The most important tool in a creative freelancer’s bag might be the mastery of social media. Not only is it the premiere medium for establishing your brand, but a strong social media presence means businesses know you can master theirs as well, which means project work in a familiar field! However, a social media footprint that isn’t properly curated can mean disaster for your freelance prospects. A tendency to get too opinionated, overshare, or leave glaring gaps in use will turn off prospective clients and businesses. And since your social media presence is the initial impression of a freelance artist, any misstep will be the first and last look you get. A freelancer can’t count on second chances. With that in mind, here are a few guidelines to policing your social media presence.
Leave Out The Personal – Today’s climate of self-importance makes it tempting to tweet or update every personal attribute in real time. This temptation should be resisted. Remember, as a freelancer your online presence is your opening gambit to clients. Keep it as professional and non-confrontational as possible. Clients that work with you don’t want an inappropriate comment or grievance to reflect poorly on their judgement in choosing you as a partner. Developing the right reputation as an artist is tough enough without sabotaging all your effort with preventable poor comments for all to see. That’s not to say you shouldn’t show creativity or personality, just make sure it’s not at the expense of good taste. Giving a second thought to hitting ‘send’ can be the difference between success and failure.
Review Your Work – Just as the content of your presence should be reviewed, so should the structure. Make sure to check for grammar errors, and don’t overdue the shorthand when tweeting. People need to be able to understand what information you’re trying to impart. Also, is your message shareable? Are your links valid? Are you sending this out at an optimum time for maximum viewership? These are all questions to be answered for successful mastery of social media.
Don’t Neglect It – Policing your social media means you have to be on patrol regularly! Don’t go to the trouble of having a successful online presence just to forget about it. Large gaps are noticeable, especially to prospective clients, so be active. Think of your various platforms as an instantaneous online resume that you’re constantly updating. Clients will note your dedication, which could be that last deciding factor when determining a project partnership.