Curating your online presence is one of the most important parts of freelancing. Although I still think that having a (.com is ideal) website is necessary for the sake of adding that bit of professional polish, some might argue that having strong social media accounts is what’s more important. It really comes down to the freelancing niche that you’re in, too. After all, if your niche is more visually motivated, social media would get your message out faster.
Remember, you can have a lot of followers, but how engaged are they, really? I’ve discussed this topic before in posts such as “How to Make Your Social Media Content Shareworthy as a Freelancer.” There’s no getting around the fact that audiences have short attention spans, generally having more interest in images as opposed to text.
Consider the following tips when it comes to creating social media images that can attract an optimal audience:
Your smartphone can do the job just as well as a camera.
Sure, if you’re a photographer, then by all means, the camera takes precedence! However, photo-capturing smartphone technology has become a worthy opponent. Assuming that you’re using social media applications anyway, it’s so much easier just to upload them directly instead of having to go through those extra steps of plugging in a USB cable, etc. Plus, if your smartphone has image editing filters, use them to your advantage! Filters can make even the most standard picture look like a work of art, making audiences do a double-take.
Don’t discard dimensions.
Thankfully, social media websites and applications are getting better at automatically resizing images, yet it’s still something to keep on the lookout for. After all, you don’t want to spend time capturing a great image, only to find aspects of it getting cut off! Be sure to regularly use Kevin King’s Sprout Social post, “Always Up-to-Date Guide to Social Media Image Sizes” as a reference.
Be mindful of placement.
Audiences are being constantly bombarded with information – bright colors, flashy fonts, you get the idea. How can your social media images, then, attract attention? By being artfully relatable. Say, for example, that you’re a freelance writer who’s working on a post about work environments. Don’t just take a picture of your desk and computer. It should be your desk, a computer, and several other items that look good and fellow writers can identify with, like a coffee/tea mug with a charming quote, a decorative-yet-functional blanket draped across the back of your chair, that sort of thing.
Anticipate your audience with authenticity.
Just as an image should be relatable, it should also be created with your audience’s perspective in mind. If you were following yourself on social media, what would make you pause on a post? Stock images are great, but use them sparingly. Why? Because they can look too posed, making your posts look too commercial. Yes, use social media images for marketing purposes, but do it as the best version of yourself and the things directly connected to your work. Strike a responsible balance between the personal and the professional. With audiences intrigued by in your journey and abilities as a freelancer, the networking possibilities, naturally, become all the greater.
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