We all know that there is plenty of value to be extracted out of social media platforms as a freelancing hero. If you get it just right, you can use social networks as a solid source of wonderful long-term clients. Google+ for example, is one platform that has a lot of potential for finding new connections to turn into clients.
But let’s not get ahead of ourselves and ruin a smooth, positive and ultimately fruitful experience on social networks for yourself, as well as others through engaging in a heavy-handed way. From personal experience and having had a look around to see where people tend to be going wrong, I’ve compiled a little list of the big ones.
1. Being impersonal
I mean this in two ways. Firstly, incorporate some personality into your posts and your engagement. This doesn’t mean being bouncy and bubbly all the time, unless you want to and if that suits you, fine. It’s more about being human, and not appearing to be an automated robot churning out posts.
Secondly, I’m talking about when people substitute making a connection with a person for being more efficient. An example of this would be in copy and pasting the same message sent out to several people, or tagging many people in one message meant for all of them. This doesn’t show much care for an individual, and will most likely not mean much to them. So when you reach out to people, show them that the interaction is directed to them.
2. Always writing for yourself, not your audience
It’s ok to share things that interest you, but bear in mind, that, especially as you want to attract the attention of prospects and others, you want to be prioritising the sharing of information and updates that you know will be of interest to them. This is one of the major misunderstandings of social media. It doesn’t need to be about you all the time!
This is why circles on Google+ is so useful, because it allows you to share specific content to specific people.
3. Not interacting enough
Obviously if you have a large network with tonnes of people messaging you, responding to everything can be tricky. However, it’s important you maintain a good level of engagement with your connections, as well as responding to what people are saying, asking, commenting on, etc. Be the person who comments the most within your own discussion threads.
Showing that you care will demonstrate to others that you take your connections seriously and strengthen your network as a result.
4. Treating it as a space for advertising
You will vapourise your network by constantly promoting your services and products on G+.
Remember that it is a platform for building, expanding and maintaining relationships, so directly selling to people will distance yourself from them. Keep any ‘selling’ to about 10% and the rest to 90%.
5. Not listening
Social media is not a one-way system, so be aware of what people in your network, as well as those who could potentially be in your network are saying, what their needs are, what their feedback is, and what they are saying about you. I’m sure you’ve heard how listening is vital to any relationship!
6. Being brash, and marginalising people
Steer clear of sharing stuff that could be disagreeable, controversial or even offensive to people. You might feel passionate about something that stands you firmly in one group as opposed to another, such as a political camp, but be aware that you could be losing fans and followers this way, so better just stay away from anything that could be considered a ‘touchy‘ subject.
If you want in-depth guidance on using Google Plus properly, check out our new course on using Google+ tailored just for freelancers that we are launching…
Further comments will win kudos and compliments from me!