If you are just starting out as a freelancer, having an active presence on social media is quickly becoming an essential part of your resume.
Over the last few months, I’ve been seeing more and more writing gigs that require those who apply to include their Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn pages, along with their personal blog and their Klout score. With participation in all those outlets necessary, it’s a wonder a freelancer can ever get around to writing for clients at all.
But if you’ve got a large following on Twitter, and a lot of engaged friends on Facebook, and lots of Klout, you can charge for those things as well as for your excellent writing. A client will be eager to hire a writer who comes with a huge following that will lead to new traffic or readers for their site or magazine.
By including your personal blog, your potential clients will not only be able to gauge your writing style but also how engaged your readers are. The more comments you’ve got on recent posts, and the more posts you’ve got on the blog, the more confidence they will have that you can write well enough and fast enough to meet deadlines.
In many cases, it’s not just you an editor is hiring… it’s your network.
This can be good news or bad news. If you’ve been neglecting your social network, it’s time to start engaging. You can start some activity on your blog by using services like PostLoop to get comments on your new posts. Start following new people on Twitter, and tweeting new articles and commenting on other people’s tweets and blogs. Building up your network is hard work, and will take time.
On the positive side, the scales will be shifting toward those writers who have large, engaged networks. With a great Klout score, and a large following in at least one social network, you can cherry pick the best writing jobs on the most interesting subjects, and as long as you bring your audience along, the editors will keep buying.