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When it comes to freelance working, time is money. The more you can maximise the efficient use of your time, the more you can get done, and the more you can get done, the more you can bill your clients.
So where to do social media sites fit in when it comes to modern day freelancing – are they an essential marketing tool that freelancers should be without or are they simply the ultimate distraction?
Social media as a marketing tool
For those who are savvy about their web presence, there’s certainly an argument for using social media as a marketing tool. Freelancers with thousands of Twitter followers clearly have an easy way to reach out to potential new customers who are already engaged with them to some extent. Likewise, those with an interesting and popular Facebook page for their freelancing business may find it much easier to reach out and engage with new contacts.
Social media as a distraction
Of course, social media is also great fun. You may open Facebook for business purposes, but it’s very easy to find yourself still there a while later, looking at your friend’s latest holiday snaps, or a trending Buzzfeed article, or a video of a cat doing something cute/hilarious/irritating (depending on your view of cats in general).
If this sounds familiar then don’t worry – it’s not just you. The Facebook time drain is so common that there are even tools online to calculate just how much time you’ve wasted on Facebook in the decade since its launch.
So is social media good for freelancers?
The answer is both ‘yes’ and ‘no.’ Social media certainly can be a useful marketing tool. It’s a way to connect with new clients, to showcase your expertise and to re-engage with former clients who’ve gone quiet. However, it’s also an easy way to lose minutes, or sometimes even hours, of your working day.
Our advice? Approach social media with caution and make sure you’re using it to your advantage. If you find yourself staring at a video of a skateboarding kitten during business hours, then chances are you’re not using your working time as efficiently as you could be!
What is your approach to social media during the working day? Does it help or hinder your working life? Share your thoughts via the comments.