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Chapter
2

Identify the goal of your social media efforts

A common mistake we see when freelancers embark on their social media journey is only jumping into the social networks they’re already active on, or starting their efforts without a clear goal. In practice, this leads to a lot of chaotic content and minimal audience interaction.

An essential thing to consider when assessing social channels is your goal. By the end of this step, you will have a clear list of your business goals and which types of people you will target for each of these needs.‍

Identify the goal(s) of your efforts

In this exercise, you will hone in on where you’re struggling and what your goals are. In the next step, you will use these goals as a guide to evaluating the various channels.

This first exercise will get you to understand what you want to get out of a social platform. Why do you want to use social media to begin with? Are there any challenges you want to solve by putting yourself out there?

‍First, think about where you’re struggling the most. This could be things like:

  • “I want more clients.”

  • “I want to get bigger clients who can afford higher rates.”

  • “I’m just trying to build a personal brand and become well-known in my industry.”

  • “There are so many freelancers out there. I want to stand out!”

  • “I need to grow my professional network.”

  • “I wish I had a support network to turn to for tips and recommendations.”

  • “I want to find a part-time job, but still keep my freelancing gig.”‍

If more than one of those bullet points resonated, don’t worry. We’ve all been there.

Next, write down what your specific business goal is in your workbook. Here are some examples of what your goals could be:‍

  • Get new business: Generate leads, build up your online presence, earn more, etc.

  • Get different types of business: Do different types of work, change your niche, do more strategy work, etc.

  • Expand network: Network with your peers or meet other experts in your industry.

  • Build authority: Get credibility from your social following and start getting in front of bigger clients.

  • Find community: Have fun, meet peers, ask questions, and get help when you need it.‍

You might have multiple goals, and some channels may have multiple purposes

It is totally okay to have multiple goals with social channels. Make sure you don’t overwhelm yourself with too many things you’re trying to “do” on any given channel. In practice, one channel can serve multiple purposes, and you should remain open to that! ‍

For example, you could use Twitter to find a support community to bounce ideas off of. Since many clients come from referrals, it’s also possible that Twitter can also be a place to connect with prospects. In this scenario, one platform serves multiple purposes.

On the other hand, you might focus your efforts on Twitter as a support community and find LinkedIn to be a better source of leads. In this case, you have multiple goals and multiple channels, and the content you create should be tailored to that goal on that channel.

Not sure where to start? Look at your competitors

If you feel like you should be more active on social channels but don’t know where to start, look at what is standard for your industry. To do so, follow this process to see what others are doing.

To research other freelancers in your industry, Google (or search on LinkedIn) your industry name + a keyword like “freelance writer”, “freelance content writer”, or even just “writer”. Find three freelancers you think are doing a good job at social media and add them to the table in your workbook

Go through each freelancer and fill in the table with the following:

  • What mix of social networks are they using

  • What their content is focused on

  • What audience do they target

Here’s what your workbook could look like once you fill it in:

‍During this process, if you find people are using channels that aren’t already on your list, add them. This is a great insight and you’ve just learned something new.

Tip: You can also get an idea of the messaging other freelancers use, the services they offer, and even some of the clients they have at this point.‍

Recap

  • How to clarify what your general business goals are and how to use these on social media

  • How to analyze your industry, competitors, and target audience to spot trends and common behavioral patterns

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