Tag Archives: twitter

Social Media 101

Facebook. Twitter. LinkedIn. Klout. WordPress.

You’ve heard the terms, and most likely you use at least some, if not all of the sites/services I’ve mentioned above and others. But how do you use them? And did you know they are excellent vehicles for marketing your business?

Now, although collectively, they are referred to as social media platforms, don’t let the “social” part of the name fool you — the sites above are legitimate ways to market your business.

One of the many hats I wear on a daily basis is Social Media Manager. I have several clients for whom it is my job to run their social media campaigns. I post to their Facebook pages. Send their tweets. Write their blog posts.  I also do these things for my own business, which is why if we’re friends on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, you are probably almost tired of seeing updates about this blog.

[I hope you aren’t tired of the updates, cuz I hope you look forward to reading my blog, but I had to throw that out there because, well, it was the polite thing to do. :-)]

I enjoy interacting via social media, either as myself, or representing my clients, but I can understand why others might not enjoy the experience. Social media done right, is hard work. Sometimes it’s tedious. Sometimes you just don’t want to be bothered with interacting with others. And that’s okay, but you’ll need to get past that if you want to create an effective social media platform.

Or hire me. 🙂

So, if you are up to the challenge of launching a social media campaign, here are a few tricks I use to get things started.

1. Know your product. I know this should be obvious, but you would be shocked the number of people who don’t really know what their product is. For example, if you’re a freelance writer, what’s your product? Do you have articles you want to sell? Selling an ebook? Or are YOU the product? Decide what you want to market before you start the marketing process.

2. Know your target audience. Who does your product appeal to the most? As a jewelry designer, my audience is primarily female, 9 months of the year. The other 3 months, it’s male, but in those three months, I make as much as I do the other 9 months combined. My writing market is primarily small and home-based business, and solo/entrepreneurs and it’s year round.

3. Go where your targets are. Not everyone uses the same social media sites. Believe it or not, everyone is NOT on Facebook, at least to the point where you can just use it to market your products and services exclusively. Men pay more attention to Reddit and LinkedIn, females are Facebook and FourSquare oriented. Older social networkers are on sites like Reunion.com and Gather. Figure out where your potential customers spend their time, and focus on those locations.

4. Create information for your target audience. If you have a product with a wide appeal, you can usually get away with one informational statement, but if you have a niche product, you will need to target that niche. With the jewelry, I promote everything across the board 9 months of the year, but for those all important 3 months, I go to where the guys are and promote my female jewelry heavily. So, you might have to tailor 2 or more messages to reach the audience you want, but it can pay off.

5. Be consistent. If you are going to market once a week to your general market, and once a week to your niche market, then stick to that plan. If you start out doing one blog post a week to inform your customers of new products or services, then stick to that schedule. Whatever you decide, you should be consistent in your delivery. Delivering around the same time of day is also helpful, but not really required. (So, says the blogger who is still trying to determine the right time of day to post her blog! I’m not perfect, even *I* have to tweak things! :-))

These tips can get you started. If you have any questions or would like getting started, email me or leave a comment.


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It Wasn’t Always Like This — the Exciting Conclusion

Sorry about the derailment yesterday from what was supposed to be the original topic, but sometimes you just have to say things when they need to be said. I appreciate the outpouring of support in the comments here, my Facebook page and through Twitter. It was wonderful to see that many agreed with my stance.

Now, back to the topic at hand: Why are we paid such crummy wages? Well, I’ve mentioned it here, but that was really just one side of the coin. I’m going to break it down completely now.

Reason #1: We let others devalue our work. With the proliferation of computers, word processing software with spell and grammar checkers and websites that publish anything, becoming a “writer” is as easy as throwing some words in a template and clicking “Send.” Technically, if the only thing I ever wrote was this blog, in many circles, I could call myself a writer. And since “anyone can do it,” the value of writing suffers as a result.

Reason #2: Writers don’t know the value of their craft. Now, this I can really understand, because there are times when I really struggle with determining what I should charge. When you can write a 400-word article in 15 minutes, you might feel like an heel charging $25 for it. But let’s look at the reasoning: You weren’t always capable of writing that article in 15 minutes. At one point in time, you had to do the research on the topic or you took a class; you had to learn how to string words together coherently, you purchased software to use to write articles, and a computer on which to install the software. So, it’s not that you only need 15 minutes to write it, it’s WHY you only need 15 minutes to write it that makes the article worthy of $25.

Reason #3: Writing for low-pay is better than writing for no-pay. Three words: No, it’s not. Accepting low pay gigs as the norm (check out my YMBOC page for some examples), sets a dangerous precedent. Sometimes it is unintentional — a client might not have any idea what to charge, and so he puts out a bid for the smallest amount he thinks he can get away with. Lo and behold, someone responds to his bid. So now, this client thinks, well if Writer A. will work for this rate, then surely Writers B-Z will as well. Sometimes, this client will come up against a writer who knows his worth and refuses to work for such a low wage. It might be Writer B or it might take til Writer W before this happens.

We all need to be Writer Bs and nip these low wages in the bud. Clients wouldn’t offer these wages if they knew writers weren’t willing to work for them. There are always going to be Writer As in the world — we just have to make sure they are outnumbered.

And if you need further proof as to why you want to strive for better pay, consider this: If you had could choose to either write for 15 clients and make $300, or write for 5 clients and make $300, which would you choose? Remember the mantra: Work Smart, Not Hard. Which one seems smarter to you?

As for Writing for free — that’s what hobbyists  do. Professional writers don’t write for free, unless it’s as a favor to a friend or some other worthy cause. In other words, it doesn’t count.

Reason #4: The Global Marketplace. This is the one reason that is pretty much out of our control. If you’re competing with someone for whom $50 is enough to live on for a month, your  $350 bid is going to seem high. But that is NO REASON to lower the amount you need or devalue your work. There will always be clients who go for the lowest price. But in many cases, it’s a “you get what you pay for” situation. I have lost count of the number of times I’ve lost a job to the lowest bidder, just for the client to approach me later to “fix things.” Your mother was right — the cream rises to the top. Stick to your guns.

So those are my reasons for why we aren’t paid what we’re worth. What do you think? Do you agree? Do you have your own reasons? Let me know in the comments — I’d love to know what you think.

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