Get more freelance writing jobs with Instagram Live. Wait, what?
When I first heard about this marketing strategy for freelance writers, I thought it sounded a lot like one of those spammy get-rich marketing programs spawned from the be-a-social-media-star generation.
You know…videos of a well-dressed millennial taking selfies, riffing on making money online, a lovely beach scene in the background, and choppy look-at-the-birdie camera movements.
Is there any possible way Instagram Live could help you land freelance writing jobs?
That’s the question that was on my mind. Call it Shiny Object Syndrome if you want. I’ve got the curious mind of a journalist and had to find out.
For starters, think about this…Instagram has over 1 billion monthly users. And more than 500 million of them use it every day.
Sure many of those people are just sharing their selfie library. But it’s increasingly being used to drive traffic, make sales, and generate leads for products and services…services like freelance writing.
Translation: You can use Instagram Live to get more freelance writing jobs. Here’s how:
The birth of Instagram Live for freelance marketing
Let’s go way back…oh, let’s say 2015
- Twitter’s live streaming platform, Periscope, was all the rage.
- You could get on live with others, share to your heart’s content, and the video would stay up for 24 hours.
Some freelancers (like writer and life coach Angie Atkinson) started using this to show off their personality and give prospects a taste for what to expect.
Leverage ‘live’ action for freelance marketing
Facebook takes note of Twitter and within a year introduces Instagram Stories and Instagram Live. You can use these features to share details like:
- Your latest projects and assignments
- New freelance writing clients
- Testimonials and success stories
- Marketing efforts to land more freelance writing jobs
- Content marketing strategies
- Search engine optimization tips
- Headline writing tips
- Income reports
- Freelance writing goals
- Challenges you’re struggling with
- Niche experience…and more
But why would you use Instagram Live as a freelance writer?
It’s a solid social media marketing tool you can use to interact with prospects, clients, and other writers. And if you do it right, it’s a viable way to grow your network and land freelance writing jobs.
Yes, you’ll need to spend some time developing your list of Instagram followers to include potential prospects and current clients. But you don’t need millions or even thousands. Think about it this way:
- How many solid clients do you need to earn a healthy income as a freelance writer? Maybe a dozen or so. Follow your clients and prospects you want to work with. Like and comment on their Instagram posts. It’s not hard. You really only need a few of the 1 billion monthly Instagram users to hire you to make a living writing.
Here are 5 ways you can use Instagram Live to grow your prospecting list or find new freelance writing jobs:
1. Announce a contest, discount, or give-away
Show up and announce a writing discount, contest or giveaway in advance via the Instagram Live platform.
- Writing discount: “15% off all projects booked by the end of the month. Follow and comment, then PM me with your project details and schedule a phone call.”
- Giveaway: “Receive a free copy of (business or marketing book, or book relevant to your niche). Follow and comment. Then PM me with your mailing address. First five people to do this win.”
- Contest: “Enter to win a free content review of your (website, landing page, blog, etc.) Follow and comment, and make a case for why you could use some help. Five winners will be selected.”
This Instagram Live marketing technique is kind of like the classic TV lotto drawings and game shows. Tweak it for your business to connect with your clients and prospects. When you’re done with the contest, go live again to announce the winners or share a success story about one of the projects you worked on.
2. Host a Q&A session
You can use a Q&A (question & answer) session to show off your skills and knowledge as a niche writer, address writing and marketing topics important to your clients and prospects, or give prospects a taste for how you work.
What questions frequently come up when you talk to prospects and clients? Make a list and use it for an Instagram Live session.
- What’s your process for writing a blog post, case study, white paper, landing page, etc.?
- How much do you charge? What’s your fee? How much is this going to cost?
- What’s your editing process look like?
- Can you help me with SEO (search engine optimization)?
- How long does it take you to complete an assignment?
Pay attention to questions that pop up frequently in your emails and phone calls. Then do a special Instagram Live to talk about how your clients can troubleshoot the problem. This provides tremendous value to build your reputation as the freelance writer in your niche.
3. Provide a behind-the-scenes look
Getting a never-before-seen moment caught on Instagram Live is the quintessential social media moment. Use it to show your clients and prospects what a typical day looks like for you. It’s one more way to connect with clients and prospects, show off your personality, and peek inside your freelance life.
You might be thinking, “But there’s nothing interesting enough about my freelance life to talk about on Instagram Live. Think again.” What may be ordinary and uninteresting to you may be insightful, interesting, and helpful to someone else.
Give a behind-the-scenes look at things like:
- Writing and rewriting a blog post headline
- Identifying a key phrase for SEO
- Hosting a client/prospect call where you discuss the details of a project
- Showing vignettes of your day writing, editing, answering phone calls, responding to emails, going for a walk, juggling freelance work with taking care of kids, etc.
- Discussing a project with an editor, another writer, or graphic designer you’re working with
Note: There are some limitations to how you can use Instagram Live compared to more traditional webinar software, but it still works well.
4. Host a live event
Whether it’s a sold-out convention or breaking news, Instagram Live is a fabulous way of showing the world what you’re working on and how you’re staying up to date.
If you want to host a live event using Instagram Live, here are a few things to keep in mind:
- Plan ahead. Develop the topic you’ll discuss, and anticipate questions your followers may ask.
- Invite followers to ask questions ahead of time, prior to your Instagram Live session
- Post reminders to promote your Instagram Live event or email your followers the details
- Show up on time and stick to the schedule for your Instagram Live event.
- Answer questions as part of your Instagram Live event, usually near the end of your live event
Note: Sometimes the sound quality can be compromised when there are crowds, so keep that in mind before you go live.
5. Encourage follower interaction
You can also use Instagram Live to encourage your followers to interact with each other. It’s a great way to generate testimonials from clients you’ve worked with, expand your network, and meet prospects that can lead to more freelance writing jobs. Wondering how to do this?
Ask your followers via Instagram Live to:
- Recommend a graphic designer, web designer or SEO expert they’ve worked with
- Suggest software and tools to help run their businesses
- Discuss issues or challenges unique to your niche and industry
- Offer tips and advice to resolve problems related to business, customer service, marketing, etc.
- Provide encouragement and support to each other
Measure your marketing results with Instagram Live
Instagram Live is just like any other marketing strategy you can use to land freelance writing jobs. Tracking your efforts provides a way to measure your efforts and make adjustments to improve. If you’re going to commit to using Instagram Live for freelance marketing, here are some things to remember:
Sometimes it feels like there’s a new Instagram Live feature coming out every other day. Stay on top of changes happening to the platform and its parent app…Facebook. One of the best ways to do this is to follow someone who already has a lot of followers in a topic you’re interested in or that’s within your niche.
Stick to your purpose
Just like any other social media tool, Instagram Live should be incorporated into a larger marketing plan…your purpose to get more freelance writing jobs and be the freelance writer for your niche. Balancing the social aspect with your overall goals for your freelance writing business, particularly with a new tool, can be a delicate process.
Planning out Instagram Live streams and adding them to your content calendar is key for freelance writers to incorporate it into your content marketing activities. Also, keep this in perspective…you’re going to mess up. It’s “live” so you’re not going to get a chance to edit yourself or control everything in your environment.
Your viewers expect to see imperfections and even technical difficulties. If you’re concerned about losing followers because of a tech problem, tell your fans to stay tuned and wait for another “live” pop up. Looking too planned will make the stream appear stiff or overly structured.
Instagram Live was created to strip away the formality of social engagement. Its immediacy at the top of everyone’s Instagram feed is gold. Play around with it to grow your client base.
‘Go live’ to get more freelance writing jobs
Want to get more freelance writing jobs? Give Instagram Live marketing a try. It’s one more way to connect with clients and prospects, and define yourself as the writer in your niche.
Do you use Instagram Live for freelance marketing? Let’s discuss in the comments below.
Willi Morris is a writer and administrative assistant who loves the internet and has a fondness for both Star Wars and Star Trek. Follow her on My Freelance Life.