Freelance In 40 Days [Day 20]: Twitter, Stumbleupon and Freelancing

Posted: October 1st, 2009

Photo by Johnny (The Freelance Rant)

Photo by Johnny (The Freelance Rant)

This is Day 20 of the Freelance in 40 Days series where you’ll learn to freelance just by taking it one day and one task at a time. Today you’ll see how social media is useful in your freelance career.

Social Media Was Made For Freelancing

Today I’m going to introduce you to the concept of social media. Alright, I’ll cut the bull.

If you haven’t been hit in the face with social media yet and hanging ten on the Twitter wave, pull yourself from under that rock and read on. Admittedly, I did several months ago and haven’t looked back since.

One thing learned was that, for freelancers social media is an invaluable tool for networking and promotion. Before you get the idea of using it to sell yourself as the freelancer, though, it helps to understand the real benefits:

  • Networking
    Social media is the best and easiest means to network with other freelancers from around the world. It’s helps immensely to know you can turn to a group of chums for advice or just chat and joke around with.
  • Keep up with trends
    Since the primary function of social media is to spread around useful information, you can keep up with the latest and greatest happening in your field.
  • Promote your blog
    If you have a blog or are just starting one, social media is the best way to share it and drive traffic to it instead of waiting around for the search engines to give it some love.
  • You’ll eventually find article gems from other users
    Every once in a while you will come across an article passed to you that offers the perfect advice, makes you spit coffee on your computer screen from laughing or is one to print out and hang on your wall as a motivator. You won’t find these articles on your own otherwise.

There are a gazillion social media websites out there but the two most useful for freelancers are Twitter and Stumbleupon. Twitter is definitely the more “social” and is great to interact with others as well as promoting your blog while Stumbleupon tends to be used strictly for blog promotion but is a great tool for it’s ease of use.

Sure, there are other large social media sites such as Digg and Mixx, but keeping up with many different ones eats up a freelancer’s time. That’s why it is recommended to stick to the two basic, most popular sites which, realistically, is all you need.

You may have already started using Twitter and Stumbleupon but, no matter if you have or haven’t, read and bookmark the following articles which will show you the proper way to use Twitter and Stumbleupon, especially for you as the freelancer:

Your Homework For Today

If you have not set up an account with Twitter or Stumbleupon, create one for each. Hopefully you already did from Day 5. Remember to get a username with your company name or a slight derivation of it.

Then read through the articles above.

From here on out, make an effort to spend at least a half hour a day on Twitter/Stumbleupon (an hour if you can). You’ll be surprised at how your network will grow during that time.

More on the author, Johnny Spence
Johnny is the founder of The Freelance Rant and a freelance web programmer with 8 years in the business. Have a visit at his company Oscarrr!web or see what he's up to on Twitter.

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