Instagram for Freelance Writers – How to Use the Photo Sharing App Effectively
You might be surprised but Instagram for freelance writers is more than just a photo-sharing app. It has become a new avenue to find new clients and even score gigs and other types of work. One of the popular payment platforms, Payoneer, conducted research on where freelancers promote their work. It was no surprise that Facebook and LinkedIn were the top 2 social networks, however, Instagram saw a huge leap in usage—from 12% in 2018 to 21% in 2020. This just goes to show that Instagram really is more than just a photo-sharing app and should not be dismissed by freelancers, especially writers.
Why Use Instagram for Freelancing
Whether you are freelancing as a side job or full-time, it pays to have an excellent platform where you can showcase your work. Because, what’s the use of being an excellent writer if no one even knows about you? Maybe you aren’t sold yet on using the photo-sharing app for your freelance work. If you aren’t sold yet on the statistics of Instagram for freelance writers discussed above, here are a few more reasons why you should make that professional account.
It can put you on Google results
You might be thinking, who even uses Instagram for looking for work or who hires writers on Instagram? Well, if you are skeptical about clients searching for writers on the photo-sharing app, then maybe this reason will encourage you. Your Instagram account can turn up on the Google results page! When someone searches your name, your social media accounts can pop up on the results page, which can help clients who are looking for legit freelancers.
It helps you connect with clients faster
Most people are more comfortable chatting on social networking sites. With Instagram, communication can be effortless. Clients can reach you faster through messaging. Who knows, they might even tag you if they don’t like private messages. The point is, you provide another channel for your target market to connect with you.
Everyone is different and some clients would rather talk to you in a more casual way, through DMs, instead of sending you emails. As a freelancer, you should be able to offer convenience. It can be as informal as a would-be client adding a comment under your post or simply reacting to your stories to show interest in your work.
It boosts your branding
From hashtags to frames, your Instagram page is part of your branding. And branding is very important for freelancers as it can offer customer recognition plus it builds your credibility. This platform can also show your talent for writing, helping potential clients to see what it is you can possibly do for them if they hire you.
10 Tips for Using Instagram for Freelance Writers
There are millions of Instagram users, and it’s most likely you are one of them. However, even if you have been using the app for years, Instagram for freelance writers is not quite the same. You can’t just share every little thing on your stories or your grid. Below are 10 helpful tips on how you can use Instagram effectively as a freelance writer:
1. This is not LinkedIn
First things first, this is not a platform to show off your resume. Yes, this Instagram account is for your business, to show your talents and skills as a writer, but don’t go too professional. Instagram is a different environment from LinkedIn and even Facebook.
You don’t have to make your Instagram captions as long as essays (unless that’s your style and you can make it work). But typically, Instagram is a platform that is casual, light, and fun. It’s snappy and entertaining, a place to find beautiful images, and now, with your help, beautiful words, too.
2. Show your personality—but don’t get too personal
Before you go overboard and overshare on Instagram, remember you are still a professional. Yes, there is a very delicate balance between being too personal and too professional on Instagram, that’s why the app is tricky for freelancers. Just like others who are in the creative field, there is an element of a personal touch when you showcase your work. So, do show your personality in relation to your work as a writer.
A good example of how to show personality without being too personal is to post “A Day in the Life of a Freelance Writer.” This can give potential clients an idea of how you operate and get a glimpse of who you are as a person and as a writer.
3. Don’t forget the hashtags
Hashtags are more important than you think. It’s not just a silly afterthought or a requirement for posting. With the correct hashtag, potential clients will have a way to find you. Do your research on this, you can’t rely on using #writer as there are already millions of posts with this hashtag. A good idea is to focus on your niche.
So, for example, if you look up #writer it has 36.1M posts whereas #copywriters has 179k posts. If you want even better chances, try to include the country where you are from or where you intend to target your services, for example, #copywriterindia has 100+ posts while #copywriterfrance has 500+ posts. You definitely have more chances of getting viewed with those numbers.
4. It’s all in the bio
Your bio is one of the most important and challenging things you need to write. For starters, this is the first thing a viewer will see on your profile. The challenge now is, there is only a limited amount of space for what you want to say. According to Instagram, there is a character limit of 150, so what can you really say in that short length?
Since you’re a writer, you got this! Make it short and snappy, only the important information should be in your bio. Never say way too much and do make use of emojis when you can.
5. Get creative
Instagram for freelance writers is a whole other ballgame. It’s an excellent way to show off your creativity. So, do go ahead and think outside the box because you will need it! There are dozens, hundreds more freelance writers, and you really have to set yourself apart.
You can get creative with your profile picture, your bio, your grid, your stories, and of course, your actual posts. Although posts can have a caption with 2,200 characters, it still gets cut off. So do make the first part exciting so viewers will be printed to “read more”.
Instagram will be a fun and challenging exercise for freelance writers. But the good thing is, this platform can actually hone your skills. So, do take advantage of this app where you can get new clients, be part of a writing community, and more.
6. Link it!
One thing you should never forget is to utilize the link on your bio. Since you can’t really put everything on your Instagram, you have to give potential clients a way to see your resume or your sample works in an easier way. The first tip is to make sure that your link or URL is short and clear. Do use online applications that can shorten your link, there are even those that can allow you to customize the URL. Because who would want to click on www.shortlink.com/1y32y84359?
Again, you want your link to be short and clear, if it leads to a portfolio, a resume, or an inquiry form, do get that statement across. You don’t want your potential clients to be scared off by a shady link that may lead them to an even shadier website.
And of course, make sure the link that you add will actually lead to what it says. Think of your Instagram as a hook, don’t let your would-be client disappointed with what their click will lead to in the end. For your Instagram posts, do use the “link in bio” call-to-action whenever appropriate.
7. Use highlights
Ever since Instagram introduced stories, it was a big hit. But one of the best parts of stories is the addition of highlights. Instagram Stories only last 24 hours for viewers, however, highlights are there forever. Think of it as an extension of your bio, you can categorize the highlights so viewers can easily spot the things you want to show or you are proud of.
Since not everyone will be scrolling through your feed, your highlight can show some of your best articles. It’s also a good place to show off your awards, headline stories, and other works. Be sure to add reviews if you have clients who have praise for you and your work.
When making highlights don’t bombard them with stories that the lines above turn into little dots. Just pick out the best ones, there’s a reason why these are called “highlights” in the first place.
8. Make your profile public
Whether you have a business account or a regular one, the important thing is that it is public. If you have the capacity to understand and utilize the features of the Instagram business account, do make that one. However, if you aren’t so techie, don’t worry as a regular account will do.
Instagram business accounts have features like promoting posts. Use this if you have the budget for it and if you have a key demographic. There are also useful Instagram insights where you can see how viewers interact with your profile or your posts.
9. Schedule everything ahead of time
Not making an Instagram calendar is a big no-no. Your Instagram page must have consistent postings that are relevant. One way you can be consistent is simply to research posts ahead of time. It’s also best to schedule these, so you don’t have to post during specific hours of the day. It’s not a good idea to post whenever you feel like it—reserve that behavior for your personal Instagram account, not your freelance one.
When you are just starting out, create content at least a month before posting. You can then do quarterly scheduling if you have the time. You don’t need to post every single day but you do need to post weekly. This is to show that your page is active, which will in turn signal to clients that you are still available for work as a freelancer.
10. Make it shareable
When creating stories and posts, it’s important to have your name on them. For example, if you share poetry on a weekly basis, make sure your name or pen name is on that. This is for people who enjoyed your work and they can easily look you up.
You can also put watermarks on all of your images on Instagram. This way, if someone takes a screenshot or reshares it, other viewers will know it is from you. Social media has allowed sharing of information but sadly not everyone is credited. It’s beautiful to have your work shared and appreciated by others and you deserve credit for your work.
Instagram for freelance writers is an excellent tool. It might be surprising since this app was designed for images and photos. But times have changed, and you can now post your work on your grid. You can treat it as a mini portfolio or a platform where clients can get to know you and your work.
Freelancing is a tough and competitive arena so you have to make do with all of the tools that are available to you. Don’t discount the app, Instagram for freelance writers can definitely help you land jobs when you use it right.
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