the freelance life : blogging versus micro-blogging (or barely blogging) …

What I love about working with my team and being surrounded by talented artists is that it constantly has me thinking on an entrepreneurial tip. I guarantee you that the bp team is a very supportive and nurturing collective, so often times we turn to one another for tips, tricks and words of advice. And from there grows interesting conversations and ideas.

Today, I had a conversation via email with one of our talented MUA/HA and the topic of not being able to find the time to blog or update her website came up. I’m pretty sure many freelancers/entrepreneurs run into this problem – finding the time to properly market ourselves through our online presence, namely a blog.

I myself know that when I first started bp, I started my blog as a way to advertise and get my name out there. Ten years ago, it was popular to create your business through a blog – it made it really easy for small businesses and entrepreneurs to have a presence and the visual of a “website”. It was easy and quick to do … and fun! So that’s what I did.

Fast forward five years (or six, seven, eight) and trying to maintain the admin side of a growing business, actually getting our there to provide my services to a growing clientele, plus kids, home, family, life, etc … and blogging started to take a back seat to all the other things that running a business and raising a family/living life required. And the fear was/is : “if I’m not blogging … then I’m not marketing myself!  How are people going to learn about me?”

I bet me (and my colleague) aren’t the only ones who think/fear this, right?

Well, here’s the great news freelancers … there are other ways to promote yourself online even if you cannot find the time to blog. So don’t beat yourself up if you aren’t blogging all seven days out of the week.

When things started to really grow at bp, finding a moment to blog started to suffer. But I knew that my brand didn’t have to suffer with it. Here’s what I have come to learn in the past two/three years:

  • micro-blogging is just as effective : Twitter, Pinterest, Facebook, and everyone’s darling, Instagram.  Our clientele – brides – are inundated with more information than ever. They no longer have the time to truly read through blogs and reviews and immerse themselves in more information that doesn’t pertain to what they need.  Most of the time they will rely on a referral from a colleague or friend, but when they actually visit the website to review our work (or to your website for yours), they are looking for quick visuals, maybe stop at a blurb or two from a short post, and that’s about it. They aren’t necessary going to read through a post last week about what’s in my makeup bag. No. They want to see a few recent images of past clientele and find a contact email or phone number. With that in mind, Twitter is great for sharing quick tips and tricks and engaging with other industry vendors who won’t hesitate to refer you; Facebook is great for sharing your promos and reaching your specific audience or clientele with short and sweet status updates; Pinterest is great for inspiring brides with your expertise by creating beautifully organized albums of your work; and Instagram is the tool to use for documenting your day to day happenings – so that they know you are the real deal. All of these you can do from your phone (so easy!) and you still maintain an online presence.
  • you can still blog, just not everyday : OMG … you didn’t blog on Tuesday. OMG! What are you going to do?!?!? Clients are going to stop calling (no they won’t); that bride you ran a trial run with yesterday isn’t going to book (that won’t happen); and your name will disappear off Google forever and ever (okay, seriously – no).  Well, you know what you are going to do? You’re going to blog on Wednesday. Or Thursday. Or maybe even … *gasp* … next week. You’re going to blog when you have time. While I don’t recommend going radio silent for a month or even two weeks, I also don’t think your freelance life is going to suffer if you can only find the time to do two posts a week. Aim to blog regularly enough that your name still pops up in a Google search and your website stays current, but also just enough that you feel comfortable, in control and not stressed. Just so you know – a client isn’t going to notice that you missed a day or two. Bottom line : don’t stress out over a blog and a missed post. Just. Don’t.
  • learn to communicate, personally : You know what clients like even more than your blog? Talking to you directly. I’m not even making that up. For serious. I heard once, that having an awesome email conversation or phone call with a potential client works wonders for growing your business and getting your name out there. No lie!  Okay, okay – enough of my sarcasm. Really though, a great blog might warm a client to you and spark interest in your services, but what truly makes them choose you is how they connect with you one on one. Replying to a tweet on Twitter, or taking the opportunity to respond to an FB comment they left on your business page or in your inbox is going to do wonders for you. I have had clients whip through a photo album on Facebook and message us privately to inquire about our services. All it took was a moment for me  to respond and engage them and boom : we got booked. Some of them never even visited the blog!
Alright, so there you go – your online presence doesn’t have to suffer because you aren’t blogging. Yes, blogging is fun and cheers to those who do find the time to work on their blog regularly. But like I said  – don’t stress over it because your brand isn’t going to suffer as long as you can incorporate into your routine some of the other fabulous online, micro-blogging platforms. Such platforms require a few clicks from your phone or tablet and can be done within two minutes! Everybody is on Facebook, everybody is on Instagram and so on. A status update a day (or two) will keep your name on everyone’s perfectly painted lips … trust me.

Have a great week freelancers!

-s-

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