Simplifying Social Media: Smart Techniques for Self-Employed Pros

June 25, 2015


Everyone gets overwhelmed sometimes. I think this happens even more with freelancers and self-employed professionals. And, I don’t know about you, but all the responsibilities have a way of stressing me out.

So, the last thing I need? Additional stress from social media requirements.

But then I learned that good social doesn’t have to be stressful.

Smart self-employed professionals use simple social media tactics that yield the largest ROI possible. That’s what we want to talk about today. Ultimately, great social endeavors begin with consistency. Even small, simple tasks compound into a huge impact over time.

In this article, we’ve outlined simple strategies for the most popular networks. Then, at the end, we’ll go one step further and provide tips for expanding into smaller, niche platforms that could bring even greater results. Let’s get started:

Twitter: Curate Great Content

Twitter gives you the opportunity to connect with influencers, establish yourself as a thought leader and get involved in amazing conversations.

That said, you could easily waste hours on the platform every day – it’s got that addictive quality. You could spend tons of time connecting with others and starting conversations, but self-employed people don’t have time for that.

The solution? A process that makes an impact and generates leads for your business.

The Simplified Solution

Twitter is very fast-paced. With its rapid movement, you’ll need to invest some time into engagement. But that doesn’t mean you need to spend hours on the platform!

Get into the habit of doing the following things everyday:

  1. Respond to any @mentions.
  2. Respond to any DMs.
  3. Retweet 2-3 Tweets that are relevant to your audience.
  4. Start a conversation with 1-2 influencers or people in your target audience.
  5. Schedule 5-10 posts.

Use these five simple steps daily and turn small engagements into big results.

Facebook: Tell a Story

In Gary Vaynerchuk’s book Jab, Jab, Jab Right Hook, he reveals a shocking statistic: One in every five page views in the United States occurs on Facebook!

That statistic alone speaks to the importance of your personal brand on Facebook. As a self-employed professional, you build your business off the connections you make. Combine that user base with a strategic approach, and you’re bound to make connections.

The Simplified Solution

You could spend all day on Facebook – and many people do – but you’ll never build a successful business that way. Instead, you need something that’s manageable for the busy life of a business owner. Here’s what your daily Facebook habit should look like:

  1. Respond to any private messages.
  2. Respond to any public comments on your posts.
  3. Comment on 2-3 posts on other fan pages.
  4. Post a fresh update to your page.

When carried out everyday, these habits help you establish a strong brand on the network.

LinkedIn: Show Your Accomplishments

Self-employed professionals use LinkedIn to showcase their experience, accomplishments and work samples. When done correctly, your LinkedIn profile becomes an interactive resume that sells your skills, before you ever make a sales call.

And that’s the dream, isn’t it?

Although it’s more low maintenance than other networks, you’ll still need to perform some basic upkeep on a weekly basis to ensure you’re making the biggest impact.

The Simplified Solution

On LinkedIn, less is more – it’s about quantity over quality. Once you setup your initial profile, you don’t need to worry about things like daily posting. In fact, if you even needed to skip a week of maintenance, you wouldn’t lose credibility or authority on this business-oriented site.

If you have time, though, take the following actions every week to keep your presence fresh and up-to-date:

  1. Respond to any private messages.
  2. Comment or Post in 3-5 LinkedIn Groups.
  3. Post an update to your network.
  4. Bonus task: Publish a blog post on the platform.

Carrying out these small tasks every week improves your score within the LinkedIn system, making it more likely that your profile will come up whenever others search for specialists in your area of expertise.

Pinterest: Categorize Your Life

Need to drive traffic to your website? Want to showcase your interests and build your personal brand? Then it’s time to invest in Pinterest.

Using Pinterest Boards, you can categorize your interests, activities and projects into different sections. But this social network is also great for segmenting your audience and reaching everyone in your target market.

The Simplified Solution

First things first, get a business account. It will give you access to analytics and rich pins, which can help you make a better impact.

Do these things daily (or weekly) to build your brand on Pinterest:

  1. Pin your latest blog post to the appropriate board.
  2. Repin 5-10 pins from other boards that will interest your audience.
  3. Comment on other’s pins to start building a following.

Start driving traffic and building a brand with these three small tasks.

Instagram: Build Your Brand

This platform works particularly well for businesses that have rich visual representations. But any self-employed professional can use this platform for a branding “win.”

With Instagram, it’s all about pulling back the curtain and showing the person behind your brand. Consider using things like: shots of recent projects from your portfolio, behind-the-scenes looks at your team in the office and short video clips of employee interviews or recent meetings with your team or clients.

The Simplified Solution

Make connections with others by actively liking and commenting on photos. This basic strategy builds brand recognition and helps to get your profile noticed.

Try this daily (or weekly) schedule:

  1. Like 25 photos on a relevant hashtag (e.g. #marketinglife).
  2. Comment on 10 photos with a relevant hashtag.
  3. Upload a new photo for your feed using your phone.

Don’t be afraid to get personal and build your recognition on this visual platform.

Other Networks: Test What Works

New networks pop up all the time. As a result, you’ll find plenty of smaller, niche networks that could reach potential target customers. Some of these include:

  • YouTube
  • Reddit
  • Google+
  • Snapchat
  • Kik
  • Bebo
  • Vine
  • Ello
  • Meerkat

How overwhelming! Most self-employed professionals can’t afford to give up the time needed to invest in the basic social networks – much less these outliers.

The Simple Solution

Got the basic networks working? Good. Now try adding one of these additional networks into your simplified strategy, as it could provide a great avenue for additional engagement.

Focus on the first two social platforms, Facebook and Twitter. Don’t add anything anything else until you’ve mastered those basics.

Never spread yourself too thin on social media. In this case, bigger isn’t always better. Start with 1-2 platforms, then expand your efforts once you master the simple strategies.

Once you’re ready to explore new platforms, evaluate what will work best for your business. Do you sell a visual focused product or service? Give Pinterest and/or Instagram a try. If you spend time trying to sell to business professionals, consider LinkedIn. Ultimately, it’s up to you and what your business needs.

As a self-employed professional, you don’t have the time to waste. Be strategic about your social media efforts by using these smart techniques and watch as your social influence grows.

How have you simplified your social media strategy? Share any tips or tricks you’ve picked up by leaving a comment below.


about the author

Freelance Contributor Justine Grey empowers creative entrepreneurs to diversify their income with affiliate marketing. Join thousands in her AffiliateAce community getting doable affiliate experiments and action tips every week.