The 31 Days of Freelancing Series

What I’m listening to: Picture of Health by We Were Promised Jetpacks

dec-1Welcome to December! If you’re like every other writer, you’ve found December to be a bit of a challenge — a black hole into which all your clients seem to fall, a month when all work grinds to a halt, holidays take over the mindset, and projects get pushed aside or ignored until the new year.

And here you are with little to do.

Ah, but that free time you now have is about to be put to good use.

Introducing the 31 Days of Freelancing Series -- building a better business, one day at a time. Click To Tweet

I’ve designed this series to help you make the most of the slow period in your freelance writing business. Every day from now until Christmas, I’ll share one strategy that you can use immediately to kickstart your career, organize your operation, and improve your earnings.

Even if you are still working quite a lot (I’ve had a few years where I worked hard until December 22nd), you can play along. Sign up for notifications via Feedburner. Follow me on Twitter and look for the daily tweets. Bookmark this blog. Set a calendar reminder. Visit every day and apply the strategy as you see fit (and you know me — I say modify what you like to suit you, and don’t force what doesn’t appeal).


December 1st: Improve Your Social Media Presence

Here are a few ways to get more bang for your buck with social media:

  • Pick an approach for each medium: And keep it relevant to that platform. For example, on Twitter you might adopt a friendly, conversational tone whereas on LinkedIn you might choose to be a little more authoritative, yet still approachable. Make the approach align with the audience you’re targeting.
  • Keep it relevant to your audience: no one really cares what you had for breakfast (unless you blog for the food industry).
  • Tweet or share at least three times a day: Or if you do that already, try sharing or tweeting three additional times.  
  • Alternate your posts: One tweet about what you’re doing (work-wise) or about your blog, a message or two about an evolving trend or continuing issue, a question posed to your network (using appropriate hash tags), a thank you, a comment on another’s tweet as you share it…
  • Be consistent in your message and your schedule: Right now, open your Twitter app (I still use TweetDeck) and schedule your next three tweets. And please, don’t argue both sides of the coin just to get traffic to your blog or to get attention — that works once, then you start looking like a liar.
  • Build a list: Twitter lets you do this, as does Google Plus (they allow you to separate by both collections and communities) and LinkedIn.
  • Use visuals:  Research suggests that posts with photos get 94% more attention than those without. Where you can, connect your tweet, Google share, or LinkedIn post with an image. (Don’t use in email — that’s just annoying.)
  • Create an event: Twitter chats, Google Hangouts, and the like can give you visibility without you having to sell, sell, sell. Set up an event, such as a Twitter chat for say the workers comp market. (One company I know basically owns this chat because they do it so well.) Create a list of four or five questions you want to cover, then blast out the chat notice a week before, a few days before, the day before… promote it using hash tags, and ask others to pass word along. Share it on other social media, as well. Then moderate (ask questions, keep the conversation going).

Writers, what other ways do you boost your social media presence?

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  • Cathy Miller December 1, 2016 at 10:24 am

    Can’t wait to follow this series, Lori. You always have such great tips! 🙂

    I comment on discussions on LinkedIn I find interesting or on Pulse articles that my network produces there. I’ve received a lot of visibility from that.

    • lwidmer December 1, 2016 at 12:45 pm

      Pulse — great idea, Cathy! I’d not considered that.

  • Paula Hendrickson December 1, 2016 at 11:58 am

    One of my clients usually assigns a few fairly simple pieces towards the end of the year, so I’m working on three things for them, one article for another client, and 30 executive bios for another client (12 down, 18 to go). The bios are all due by the 14th, but the rest can be turned in later.

    That said, I’ll look into starting a couple of Twitter lists. Not totally sure how they work, but I won’t learn if I don’t try.

    • lwidmer December 1, 2016 at 12:46 pm

      That’s true, Paula. 🙂 I don’t use them as much as I should, so this is just as much a reminder to myself as to everyone else.

    • Paula Hendrickson December 1, 2016 at 12:47 pm

      Okay. I just sorted some of my Twitter followers into lists. The funniest part? You were the last name on my list. Which probably means you were the very first person to follow me way back when!

      • lwidmer December 1, 2016 at 2:09 pm

        LOL! I probably was.

        Just to make it easier, if you see someone you want to add to your list, click on their name. When their profile window pops up (on TweetDeck it does), click on the “person” icon, then choose “Add or remove from lists.” Makes it easier than scanning the entirety of your followers list!

        • Paula Hendrickson December 2, 2016 at 10:28 am

          I just use Twitter, not another app, and on my computer and my phone when I click a person’s name I need to click the “gear” icon to find the Lists option. Still pretty easy.

          Since I’m planning a special 2017 challenge on my creativity blog, it may help me identify people who might be interested in the posts.

          • lwidmer December 2, 2016 at 10:53 am

            I can’t wait to see that!

  • Nichole December 7, 2016 at 6:56 pm

    I once read that only about 20% of your tweets/shares should be about you, the other 80% should be about others (maybe your clients, topics you’re interested in, industries you work in, etc). I’ve tried to follow this rule (unless I’m ranting or having a conversation via Twitter) and so far it’s pretty spot in terms of building followers/fans.

    • lwidmer December 8, 2016 at 11:27 am

      That’s what I’ve read too, Nikki. And I think it’s a great one to follow.