With the right set of techniques, anybody can use social media to generate a steady stream of high-paying clients.
If you’ve been in the freelancing game for any length of time, you already know the importance of diversifying your client-acquisition strategy. Relying exclusively on one source of work - whether referrals, agencies, or freelancer marketplaces like Upwork - is a fast-track route to an empty schedule and a dwindling bank balance.
Social media is hands-down one of the best lead-gen tools for freelancers. In this post, you’ll learn how to leverage three of the most popular platforms to promote your personal brand, build your network, and connect with ideal clients.
Every freelancer should have a LinkedIn profile. Millions of companies use LinkedIn to find professionals for both short-term and long-term work. And the site itself has an array of features for connecting service-providers with potential clients.
If you only commit to leveraging one social media platform for the foreseeable future, make it LinkedIn. With the right approach, you can turn your profile into a powerful lead-generation asset.
Keep in mind that you don’t need a huge network to benefit from LinkedIn. If you’re starting out and only have a few dozen connections (or none at all), there are still many opportunities. And as your network grows over time, you’ll receive offers at a continually increasing rate.
Follow the steps below to find freelance clients using LinkedIn:
Bonus tip: Whenever you’re introduced to someone in a business context, search for and connect with them on LinkedIn. This habit will help grow your network quickly.
Instagram is an excellent place for creative freelancers - graphic designers, animators, illustrators, and the like - to showcase their work. Agencies, which represent significant sources of work for creatives, tend to have large presences on Instagram.
Once you’ve built up your Instagram following, ideally with lots of agencies and potential corporate clients as part of your audience, you can create occasional posts broadcasting that you’re available for work alongside your regular content.
Follow the steps below to find freelance clients using Instagram:
Bonus tip: Learn about hashtags for themed days - like International Women’s Day (#IWD) and Earth Day (#earthday) - and create content for any that are relevant to your audience.
Twitter is the ideal place for building your personal brand. On the whole, the platform allows for a more individual approach. Try to aim for a middle ground between a hyper-casual tone and an overly formal tone - don’t make your content too personal, but don’t make it all about business either.
A mixed approach works best. Tweets about professional topics are great. But don’t forget to talk about your quirks, passions, interests, and maybe even your political affiliations.
Follow the steps below to find freelance clients using Twitter:
Bonus tip: Experiment with paid ads. This applies to all the platforms discussed above. If you deal with long-term clients with a high return-on-investment (ROI), paid ads are something worth exploring.
Before you start forging ahead with your new social media game plan, there’s an important caveat.
Client-acquisition on platforms like LinkedIn, Instagram, and Twitter takes time. At least initially.
Yes, quick wins are possible. But building a consistent lead-generation asset means committing to growing your network, connecting with other users, and posting engaging content.
You don’t have to drop everything and devote the next decade of your life to expanding your Twitter base. But you do need to allocate ten or fifteen minutes a day to some routine tasks.
But here’s the good news: it’s absolutely worth it. With a little consistency, you’ll build a powerful asset that will deliver high-paying clients straight to your desk whenever you need them. And probably when you don't, too.
Bio: Dan Mowinski is a freelance writer and blogger. He runs the blog Freelance Happy, where he helps freelancers build meaningful, lucrative, and healthy careers. Contact him for writing work at DanMowinski.com.
A verbal contract (formally called an oral contract) refers to an agreement between two parties that's made —you guessed it— verbally.
Formal contracts, like those between an employee and an employer, are typically written down. However, some professional transactions take place based on verbally agreed terms.
Freelancers are a good example of this. Often, freelancers will take on projects having agreed on the terms and payment via the phone, or an email. Unfortunately, sometimes clients don't pull through on their agreements, and hardworking freelancers can find themselves out of pocket and wondering whether a legal battle is worth all the hassle.
The main differences between written and oral contracts are that the former is signed and documented, whereas the latter is solely attributed to verbal communication.
Verbal contracts are a bit of a gray area for most people unfamiliar with contract law —which is most of us, right?— due to the fact that there's no physical evidence to support the claims made by the implemented parties.
For any contract (written or verbal) to be binding, there are four major elements which need to be in place. The crucial elements of a contract are as follows:
Therefore, an oral agreement has legal validity if all of these elements are present. However, verbal contracts can be difficult to enforce in a court of law. In the next section, we take a look at how oral agreements hold up in court.
Most business professionals are wary of entering into contracts orally because they can difficult to enforce in the face of the law.
If an oral contract is brought in front of a court of law, there is increased risk of one party (or both!) lying about the initial terms of the agreement. This is problematic for the court, as there's no unbiased way to conclude the case; often, this will result in the case being disregarded. Moreover, it can be difficult to outline contract defects if it's not in writing.
That being said, there are plenty of situations where enforceable contracts do not need to be written or spoken, they're simply implied. For instance, when you buy milk from a store, you give something in exchange for something else and enter into an implied contract, in this case - money is exchanged for goods.
There are some types of contracts which must be in writing.
The Statute of Frauds is a legal statute which states that certain kinds of contracts must be executed in writing and signed by the parties involved. The Statute of Frauds has been adopted in almost all U.S states, and requires a written contract for the following purposes:
Typically, a court of law won't enforce an oral agreement in any of these circumstances under the statute. Instead, a written document is required to make the contract enforceable.
Contract law is generally doesn't favor contracts agreed upon verbally. A verbal agreement is difficult to prove, and can be used by those intent on committing fraud. For that reason, it's always best to put any agreements in writing and ensure all parties have fully understood and consented to signing.
Verbal agreements can be proven with actions in the absence of physical documentation. Any oral promise to provide the sale of goods or perform a service that you agreed to counts as a valid contract. So, when facing a court of law, what evidence can you provide to enforce a verbal agreement?
Unfortunately, without solid proof, it may be difficult to convince a court of the legality of an oral contract. Without witnesses to testify to the oral agreement taking place or other forms of evidence, oral contracts won't stand up in court. Instead, it becomes a matter of "he-said-she-said" - which legal professionals definitely don't have time for!
If you were to enter into a verbal contract, it's recommended to follow up with an email or a letter confirming the offer, the terms of the agreement , and payment conditions. The more you can document the elements of a contract, the better your chances of legally enforcing a oral contract.
Another option is to make a recording of the conversation where the agreement is verbalized. This can be used to support your claims in the absence of a written agreement. However, it's always best to gain the permission of the other involved parties before hitting record.
Fundamentally, most verbal agreements are legally valid as long as they meet all the requirements for a contract. However, if you were to go to court over one party not fulfilling the terms of the contract, proving that the interaction took place can be extremely taxing.
So, ultimately, the question is: written or verbal agreements?
Any good lawyer, contract law firm, or legal professional would advise you to make sure you formalize any professional agreement with a written agreement. Written contracts provide a secure testament to the conditions that were agreed and signed by the two parties involved. If it comes to it, a physical contract is much easier to eviden in legal circumstances.
Freelancers, in particular, should be aware of the extra security that digital contracts may provide. Many people choose to stick to executing contracts verbally because they're not sure how to write a contract, or they think writing out the contract terms is too complicated or requires expensive legal advice. However, this is no longer the case.
Today, we have a world of resources available at our fingertips. The internet is a treasure trove of invaluable information, platforms, and software that simplifies our lives. Creating, signing, and sending contracts has never been easier. What's more, you don't have to rely on a hiring a lawyer to explain all that legal jargon anymore.
There are plenty of tools available online for freelancers to use for guidance when drafting digital contracts. Tools like Bonsai provide a range of customizable, vetted contract templates for all kinds of freelance professionals. No matter what industry you're operating in, Bonsai has a professional template to offer.
A written contract makes the agreement much easier to prove the terms of the agreement in case something were to go awry. The two parties involved can rest assured that they're legal rights are protected, and the terms of the contract are sufficiently documented. Plus, it provides both parties with peace of mind to focus on the tasks at hand.
Bonsai's product suite for freelancers allows users to make contracts from scratch, or using professional templates, and sign them using an online signature maker.
With Bonsai, you can streamline and automate all of the boring back-office tasks that come with being a freelancer. From creating proposals that clients can't say no to, to sealing the deal with a professional contract - Bonsai will revolutionize the way you do business as a freelancer.
Why not secure your business today and sign up for a free trial?