The Scary News Is, You HAVE to Become a Social Media Expert. The Good News Is, You’ll Be Glad You Did.

I’m a big fan of learning something once and then finding multiple ways to monetize what I have learned.

As a freelancer, you should feel the same.

When you work as a freelancer, you have limited time and have to maximize both your productivity and your billable hours.

This means being selective in the skills you choose to spend time learning.

For example, as a freelance copywriter, I’m not going to spend days and weeks learning how to create flash animation. I could use that expertise once to create some great multimedia for my site, but it won’t add much value to my core skill as a freelance copywriter.

But social media? That’s a whole different story.

This is a skill you learn once and can then apply in multiple ways, adding value to almost everything you do and making you money in a variety of ways.

Before I get into details about the ways in which you can make money as a social media expert, let’s step back a moment and look at what’s happening with social media.

As you know, the growth in social media over the last couple of years has been extraordinary. Hundreds of millions of people connect through social media every day through their computers and their mobile phones.

In fact, there are hundreds of millions of people who use the web only as a means to access their Facebook accounts. They start and finish their day on Facebook, without visiting a single other website.

Beyond that, social media is cutting into the time that people used to spend on the traditional web. By that I mean that the billions of hours being spent on social media sites are billions of hours no longer being spent on the traditional web … browsing regular websites, visiting online stores, participating in forums and so on.

In other words, social media isn’t simply an optional add-on to the web. It is essentially changing how the web is accessed and used.

What does this mean? It means that if the web has anything to do with your business as a freelancer, you really don’t have a lot of choice.

At this point, you can either get ahead of the curve, or you can be left behind.

If you are a freelance copywriter working online, and you want to stay in the game, you HAVE to get your knowledge of social media up to an expert level.

That means becoming an expert at social media marketing.

It means knowing which social media services, whether on the web or mobile, are best suited to a range of marketing challenges.

It means understanding how social media can be used to build brands, grow lists, drive sales, engage prospects, fill seats and serve customers.

It means understanding the difference between online copywriting and social media writing.

And a whole lot more.

Which brings us back to the point about learning once and then profiting from your expertise in multiple ways.

If you are going to immerse yourself in social media, where is the payback?

No problem there. You can profit from this expertise in a variety of ways.

First, you could choose to hang out your shingle and reinvent yourself as a social media expert for hire. It’s a whole new world out there, and you can carve out your own slice of this growing business.

Second, you can add social media marketing work as just one more of the services you already offer. This is a perfect fit for freelance online copywriters.

Third, you can simply use your social media skills to identify, nurture and capture the very best leads and clients for your existing freelance business.

Fourth, if you have money-making websites of your own, you can use your social media skills to reach out to and engage with a much wider audience of readers.

Put simply, when you invest once in learning what it takes to be a social media expert, you’ll then be in a position to monetize that skill set in a wide variety of ways.

And you don’t have to confine yourself to just one monetization model.

For example, you could add social media writing and marketing as a service you offer your clients, PLUS use your social media expertise to reach more prospects through your freelance website, PLUS use social media sites to drive more traffic to your own money-making websites.

Like I said at the outset … if you are working as a freelancer online, you really don’t have much of a choice now. You can either develop professional-grade skills in social media or be left in the dust.

But once you have put in the time to build your social media expertise, you’ll be pleased you did.

You’ll immediately be able to apply your new expertise to develop new and multiple streams of income.

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Published: January 12, 2011

4 Responses to “The Scary News Is, You HAVE to Become a Social Media Expert. The Good News Is, You’ll Be Glad You Did.”

  1. As one who is currently working in the social media marketing arena, I totally agree with the need to hone your skills in this field. Most of the work I see is very poorly written and fails to achieve any reasonable marketing objective.

    I, like you, see this as and emerging marketing opportunity that needs to be embraced quickly in order to achieve dominance.

    Guest (Donaldt543)

  2. may be write;-)But what kinda baffles me is why some people who apparently are already 'professional' social media consultants...why they 'poo-poo' this recent craze of people, like me, who want to become social media practitioners (for profit, of course). Could it be that they just feel their wonderful, hitherto private, reserve of of 'easy pickins' has been discovered?

    Art Williams

  3. Thanks Nick. Your article is so right on! I am galloping through your Social Media course on my eReader, and will then study it again on my computer (my eReader screen is too small to see some of your examples).
    As usual, your course is clearly written and easy to understand, and I am learning so much. One major outcome is to understand, and be able to explain clearly, the benefits of social marketing - to anyone who asks (particularly the skeptics)!

    Guest (Ann J-M)

  4. This make good sense, especially for anyone who is an independent contractor.

    Guest (Lynne)

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