How Much Do You Share as a Freelancer?
Over the years, as I’ve built my freelance career, there have been changes in the way we market ourselves and interact with readers. Today, there is heavy emphasis on personal branding and creating a following as a freelancer.
For some of us trained as journalists and who are a little “old school,” it can be a little off-putting. I’ve had to learn that sometimes I need to share a little bit more about me and my life as part of my social media efforts, as well as inject myself more into my pieces.
Deciding how much to share as a freelancer requires that you consider the following items:
What Does the Client Want?
Some of my clients hire me precisely because I have a journalism degree and background. This means that I don’t share as much when write. Often, it involves reporting on what’s happening, and largely staying out of it.
Other times, a client wants me to inject my personal story into the narrative. Because I write about money, I have a lot of experiences and stories to share about my misadventures and the things I’ve learned. This can be a good way to connect with an audience, build a following, and draw more people to the client.
Depending on the goals of the client, you might need to share more or less as a freelancer. It’s important to think through these issues and make sure you are on the right track according to the client’s expectations.
What are Your Own Goals?
Sometimes, how much you share as a freelancer depends on your own goals. Most of us — and even many journalists and writers that are employed by media outlets — have our own social media accounts. In many ways, we are all brands now. Even if you follow a more traditional career path, there is a good chance that you need to know a little bit about personal branding.
Consider your own goals to help you figure out how much to share in other venues. As a freelancer, you should have your own website and/or blog, and that can be a good place to share personal stories of mistakes and triumphs, even if you don’t share that information in articles produced for clients.
Don’t forget, though, that you need to be careful about your image. Think about the types of clients you want to write for. You don’t want to alienate them by over-sharing, or by sharing things that are inappropriate.
Think about where you hope your writing takes you. Will sharing certain aspects of your life help you reach your objectives? Or does it make more sense to down play some of your life? Finally, don’t forget that there are people in your life who might be impacted by what you share. You don’t want to hurt your loved ones by what you share as a freelancer.
How much you share as a freelancer is up to you. But before you share everything about your life, think about how it might impact your loved ones, your goals, and even your clients. Sometimes, it makes more sense to share less, or to be selective about what aspects of your life you make public.