Five Tips for Optimizing your Social Media Profiles

Optimizing your Social Media Profiles

Optimizing Your Social Media Profiles

When you’re a hungry freelance writer or getting started in the industry it’s difficult to know where to look for work. Things like job boards, Craigslist, and cold emailing queries are what people trend towards but these are (in general) low paying, competitive, and an exhausting hustle. Your chances of landing solid clients are low so your pitch rate has to be high.

If you’re wondering how established freelance writers generate leads they’ll tell you most of their work comes through warm leads (existing relationships) and referrals. Even if you’re just starting out these options are available to you too, the trick is letting people know you’re available so they think of you when an opportunity comes up.

The best way to let people know you’re available is by saying you’re available. It’s easy to look at your social media profiles as places where friends and family connect with you, so there’s no reason to talk about your business (don’t they already know what you do?) but what better place to find referrals than your friends and family list?

And don’t assume they’re aware of what you do or even understand it. Do you know the details of your entire network? I don’t. Take assumption out of the picture and optimize your social profiles for your freelance writing business. Lay it out for them so it’s easy for them to think of you when they hear about someone looking for a writer.

Another reason to optimize your social media profiles is because your reach is wide on social. A potential client is more likely to run across you on Twitter or LinkedIn before ever seeing your website. You want to ensure you tell any potential clients who you are, what you do, and why they should hire you.

Five tips for optimizing your social media profiles

  1. Choose a professional/standout profile picture and cover photo
  2. Your profile photo should be high quality, square, reflect your brand, stand out in news feeds, and be a picture of you.

    Your cover photo (on applicable platforms) should be high quality and represent the core values of your brand.

    The more consistent your images are across platforms, the better.

  3. Make it easy for people to know who you are/what you do
  4. If you want to capture leads from your social profiles then use your full name or business name. Nothing cute here. A great social media bio explains who you are and what you do, shares your personality, and targets your niche audience with keywords. Think of it as an amped-up elevator pitch.

  5. Link to your website
  6. Some gurus teach linking to your professional Facebook page and if that’s where you prefer doing business I won’t stop you. But don’t leave the URL section blank. Think about it this way, where do you want your prospective clients to go? Send them there. I want them to go to my website so I can showcase the best of my work on a property I own and control.

  7. Include keywords about your services
  8. If someone is searching on Twitter for someone like you, what will they search for? Make sure those words show up in your profile in a non-spammy way. Avoid buzz words, use terms your ideal client would use, be concise, and mention the benefits of what you do.

  9. Be clear on your location/contact info
  10. If you work from home you may not want your address listed for the world to see, but how about your city or region? Adding your location helps potential clients discover you. And what about your contact details? Make it easy for people to get in touch, but only share what you’re comfortable with. Adding a phone number may be too much, but what about your work email address? If you want people to contact you with work, tell them how to reach you.

Now get out there and be social!

This post is an excerpt from the five-day marketing challenge. Want to get your marketing efforts organized? Take the challenge!

I’m up for the challenge!

* indicates required

Social Media Mastery Conference Review 2016

Social Media Mastery Conference Review 2016

Social Media Mastery Conference Review 2016

Held at the Centre for Digital Media in Vancouver, this year’s Social Media Mastery Conference welcomed 300 marketing managers, solopreneurs, entrepreneurs, and social media account managers. The conference promised to equip attendees with the training they needed to up their social media game.

The conference centred around five steps to social media success.

  • Strategy
  • Marketing
  • Management
  • Engagement
  • Conversion

The nine-to-five conference packed in back-to-back keynotes with entertainment breaks and time to visit sponsor booths and food trucks. There was an emphasis on participation and networking, which was embraced by attendees.

Speaker, author, and global entrepreneur Shane Gibson delivered a powerful talk on creating an effective and efficient social media strategy. He shared a social selling principal he called The Exponential Influencer Strategy. It consists of five steps.

  • Building a magnetic brand
  • The three elements of thought leadership
  • The five stages of consent
  • The nine immutable laws of social selling
  • Recruiting and connecting with influencers

My takeaway from this talk: social selling is creating an environment where an act of faith can take place.

Since he made his slides available, I wanted to share them here. His keynote was a highlight of the entire day and well worth the read if you have any interest in social selling and social media strategy.

Another speaker highlight was Social Media Consultant Katt Stearns who spoke about social media management. Not a sexy topic but critical to social media success.

She took the daunting task of social media organization and made it seem manageable by breaking down the elements into the most important aspects (content calendar, systems to maximize your efforts, and using the right tools).

My takeaway from this talk: Don’t try to be everywhere. Choose two to three primary accounts where you spend most of your social energy, a few secondary accounts you try on or know you need to be on, and leave it there.

Blogger, web developer, and marketer Matt Astifan spoke on conversion and gave three challenges to the audience to implement right away.

  1. Increase the conversion of YOU
  2. Increase the conversion of YOUR BRAND
  3. Increase the conversion of YOUR ADS

He said focus is the key to success and distractions eliminate focus (meaning email, texts, social media, etc.). To combat this he says we need to be in the active zone, focusing on completing tasks rather than multi-tasking many things at the same time.

The best way to tell if you’re focused or not is to ask yourself “Am I in the active zone or the reactive zone?”

When you’re in the active zone, you will be able to leverage social media to reach your business goals. He suggests using it to create your own reality show (selfie stories) and showing your future clients your personality.

My takeaway from this keynote: Pay close attention to what converts and do more of that while getting rid of the ads that don’t convert. By showing your audience who you are on social media you’ll attract the type of people who will want to buy from you. By using appropriate ads and targeting the right audience you’ll have a better chance of making sales.

As a blogger affiliate for Social Media Mastery Conference 2016 I was pleased the conference delivered what it promised. I left feeling better about my grasp on social media marketing and ready to take things to the next level. Thanks for the opportunity YVR Conferences!

Storytelling and Advertising, Part 2

Will Ferrell Dodge Durango

Photograph by Chrysler

I mentioned before how I think the Anchorman spots for Dodge are a home run and I want to expand a bit on my thoughts.

My Initial Thoughts

After viewing the ads a few weeks back, here is what passed through my mind.

  • The highly anticipated Anchorman sequel is coming out at the end of the year so there are some strong opportunities for co-branding—leveraging the popularity of Anchorman in order to advertise an unrelated product or brand (in this case the Dodge Durango)
  • By creating humour-based 30-second spots and putting the entire campaign on YouTube the chances of them going viral are excellent
  • By using the Ron Burgundy character to push Durangos, Dodge has the opportunity to capture the 20(&30)something market—if they’re open to purchasing new vehicles of course
  • Is this group the right target market?
  • These ads will definitely help the movie, but will they help the vehicle?

So my “home run” comment was more about the success of the viral campaign as I am on the fence of whether the bigger gamble—the selling of Durangos—will pay off.

So what does this campaign have to do with storytelling?

Without actually knowing what Dodge hopes to gain from this campaign here are my guesses. By the way, these ads are telling a story and the story is not random. (Although the ads may be.)

The Story

  • Who is the target? My hunch is those who love Ron Burgundy and who are also on social media will respond best to these ads. Those people are likely men in their late 20s, early 30s in urban areas
  • What do they want people to do? I think the goal here is to inspire people to share the ads on their social media channels in an entertainment capacity (equaling free advertising), with the underlying goal of motivating those looking for a new SUV to purchase a 2014 Dodge Durango
  • What do they want people to feel? This is a little tougher for me to guess but if I had a look at their brand book I expect to find words like “youthful,” “hip,” and “doesn’t take self too seriously.” In an effort to capture a younger buyer, the brand must frame themselves in people’s minds as representative of the generation
  • How will they accomplish this? Through co-branding, viral videos mixed with television advertising, and humour

So how is this storytelling?

While this isn’t a “once upon a time there was a company that wanted to make more money” kind of story (I know, how boring) there is a story here. It’s a company using an advertising campaign in order to tell us what kind of brand they are. They’re telling us a story of how they want to be thought about, and what kind of company they want to be.

See how interesting storytelling and advertising can be? The risk for Dodge is choosing the right target for their product/brand and the right partners to help them tell their story (through both media and co-branding).

Is it working?

You may have gathered I don’t think Anchorman will suffer from this campaign, but I’m unsure if the gamble will result in increased sales for Dodge. And it would seem I’m not the only one wondering. There’s a great article in BloombergBusinessweek on how this campaign is doing. The short story: sales up 11 per cent overall and up 59 per cent for Durango. Can this all be attributed to Ron Burgundy? Of course it’s impossible to say for sure but it’s not…not working.

Another interesting snippet from the article is the Durango is Dodge’s smallest piece of the pie as far as sales go. So this is a really interesting choice for me. It makes me wonder if this target is for the Durango only, and not the brand overall. And if that’s the case, will people outside of the target who are loyal to the brand feel turned off by this campaign? I guess we’ll have ot wait and see.

Storytelling and Advertising, Part 1

Storytelling and Advertising

This is a poster for POM Wonderful Presents: The Greatest Movie Ever Sold. The poster art copyright is believed to belong to the distributor of the film, Sony Pictures Classics, the publisher of the film or the graphic artist.

This is a poster for POM Wonderful Presents: The Greatest Movie Ever Sold. The poster art copyright is believed to belong to the distributor of the film, Sony Pictures Classics, the publisher of the film or the graphic artist.

There is something about advertising, which leaves me captivated. In fact these days I find myself listening to the radio specifically for the advertisements. I listen to them, think about how they chose to sell their product, service, event, or cause, and then think about how effective it was.

Funny, right? I mean, after my first two years of media studies I was so disgusted with the manipulation in the industry I quit school and moved to a place without cable (I think they have it now). But they still had radio there.

The main radio station in town was, like, hyper-local. Where the announcers pronounced words like “cache” cash-aye instead of cash. I spent a lot of time listening to this station. Not by choice. It was because the place I worked had a radio waaaaaaaay up on 18′ shelves and I couldn’t change it. It played on and on all day, every day.

I’m thankful for this time in my life because listening to this silly little station for eight hours a day introduced me to syndicated programming in the form of Paul Harvey.

And now, for the rest of the story

The late American journalist’s storytelling was captivating. These short features presented little-known facts on an array of topics with the key element of the story held until the end. I learned to look forward to these daily story times. It made the other seven hours and 55 minutes bearable.

As I listened each day I became more and more interested in telling stories too. In fact I believe this was one of the many small incidents, which led me back to university and media. Maybe I could become a great storyteller too.

So how does advertising fit in? Well as the years have passed I’m learning advertising can be an effective means of storytelling. And for the most part I like it, so long as the content is truthful and not manipulative.

These Anchorman spots for Dodge are a home run.

For example. They’re a perfect example of what The Greatest Movie Ever Sold was studying about media partnerships.


I’m finding myself intrigued by the industry and curious to know what works, what doesn’t, and why.

Surprisingly, These Are My Top Five Apps

Of course I use a lot of apps, as most people with a smartphone do. Because you have to use apps to use your smartphone.

But when I began thinking about the apps I use the most, like every day, I realized I use some more than I thought I did.

Top Five Apps I Used in 2012


I know, right? Exactly WHAT am I doing using this app every single day? Through some serious reflection I came to the understanding that I talk about arts and entertainment constantly. I like knowing trivia, following the careers of certain entertainers (ones I like and ones I’m amused by mostly), and answering the question “Where do I know this actor from?”

What I’m still trying to figure out is if this is a seriously bad habit, an uncontrolled addiction, or an interest I’ve been ignoring.


It’s funny because I don’t actually use this app much, maybe once a week. However, I scroll through the posted photos two, three times a day. It’s probably the layout, so phone-friendly. I actually prefer other photo services to Instagram but they don’t have as good apps.

So…thanks everyone I follow for posting such interesting and addictive photos to keep me coming back!

Words With Friends

To those who have followed this blog for a while, it should be no surprise I’m crazy about Scrabble. However, it should also be no surprise I’m not a fan of the actual Scrabble game because of the “Scrabulous incident” a few years back. Turned my stomach.

WWF is a really great second—it’s interactive and of course it helps that everyone I know plays it so there are always loads of games on the go.


I started using Dropbox a couple years ago for work…and it kind of snowballed from there. Everything is integrated with Dropbox. Everything. OK, not everything, but a lot. I know cloud-based systems are all over the place now, so why stick with the old guy on the block, but I haven’t adapted to any other system as quickly as this one. I love that I can go from my work computer to my phone, to my home computer, to my tablet, and back again.

I especially love not having to remember external hard drives or thumb drives anymore. And emailing myself documents? Pft. That’s so 2011.


This app is the one I’m least enthusiastic about including in my Top Five. Because it hardly ever works anymore and I resent how much I rely on Facebook to keep up with my friends.

My goal for 2013 is to replace this app in my Top Five with something more important, like Podcasts, or my Calendar (those are both in my Top Ten).

Other apps in the up-and-coming category? Here’s the shortlist:

  • Songza (recent discovery, haven’t given it enough time yet)
  • Cineplex (love it, quite handy)
  • Run Keeper (if it’s going to make the Top Five, I’m going to have to get running more!)
  • Netflix (what can I say, I’m a loyal convert)
  • Hootsuite (ask me more, love this service)
  • Scramble (My resolution for 2013 is to finally BEAT my sister-in-law at this game ONCE!)

And now is my official plea for your app recommendations. I’m always looking and welcome your suggestions! Happy New Year!