How do you go about promoting your business without sounding like a car salesman and driving your potential network away?

 

One Line Gimmicks

Unless there is a specific request for your skill set, there is no right time for this type of response. Don’t just post in a group, on your FB Business Page or elsewhere with one liners or gimmicky responses.

 

“Contact me for all your development needs. “

“I do graphic design for this sort of thing. DM me for more info. “

“Need copyright work for your next project? Contact me.”

 

These examples are short and succinct. They tell the reader and potential client that you don’t have time to put thought into a response. These responses are often overlooked for others that have more value; such as a link to their website that reflects their experience.

 

Remember that you want to add value. Instead, do this:

“Hi Jamie! That sounds like a great project. I have experience in project management and would love to take a look at your work load and take the load off of your shoulders! Here’s a link to my website (www.pmibyjamie.com) , feel free to reach out if you think we’ll be a great fit!

 

This does two things. It creates a dialogue and a sense of trust between you and the person. It also gives them the option of viewing your previous work, testimonials and shows that you have the presence of mind to invest in your own business.

 

Don’t be a Debbie Downer Bully

Facebook has an abundance of Groups you can join that cover everything you could possible desire. And there are literally millions of people using Facebook at any given time. Each one of those people has a different opinion on life, politics and even cats. It may be tempting to digitally yell at the other person for making what seems like a ridiculous opinion of the color yellow. But in reality, it’s not useful or conducive to your brand.

As a Freelancer you are your brand, your persona is important and you don’t want any blemishes that might otherwise ruin your respectability.

More importantly, cyberbullying is a huge problem on social media. It is cruel and you can fall prey to it very easily, despite common belief anyone can fall prey to it.

 

Be Relevant

Okay, as much as we all LOVE cat photos, videos and memes; don’t just post those. Be relevant! Post about your industry, repost other people’s blogs that are relevant to your niche and write about your thoughts related to it. Post inspirational photos, snapshots of the project you are working on (As long as you haven’t signed an NDA. Be relevant AND be legal!). Write about new laws, software upgrades, etc…, that affect your industry AND your target markets industry. Post an image of the fantastic work area you have that day. Coffee shops make great photography! Whatever you do, mix it up and be consistent!

 

Monitor Your Security Settings

There are some things that even on your personal page you may not want shared with the world. The fact that your Aunt just had surgery is not something that you might want seen by everyone in the world. So look into your security settings, update them and if you want to make a post public; it’s easy to click the sharing button on the post to adjust the viewing capability to public!

If you’re not sure when posting if you should, ask yourself this: “Will anyone care about this content besides me and will it offend anyone?” Think about it before you hit post.

 

Visual Content

Just a couple thing about this—First and foremost, don’t post copyrighted content and claim it as your own. If you do use it, in the very least; give credit. If you’re not sure if it’s free to use, then don’t use it.

Profile Photos & Headers can be a lot of fun and rightfully so. But should you really post that photo of yourself in the tube top dress with the picture cropped so it looks like you’re not wearing anything to your profile photo where anyone can see it? Probably not.

Okay so what makes a great profile photo?

Are you in the shot? Do you want to look professional? Do you have a signature look? These are all GREAT questions and gives you a LOT to think about. The absolute number one thing you want to do is be true to you and your brand.

You can never go wrong with hiring a professional photographer for headshots too!

If you’re still not sure. There are a lot of great resources out there; like this one and this awesome flowchart. We can’t forget about the Facebook Help guide for best Profile Pic Practices!

 

Network

Just like live In-Person Events, there are virtual clues that determine whether it is okay to reach out to a complete stranger using social media. The digital age requires a certain amount of responsibility and respect.

Fore instance, your direct message at 9 PM from the West Coast really could be waking up the person on the East Coast at Midnight. You want to be considerate of your contacts when reaching out to them.

But before you even try, ask yourself this:

“Is it appropriate to send this person a direct message or should I contact them on their page, group, email or LinkedIn?”

To be able to answer this you would need to understand the psychology behind virtual social interaction. So instead, take these steps before direct messaging them.

Speak to them in the comment string directly by tagging their name so they see the post.

Understand that they may not be readily available to respond right away and may take some time.

If they choose not to connect, you should respect their decision and move on.

 

If you choose to go ahead and send them a direct message you should be clear and concise in your opening message. They receive the message on the other end of the transaction as soon as you send yours. When they view the message, the very first message you send is their first impression of who you are and what you want.

“Hi Jackie! It’s nice to virtually meet you! I’ve got a question and I was hoping that you could answer it. Do you have time to chat?”

Be considerate of their time. As Freelancers, we are busy and most use a Time Block System and value their time as if it is money. Well, because it is.

If, and only if they give the go ahead and ask your question.

 

[Photo Credits:  kaboompics.com [Public domain, CC0 1.0] via Pexels ]