Since I started freelancing seven or eight months ago I’ve learned something about social media that I had been told countless times in school: There’s really no difference between your personal life and personal brand.
I remember sitting in class with the marketing director of a big Pennsylvania company in college and him showing us a picture of a job applicant’s Facebook profile. He was giving the camera the middle finger.
This is an extreme example, but I’ve found that every little way we interact on social media is on display–especially for freelancers.
Social Media Is Our Portfolio
Freelancers are supposed to look for clients on social media, but social media is also like an extension of our portfolio. How we write on LinkedIn, Facebook, or Twitter is a sample of our writing.
Now people that I work with are friends with me and have connected with me. So I had to change my relaxed approach.
Get Rid Of Negativity
I also learned that I should probably stop putting out any kind of negativity at all. And I’m not talking about saying obnoxious things that are bound to get reactions–I’m talking about making dry comments about how my Chipotle didn’t live up to expectations.
People don’t want to see that anyway. We love positivity, and I learned (just recently) that social media should be about positivity only and nothing else–especially for freelancers.
Would you want to work with somebody that’s constantly putting out sarcastic statuses and tweets? It’s completely fine to be funny in my estimation, but sarcasm has a little bit of nastyness thrown into it a lot of times. It’s just not the greatest way to present yourself, and it’s time I realized that.
Business IS Personal
Freelancers are in the unique situation of being able to delegate some terms of a business relationship. I often casually chat with my clients and ask them how they’re doing. Their personal life spills over in the slightest bit, but that’s okay, because we’re all human in the end.
Business isn’t just business–it’s personal, too. It will always be this way, and that’s why we need to realize that our personal brand is the same thing as our personal life.
It’s really a good thing when you think about it. If we make changes to present ourselves in the best way possible all the time then we become better people too. We’re forced to think about things positively and hold our tongues (or should I say fingers?) when we’re ticked off in traffic.
I used to dislike the fact that social media bleeds over into professional life, but now I’m quite enjoying it, and changing because of it.
Thanks for reading!