What follows is a guest post by the lovely Kristine Esser, who has written quite a few more for me. Search her name to find more insights. This one, as per the title, is how to be a Social Media Rockstar. Something all indie authors / publishers need to know. Enjoy!
Things You Need to Know About Being A
Social Media Freelance Rockstar
Now that it has become more than apparent that social media is not only just for teens or celebrity gossip, but actually has a growing influence on how to market businesses and maintain contact with customers, everyone one from Sony to the Mom & Pop store on the corner wants in on the action. And, as usual, a good many businesses have tried the route without any experience and concluded that this social media involvement just isn’t for them in the absence of any positive results. That, potentially, is where you can step in with the know-how to get their social media presence up and running and be an ongoing contributor to a company’s coffers. How do you position yourself to do so?
There are aspects of freelancing in any field that are similar across the board. In degrees of nastiness first, there are the quarterly estimated taxes you must file with the IRS or pay an accounting firm to do the same for you. Think of this little jewel the next time you’re bragging to your friends—who only do this once a year—about working in your pajamas. There’s no group health insurance plan you can sign up for or any 401K plan in which to enroll. So make sure that you purchase short term medical insurance before you age out of your parents’ policy or lose your current benefits.
On top of all of this you do need to be setting aside retirement funds, so talk to your accountant about coordinating necessary savings. One final note: you may think you’re God of your schedule now that you’re no longer punching a clock five days a week, but you’re not even close. Collectively, your customers are. So when there’s work that can be done, go ahead and do it since you don’t know what next week will look like. Freelancing is a feast-or-famine enterprise.
Social Media Freelancing
It sounds obvious, but you have to be an expert on each type of social media, how it works, how to use it and when. If you already have your Ph.D. in Twitter that’s wonderful, but someone somewhere is inventing a new social medium and within days of its release, someone will be asking you about it. You need to be able to tackle steep learning curves quickly and on your own. You’re not going to have the luxury of waiting for “XYZing for Dummies” to be written and published.
Finally, here’s the double whammy: you have to promote yourself and your business to be taken seriously as a social media consultant by potential customers. Your own billboard is not going to cut it.
Additional Tips for Social Media Freelancers
According to experts in the field, here are some aspects you may have not yet considered:
- You’d better love what you’re doing. You need to finish every tweet, Facebook update, LinkedIn note and update to your Pinterest board with an excitement to do more —not relief.
- Despite the public’s assumption, online social media is not for misanthropes. You need to always be reaching out to new people and responding to any dialogues. Every interaction—from face-to-face meetings to friending someone on Facebook—has to always be about networking.
- Did I mention networking?
If anyone can say they truly love their job, they’re lucky. Make sure this is the case for you. Don’t just aim for the social media field because you see it as “hot” at the moment. And don’t forget to network!
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I find social media exhausting and enlightening, not to mention distracting. What about you?
Want to add your own tips?