Are Freelance Writers Really Getting Gigs Using Social Media? Take My Poll

Carol Tice

Tools aren’t any good unless you know how to use them. It’s true for freelance writing as much as it is for hammering together a stool.

This came to mind recently when I got this comment from a writer who was wondering whether she should start using Twitter:

“I have heard from a few very successful folks that they have found Twitter very useful.  How do you use it? Do I need to check it 15 times a day from a smartphone for it to be worthwhile?

“And what do you do with it?  Do I need to be focused, strategic, and businesslike?”

As it happens, I’ve gotten some pretty amazing clients using social media marketing, including several Fortune 500 clients, one of which paid $2,000 an article. And I know I’m not the only one — several other writers have told me similar stories.

So — if you know what you’re doing on social media, it can really be worth spending a little time on there. Especially on LinkedIn and Twitter, in my opinion.

If you do it right, a lot of the time, you can even connect with great clients on there without doing anything. They’ll come to you. No kidding.

My sense from questions like the one above is that many writers are still in the dark about how to use social media to find gigs — especially, how to do that without having social media take up their every waking hour.

Social media bootcamp

That’s why my next Freelance Writers Den 4-week bootcamp is going to be all about this: How to Use Social Media to Get Freelance Gigs. It won’t be a bunch of high-flying social media “expert” types talking theory.

It’ll be me, Renegade Writer Linda Formichelli, and a surprise guest or two, sharing the concrete steps we’ve taken that got results, and that are proven to work for freelancers.

We’ll be talking about what you want to do in social media — and also what to be sure not to do.

It’ll be practical nuts and bolts, covering basics such as:

  • How to set up social-media profiles that attract prospects
  • How to get editors’ attention and pitch them without pissing them off
  • How to connect with high-powered bloggers so you can pitch that guest post

To make sure this course covers everything writers need to know, I’ve set up a poll.

It’s your chance to tell me where you’re at in social media today – and to ask your social-media questions and let me know what you’d like to learn on this topic.

Just to make it worth your while, I’ll be giving out a free ticket to this $197 bootcamp to the writer who sends in the most interesting question. (If you’re a current Den member, I’d love your opinion too, but you’re already registered for the bootcamp!)

You should be seeing the survey just below here, from SurveyMonkey…but in case you can’t see it, you can also click here to take the survey.

This poll will be open until year-end. I’ll be announcing the results of the poll in a bit at a special free event — stay tuned for details on that.

Have you found clients using social media? Leave your stories of how you did it in the comments — and don’t forget to take the poll for your chance to win a trip to the bootcamp.


  1. sandra mackin

    I would like to know how to better use linkedin. I blog every day on my website and do not believe facebook is as effective in linking up as linkedin and it is less work because I only have to write once a day and not several times even though there is not the necessity of writing much.

    • Carol Tice

      Check out the course outline, Sandra — we will do an entire hour on LI, which I consider THE social media place for freelancers! Susan Johnston from The Urban Muse will be joining me, I am just now able to announce — she wrote a book on LinkedIn, “LinkedIn & Loving It.”

      Do me a favor and put this into the survey questions too — I’ll be gathering that data and reviewing it closely as we put the finishing touches on our presentations.

  2. Amanda R.

    How long is the registration open for?

    • Carol Tice

      Amanda, registration will stay open until the day we start on Jan. 10. But you might want to take a look at the course page, as the price will not be staying at its current level for all that time…if you want it you’ll want to reigster ASAP (assuming you’re not a Den member already).

  3. Walt Goshert

    Yes, I’ve gotten some clients from LinkedIn and recently working on a few larger proposals from participation on Google +.

    On LinkedIn, view it as a search engine. Must optimize your profile. Also, listing at least 8-10 client writing projects with keywords really helps. I’m in the process of changing my LI project listings here year-end because I’m targeted a higher-end, different corporate client in 2013.

    • Carol Tice

      Right on, Walt — I think most people don’t realize how many companies are searching on LI for freelancers, and what to do to help yourself get found.

  4. Kevin Carlton

    As far as using them for marketing, I have had absolutely zero success with social media. But then again, I’ve only had a website for a couple of months and before this there wasn’t anywhere where followers could go to next.
    I see potential in Google+ and want to connect to people, but don’t know anyone personally who uses it.
    The penny is beginning to drop with LinkedIn. If you can find a good writing group then you can get useful information from others, pass on your own tips and generate awareness of your blog.
    I’ve always felt that Twitter only works well for people and businesses that already have a high profile and therefore don’t particularly use it as a marketing channel.
    However, writers often work tucked away in their own little corner and can get quite isolated. This is the only reason I use Twitter really – to keep in circulation.

    • Carol Tice

      Having your site up should definitely help — I know when I see someone on Twitter whose profile doesn’t have a link to any site, I move on. Just seems bogus.

      • Kevin Carlton

        Clients have publicly recommended me on Twitter before. But I guess I didn’t stand a chance of getting anywhere as (i) I didn’t look authentic (like you say) and (ii) prospects didn’t have any way of finding out more.
        Thus a lesson to any Twitter user who hasn’t yet got a website.

  5. Tom Bentley

    Carol, I did take the survey, but to underscore your point: I found a client on LinkedIn a couple of weeks ago, and we’ve done a few interesting small projects so far, and there’s strong promise for more. And she’s not the first client I’ve found there.

  6. Erica

    I like using Twitter to stay in the loop. I can stay more up-to-date on information and articles from other, high-profile professionals (like you, Carol) more easily than I can with any other form of social media. I don’t care if they follow me back (not much reason to at the moment), but it’s a great way to keep tabs on the latest articles.

    LinkedIn is my go-to resource for contacting people and groups directly, gathering testimonials from clients and staying in touch with my favorite contacts.

    As for Facebook, I barely maintain my own personal Facebook page much less a professional one. So I don’t bother. When I have my Twitter up to snuff, maybe I’ll start looking at Facebook. But it’s really low on my priority list at the moment.

  7. Rob Schneider

    I haven’t personally seen results from it yet, but thought I’d mention getting an author page together on Google. I learned about it from my clients, who asked me to make one because it’s good for their SEO. What’s good for their SEO is also good for my future with my clients and a way to show my appreciation for giving me an author page on their sites.

    • Carol Tice

      That is on my to-do list as well Rob!

  8. Carol J. Alexander

    Great topic, Carol. I did fill out your survey. And listened to the podcast. One thing I’d like to point out. Your survey asks how much time spent on social media, not how much time on social media for work purposes, which I think might skew your results. That’s like asking a book critic how much time he spends reading–assuming all of his reading is job related. However, I do realize that any amount of time spent on FB or Twitter is time away from writing, just as is when I ditch the story and watch a movie with the kids.
    Yes, I feel I’ve gotten work through social media. Not because I’ve asked for it or that I’ve hung out my shingle, so to speak. But because I’ve built relationships with people that I want to work with and for to the point that when I then sent them a query, they already knew who I was and was interested in what I had to say. Social media is social and I think that building relationships first is the key that is often overlooked when using it for job hunting.
    Love the blog and all your ideas. Thanks for the energy you put into it.

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