by Sue A. Fairchild

As a relatively “green” editor, with only four years under my belt as a freelancer, I often worry about how best to market my business. As freelancers, we’re frequently told to employ a plethora of social media platforms as ways to advertise and market. But which ones truly can help?

I have professional social media accounts on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and Twitter, but it’s difficult to keep up with each of them on a daily basis. It takes a lot of time to post new, exciting and informed content on all four, plus keep up with my actual work. I’ve even tried using scheduling applications for assistance, but some strategists warn that these can be kicked out by some social media giants (like Facebook) because you aren’t actually being social. There are so many rules about social media—how to utilize it and how often—that it can seem to be a never-ending and useless cycle in our business.

However, I’ve found two ideas that have worked well for me.

  1. Go where the professionals are. Guru and Upwork are fine for obtaining some jobs, but often I found the clients to be more demanding than they were willing to pay. No one needs to work for less than their value. I’ve found places like LinkedIn and organizations such as the Christian Editor Connection help fill my schedule best. If you have a LinkedIn account, you can register as a pro through their ProFinder service. The feature works like Guru or Upwork by connecting you with people who need your services, but, because it’s LinkedIn, the clients are typically of a more professional caliber and not simply looking for cheap labor. When someone fills out a request for a service like yours, you receive a notification and can then submit a proposal. The proposals for each request are limited to five so you need to act fast, but it means you aren’t competing against as many professional (or not-so-professional) people like on the other sites.
  2. Connect with people who need your services. Actually being social on your social media platforms—any you choose—can truly make the difference in your business. Instead of posting random things on every social media platform in hopes that someone will follow you or seek you out, you pursue and connect with the people you want to engage. For instance, on Instagram, I seek out authors and writers who also have a Christian base. I look for small, independent authors and ones that are seeking advice or assistance. Even if we’re not connected via the platform as friends, I choose one of their posts I like and comment on it. Very often, they will comment back and even like my Instagram page in return. And, just like that, a connection is formed. I’ve fostered a few work relationships this way and plan on implementing this more in the new year.

In the end, in order to grow our business, we need to employ all the resources—like social media platforms—available to us. However, it’s also up to us to utilize them in the most effective way possible—not simply posting into the abyss, but actually engaging with like-minded professionals in a professional manner.

Sue A. Fairchild is a freelance editor who specializes in full-length novel edits and Christian writing. Her clients include a USA Today Bestselling author, a suspense/thriller series, and a fantasy series. In addition, Sue has been published in Christian devotion magazines, two Chicken Soup for the Soul books, and has self-published two novels currently available on Amazon (“What You Think You Know and “Summer’s Refrain”).