The benefits of social networking sites for freelancers are that it is easy to communicate with anyone, you can contact any individual easily and for free, it is a brilliant simple way to stay in touch and you can access the internet at the touch of a button by computers and smart phones. Most importantly social networking sites are for NETWORKING. Sites such as LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter allow you as a freelancer to be current and constantly advertising your business by updating status and add images to these sites for people to see. If you are good at what you do, previous customers will be able to leave comments and reviews which is a great way of building up a reputation for yourself. Many people have been poached by companies via LinkedIn as this is a excellent way to show people your skills and to promote yourself.
For example, my own personal experience is that my mum was approached by Barclaycard for a PA role in Canary Wharf working for the Senior Executive. This was an amazing opportunity and after her interview she was offered the job. Before she was poached she had recently updated her LinkedIn profile to show her skill set which she made detailed and professional. This proves to me that if you have a striking profile, businesses will approach you. This social networking site is such a great way of promoting yourself and job hunting.
I have a Facebook account however it is not set up to be a photography page, although I posted a few photographs of my studio work and had a make-up artist approach me to take promotional images for her website which to me was an excellent way of having potential. I went through with this shoot, my client was extremely pleased with her photos and we have set another date at the end of June for a bridal shoot.
Twitter is a social networking site that allows the users to follow each other, no-one can comment on anything that you post on your account however people can re-tweet someone’s post. A post can include text or an image.\
LinkedIn is a social networking site which is similar to Facebook however it is for business purposes. This allows you to have an image of yourself and your own profile where you can add in detail your skill set and also attach your CV, so that people can add you and approach you for new jobs. This is a professional website and it definitely worth having if you are seeking a job.
I understand that social networking sites are great for the promotion of businesses especially freelancers however I personally feel that I do not want to promote my business via Twitter. I feel that this website is not a professional, my personal opinion is that it is a gossip social networking site which people seem to use as a way of bad mouthing people. I would want my business as a freelance photographer to be very professional which I would rather promote through LinkedIn or a Facebook page which is separate to my personal Facebook account. I do not agree with using Twitter personally for my own work however I know many people that do use this social networking site to contact companies and have made a successful business for themselves and think that this is because of having a Twitter account. They update statuses everyday to share what the company has been doing to promote themselves in order to get more work. Journalists and other photography freelancers say that Twitter is a good tool to use for their business.
I would prefer to use LinkedIn as I feel that this is a professional networking site for business purposes. I feel that this networking site is more suited to my personal business if I was to become a professional freelance photographer. May be a later date I would then explore in different ways on how to promote my business, Twitter may then be a option, but I know in myself I would rather have LinkedIn as my first initial site to promote myself.