Using social media as a way of promoting your work

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Once criticised as a playground for insecure teenagers, social media has proven it’s here to stay.

Although some still see the major social media channels – such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and other sites – as simply a place for people to show off and let everyone know what they had for lunch, they also have a clear and proven ability to share news, opportunities and gather information. They can also promote goods and services in a direct and personal way that companies would have merely dreamt of 20 years ago.

Done right, businesses can connect to potential customers and clients easily, with spontaneity and a personal approach. The best way to use social media is to think of it as an interactive medium. Unlike traditional advertising, which is simply about transmitting information to audiences who are expected to simply watch or listen passively, social media is about interacting with people in the same way as you might colleagues or even friends. Companies using social media to the best marketing effect will treat it with respect, and welcome feedback, complaints, and questions to any message they send out.

It’s important to have a sense of humour online, while also remaining professional and helpful at all times.

Any complaints can be handled instantly, with sensitivity, and customers will be reassured to know that there is a real person on the other end of the line, reaping benefits in future as they return to your company with positive feedback and increased loyalty.

It’s important to have a sense of humour online, while also remaining professional and helpful at all times.

Another major advantage of social media is that it’s free, and can have as much reach, if not far more, than traditional forms of expensive marketing.

Social media is also adaptable, and can be used to promote many different kinds of work, from online services to art to crafts to writing or IT. You don’t need to be a big company or a hilarious writer to make the most of it; you can also be a lone worker trying to get your business out there to potential customers.

In fact, social media can actually work best for smaller businesses, freelancers and contractors, because they can bring that personal touch to the table much more easily than a bigger, faceless corporation.

And because of the range of media social sites can promote – from quotations to photos to video – whether you want to promote pithy writing skills or showcase your drawings or design, there is a site that will work for you.

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Social media can be a bit of a full-time job though, and that’s where being a freelancer or contractor can put you at a disadvantage, because you’re unlikely to have a team of people whose only job is to monitor your social channels, replying to every interaction instantly or following everything you should.

Luckily, you’re not alone if you fall into this category: there is a style of business, called an umbrella company, which can help you to manage all aspects of your work, allowing you to jump between contracts and agencies, and stay on top of your pay and taxes, meaning that you can spend less time worrying about that and more time on promoting your work online.

Ultimately, using social media to your best advantage is likely to bring you extra work, meaning that you can make use of an umbrella company all the more, and maximise your contracts to your best ability, without worrying about all that other time-consuming admin.


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