly shared what an impact her advice and insight had. She responded politely, and then asked if I’d be interested in editing her educational website.
Wait, what? Her response took me totally by surprise.
Apparently, she saw that I offered editing services. She told me that, since I was a former homeschool mom, she thought I’d be a good fit because I knew her audience. We ironed out pricing and details and I wrapped up the project three months later. To my delight, that simple thank you message resulted in well-paid work, and additional experience to my credit.
So, if you’re like me, and not keen on self-promotion, take heart. This success story illustrates that you can find quality work without launching fancy promotional campaigns. Whether sending a quick message like mine, or maintaining your social media presence otherwise, you can find success.
Low Key Ways to Self-Promote
· Stay current
Keep your LinkedIn and other social media profiles current. This includes your bio, work history, links to recent work, website, contact information, etc. This helps potential connections and clients get a quick overview of who you are and what you do. This LinkedIn article shares great tips on putting your best foot forward.
· Comment often
Regularly comment on others’ posts. You don’t have to write an epistle, just share a thoughtful, polite, and relevant comment. As illustrated in this article, How to Use Smart Commenting to Get Noticed on LinkedIn, you’ll elevate your visibility, demonstrate your expertise, and gain valuable info and insight in the process.
· Connect graciously
Message new connections. Briefly thank them for connecting and, if you like, ask a question, share a little something you have in common, or tell them you’ll pass along their name if suitable jobs come across your path. Be authentically you. Don’t come on too strong or pathetically troll for work. And, for heaven’s sake, get their name right! I’ve had numerous connection requests/messages that got my name wrong. True story: One recent message addressed me as “Sir/Madam”. Seriously, both “Sir” and “Madam” together in the greeting. Avoid errors like this at all costs.
· Highlight your skills
Share short articles on LinkedIn and other social media outlets, where applicable. (This is especially helpful if you don’t have many clips of your work.) Post new articles and/or properly credited past work. If you aren’t familiar with this LinkedIn feature, you’ll find it in your profile section under Posts & Activity. LinkedIn shares more how-to info about it in their Help section.
Find Your Best Fit
There are numerous methods, tips, templates, and tricks to help secure work through social media. Some work better than others, so find what suits you best. It takes trial and error but, in the long run, it’ll pay off. No need to launch fireworks announcing you’re available for work. Quiet self-promotion will still yield great results.
Karen Lange is a content creator, editor, and ghostwriter. She specializes in home improvement, but happily writes about many other exciting topics, too. Connect with her on LinkedIn.
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