Social networks have transformed our lives beyond recognition in the past two decades. As a result, we are much more connected than we have ever been in history, and this is to the distinct advantage of freelancers, who rely on connections and relationships for their business.
This post looks at twelve positive impacts that social networks have had on freelancing in recent times, and explains how you can capitalize on this global interconnectedness to drive your freelancing business or side hustle.
The prevalence of social networks has increased opportunities for freelancers immeasurably. No matter where a freelancer lives, it’s possible for them to connect with potential clients via social media and establish professional relationships to deliver a range of projects.
Access to International Markets.
There’s little doubt that we now live in a genuinely inter-connected world. Freelancers in India can work with clients in Australia, and gigsters in Hong Kong can connect with project managers in the United States. It has never been easier for freelancers to tap into international labour markets to promote their skills and capabilities.
Marketability of Various Skills.
As social and professional networks have gravitated mainly online, it has become easier for freelancers to market their skills. No matter what service they provide, be it writing, web design, or social media management, freelancers can create a website and online portfolio and market themselves to prospective clients.
Normalization of the Gig Economy.
Not so long ago, there was a time when the gig economy and those involved in a side hustle were in the minority. However, today, more than 55 million people work in the gig economy in the United States alone. Social networks have normalized the gig economy and made it easier for people worldwide to find work.
There are so many platforms now available for freelancers to market their services. From Twitter & Facebook to LinkedIn, having a presence on social media is an excellent way for freelancers to enhance their visibility and get themselves in front of clients. Doing so is likely to increase the business that comes their way.
Ability to Connect with Other Freelancers.
Sites like Radial Hub have made it easier than ever for freelancers to connect with fellow gigsters. Whether they’re looking for advice, some help for a particular project, or to share a big contract that they’ve landed, it’s easy for freelancers to find like-minded professionals to work alongside, thanks to the online communities that have become increasingly prevalent in recent times.
Improved Access to Feedback.
Giving and receiving feedback is a vital component of the gig economy. Feedback drives freelancers to become better and also gives them credence in a competitive market. Tapping into social networks is an excellent way for freelancers to ask for feedback and ultimately improve their service delivery to their clients.
Easier to Build Brand and Business.
Lots of freelancers harness social media sites to build their brand and look for new business opportunities. A beautifully curated Instagram feed is extremely valuable to a freelancer today, no matter what industry they work in. By promoting their services openly and effectively, freelancers are able to identify and capitalize on new business opportunities that may not otherwise have been available to them.
Referrals & Recommendations.
Social networks like LinkedIn have a recommendation feature built into their platform. Once a freelancer has completed a piece of work for a client, it’s a great idea to ask them to leave a short piece of written feedback via LinkedIn, further boosting their credibility in their field. Equally, once a project has been completed, a freelancer is in a great position to ask for referrals for other pieces of work, which can come as a result of connection via professional networking platforms.
It’s easy for freelancers to find out more about the clients that they’re working for. Searching social networks like LinkedIn and Twitter can reveal more about a client and their company, which increases transparency between freelancer and client, and means a freelancer is less likely to be taken advantage of.
Content Creation & Distribution.
Every brand in the world has a need for content creation and distribution via their social networks. This is an incredible opportunity for freelancers, as there is so much potential work out there for them to tap into. This global focus on creating exceptional content to be shared via social networks has increased the need for talented freelancers and has opened up the market to content creators from all around the world.
Made Clients More Approachable.
In the not-so-distant past, it was extremely difficult for freelancers to get their foot in the door, so to speak. Now, by connecting and developing relationships with potential clients via social networks, clients are much more approachable than they have been in the past. Providing a freelancer reaches out in the right way, they can use the availability and approachability of clients to their advantage.
How Can Freelancers Capitalize on the Prevalence of Social Networks?
Ultimately, freelancers can capitalize on the world’s interconnectedness via social networks by tapping into it effectively. This means picking networks carefully and developing professional relationships that are likely to positively impact business. It’s easy to waste time on social networks, so freelancers should develop a clear and concise strategy and look for ways to utilize the power of social networks to their advantage.