Five Tips for Optimizing your Social Media Profiles

Optimizing your social media profiles is important! You want to ensure potential clients know who you are, what you do, and why they should hire you.

Optimizing Your Social Media Profiles

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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?

One More THing…

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.


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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.

    And my favourite tip for Optimizing your Social Media Profiles

  9. Be clear on your location/contact info

Conclusion

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!


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Optimizing your social media profiles is important! You want to ensure potential clients know who you are, what you do, and why they should hire you.

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How to Avoid Social Media Overwhelm

Whether you call it overload, burnout or addiction, social media overwhelm is real and reduces our capacity to connect…ironically.

How to Avoid Social Media Overwhelm

I heard a stat the other day saying we look at our phones an average of 150 times per day. I don’t know if it’s true but when I’m deep-down honest with myself I wonder how many times I look at my phone. A lot. And why? Much of the time I’m not doing anything. Opening apps, refreshing feeds, seeing if that was my phone that buzzed.

And that’s just checking what other people are posting. What about posting itself? How much time do I spend thinking about social media? If I’m deep-down honest…more than 150 times per day. Thinking about strategy, researching tactics, and testing tools can be a full-time job if you let it.

What can be done about social media overwhelm?

Oh, lots. First of all, you can take the extreme approach by avoiding it, banning it from your life, removing apps from your phone, or doing a social media detox. All those things are fine—but extreme. If you’re trying to grow your platform going off social media, although good for your mental health, doesn’t help you grow. What if there was a way to have the best of both worlds? Limit the time you spend on social media/in the digital world but be present when you’re there?

Yes, I’m trying to paint a picture of you being intentionally social rather than mindlessly scrolling. Not a crazy thing! I think you can do it!

Here are my top five tips for avoiding social media overwhelm

  1. Create a strategy
  2. I do this for a living so of course I’ll recommend building a social media marketing strategy. This isn’t hard but you do need to spend some time thinking about what you want to get out of social media. Why are you there? What are your goals? Who do you want to connect with? Figure these things out and everything gets easier from here. (Want some help? Here’s my Five Step Social Media Strategy for Writers.)

  3. Create a posting schedule
  4. Your posting schedule (also known as a content calendar or social focus) is a lifesaver. Instead of showing up going “I need to post today but I don’t know what to dooooooo,” you say “OK, so my focus today is encouragement so what do I have that’s encouraging? On one of the accounts I manage I created a basic posting schedule to help me come up with content but to also remain consistent. Mondays: Contests or opportunities, Tuesdays: General knowledge, Wednesdays: Ask a question, Thursdays: Contests or opportunities, Fridays: Article share. See? There’s a posting schedule, just like that. (If you want to go deeper, here’s my article on how to create a content calendar.)

  5. Choose your focus (ahead of time)
  6. You can’t be everywhere. So which network will you focus on? There is a lot of advice out there for which networks have the biggest payoff but you will need to decide for yourself what works. A couple questions to consider when choosing your social networks: Where are you most comfortable online? Where are your clients/readers most comfortable online?

    (You can go deeper on choosing your social networks here.)

  7. Get help
  8. Whoa. But we writers are solitary creatures! Yes, but we also tend to get in our heads and spiral. When you’re feeling social media overwhelm creep up, get help. This could be by speaking with a mentor or colleague, taking a course/learning a new skill, or hiring someone. The point is, get help. (Here’s a great story about a time I was asked for help and we ended up re-launching JenniMarie’s photography business.)

  9. Use scheduling tools

Use them like they’re going out of style. Seriously, USE TOOLS! They not only help you organize your social life, but if set up right, they allow you to focus on what you need to and filter out the rest. The right scheduling tools will keep social media overwhelm at bay and help you reach your social and business goals. (Here are my 15 best apps for freelance writers, including my favourite social media scheduling tools.)

OK! That wasn’t so hard was it? Now get out there and be social!

Social media overwhelm is real and reduces our capacity to connect...ironically. Here are my top 5 tips for avoiding social media overwhelm.

Top Five Spring Cleaning Essentials [roundup]

Here are my spring cleaning essentials for the busy person who has better things to do but still really really really wants to spring clean.

SPRING CLEANING ESSENTIALS

I know the snow isn’t gone for everyone but it is for me (although I’m still waiting for the sunny days) and as a result I’m feeling the itch to get my spring cleaning on and bin the purge. But I know I can’t do it all. To avoid overwhelm and failure, this year I’m keeping things streamlined and simple.

Top Five Spring Cleaning Essentials

  1. Make a plan
  2. I love this spring cleaning planner from Living Well Spending Less. Not only does it force you to clarify your “why” and break down your cleaning plan into manageable steps, but it gives you space to write your top five spring cleaning goals. I love it! And even better, it’s a free download.

  3. Make your own cleaners
  4. Spring cleaning doesn’t have to be expensive. If you download the spring cleaning planner jump to page 13 for a bunch of DIY cleaner recipes. Of course my favourite is my DIY Shower Cleaner followed by my DIY Window Cleaner.

  5. Purge your closet and create a capsule wardrobe
  6. I’ll admit, this is the one I haven’t quite completed. I do quarterly “wear everything in my closet and get rid of everything I won’t/can’t wear” events but haven’t been able to pare down my wardrobe to a capsule-size…yet. But it’s a goal. One I’m circling. I love this how-to guide from The Urban Umbrella although if you’re just looking for a cheat sheet, this is a good one.

  7. Sell your extra stuff
  8. I love this tip from Side Hustle Nation. Embrace the purge, then sell it. Just because you’re not using an item doesn’t mean it’s not valuable or usable. In fact, it may be just what another person is searching for. Why not make a few bucks off your spring cleaning? I don’t know about you but it sure motivates me!

    And now for the digital full circle

  9. Spring clean your email

No kidding! Just because you don’t trip over your virtual files doesn’t mean they don’t overwhelm you. I remember a time when 600 emails in my inbox was normal. What!? Too many! These Email Inbox Management Tips from Fizzle were just what I needed to take my overflowing inbox by the horns and get it down to zero. True story. I got my inbox to zero and every Friday I spend a few minutes getting it back down to something reasonable. And I can’t tell you how amazing it feels.

Alright! These are my spring cleaning essentials—I hope you find some inspiration from this list or at least the courage to tackle one pile of junk this season. Oh, and I hope you’ll get unburied from the snow soon.

I know the snow isn’t gone for everyone but it is for me (although I’m still waiting for the sunny days) and as a result I’m feeling the itch to get my spring cleaning on and bin the purge. But I know I can’t do it all. To avoid overwhelm and failure, this year I’m keeping things streamlined and simple. Here are my spring cleaning essentials for the busy person who has better things to do but still really really really wants to spring clean.

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Fall Lineup Five (The Conclusion)

Well, it’s official. All of the shows from my Fall Lineup top five television shows seem to be coming back for another season.

Fall Lineup

Wahoo!

The stunning conclusion to my fall lineup five and my closing comments

I was a bit worried there for a while, and still NBC is the only network to officially announce their schedule so far (in which Community DID make the list), but in reading around the Interweb it seems the TV reviewers/junkies out there are quite confident the rest of my Top Five will be returning.

So that’s good news.

This is the first time I can recall where I made a guess of shows that I might like before I’d seen them. A bit unlike me, but also a fun test. Not sure if I’ll do it again next year though. It was quite stressful rooting for all these shows, hoping they’d make it based on no more than my hopes for their story lines.

Yes, quite stressful.

Ahh, who am I kidding. See you next fall TV schedule!


Here’s a quick synopsis of my top five television shows from the 2011 fall lineup

Once Upon A Time

I said I was most looking forward to this show and so far it hasn’t disappointed. It’s got an interesting concept, although as the series goes on I think the writing is actually getting weaker. So I hope they step it up a notch moving forward.

New Girl

I had high hopes for this one and I thought the first six episodes were horrible. But beginning around the Thanksgiving episode right before Christmas, I’ve enjoyed New Girl quite a bit.

Community

Well this show may not make it past Season 3. Which is unfortunate. But actually, I kind of get it. These people are in Community College and it’s about them, the seven in the study group. So what happens when they graduate?

Parks and Recreation

This show has lived up to my expectations. And even though I hate to admit it, when Ben lost his job I even cried a little.

The Big Bang Theory

I like the direction the show is going. I’m glad they’re developing more characters than just Sheldon (sorry, but too much of a good thing…) and I find myself anticipating the new episodes.

I'm very excited for new shows this fall. Here is my Fall Lineup Five for 2011. Except it's actually "autumn" because fall isn't a season it's a verb.

My Beef With Bullet Points

If you know me at all you know I love me a good list so are you confused at my beef with bullet points? I get it. And my blog agrees.

My Beef With Bullet Points

However, I’ve noticed a trend in the blogging world. Bloggers are straying from ye olde paragraph (or even ye olde complete sentence) in favour of…bullet points. Listicles if you will.

My Beef with Bullet Points

I complained about this on Twitter once, to which I received an immediate response from a blogger simply saying (I don’t know the tone but I’m going to go with a bit defensive) it’s because no one reads blogs anymore. They scan.

Fair enough. I scan most blogs, it’s true. However. If it’s excellent writing, I stick around and read. So please for the love of God write complete sentences. And paragraphs.

Actually, though, lists are an excellent tool and knowing how to use them properly is a great skill. But this little blogging trend to use bullets instead of paragraphs is not actually utilizing the list function of said bullet points. It’s merely demonstrating laziness.

For, what I’m noticing is rambling points, which could have easily been turned into paragraphs but weren’t cause, you know, “I’m busy.”

We’re all busy

Unless you’re writing a list, write your paragraphs and don’t shortchange your readers.

And if you want a quick rundown on how to format a list properly, go to Grammar Girl. She’s the best.

Here’s a brief excerpt

Experts have raised valid concerns that people overuse lists in PowerPoint presentations and for presenting complex information, but the scant attention to lists in most style guides has always baffled me because you can hardly open a Web page, marketing brochure, or user manual without walking smack into a list. Marketing experts and web designers know that most people visually scan these kinds of simple or instructional documents instead of reading every word, and that lists improve a scanner’s ability to remember key points.

To be honest this is kind of an academic article about lists. I was hoping for more opinions about when to use a bullet list and when to write a complete sentence.

I love a good list. However, I've noticed a trend in the blogging world. Bloggers are straying from ye olde paragraph in favour of…bullet points. Yuck!

Other grammar rants