Social Media is the Perfect Gateway Gig for Picking Up More Work


Nick Usborne

As freelancers, we have two types of time.

Billable time and unbillable time.

One of the keys to growing our income is to make sure we maximize our billable hours.

Easier said than done, of course. Particularly when we add up all that time chasing down new clients and new projects.

Truth be told, looking for new work is not only unbillable, but it can also be stressful.

I talked about this in my last article, Nothing Calms a Freelancer’s Mind More Than the Promise of a Monthly Retainer … about the stress and uncertainty of not knowing where your next project is coming from.

And I wrote about how social media work can help calm those fears, because most social media engagements are paid for with ongoing, monthly retainer deals.

But those social media gigs can do more than just give you a monthly retainer. They can also be the gateway to a host of other projects from those same clients.

Let me explain what I mean by that … and how it works.

When you’re working with a company on even one of their social media platforms — like Facebook, as an example — you’ll find yourself interacting with several people in the company’s marketing group almost every day.

  • The person responsible for web content creation will be talking to you about giving the site’s new content exposure through Facebook.
  • The person responsible for direct sales will be talking to you about supporting their current and upcoming promotions.
  • And, of course, you’ll be talking to the person who coordinates all their social media activity.
  • You’ll even get to know their customer support people, because they’ll want you to help monitor customer comments, complaints, and compliments.

The point is, you’ll be building relationships with a number of people on the client side.

This is key.

With most freelance writing gigs, you have just one contact person on the client side, and that limits your exposure within the company. And your social media gig might start off that way too … with just one key contact person. But after a while, you can see how that will change.

Something else will be happening too.

Through your contact with these people, and the work you’re doing for them through social media, you’ll become an expert on many aspects of the company’s marketing activities.

This means you can soon offer them value and services beyond just doing their social media work.

You can start dropping hints like these:

“I was thinking. After working for a couple of months on promoting your site’s new content, I’m getting a very good sense of which kinds of content work best. Would you like me to write some of your content for you?”

Or …

“I hope you received my report on the social media reach we achieved as part of last week’s promotional campaign. Based on the data, I think I see some areas where you might be able to make some improvements to your sales messages.”

See what I mean?

Being their social media person means you not only get to meet more people within a client company, but you also get a ton of insights into their marketing, and then you have the opportunity to offer more of your own services.

On day one, you’ll just be doing some of their social media updates.

A month or two later, you could also be writing most of their web content.

A month after that, you could be writing some of their sales materials.

And you might have a call scheduled with their customer service director, who wants to talk with you about how to build stronger relationships with new customers.

This is what I mean by social media being a “gateway gig.”

It’s not only profitable in itself, but social media work really does open up a lot of new opportunities with every new client you work with.

So now you’re looking at reliable, recurring, and stress-free income at more than one level.

First, you get those steady checks for your social media gigs each month.

And the next thing you know, you’re getting more writing and copywriting work from the same clients, on a regular basis.

In my next article tomorrow, I’m going to look at an aspect of being an expert in social media marketing that might not jump out as being super-important. But it is!

I’m going to talk about how social media marketing brings a smile to your face and can help you live longer!

In the meantime, if you have any thoughts or comments to share, please use the comment box below.

The Professional Writers’ Alliance

The Professional Writers’ Alliance

At last, a professional organization that caters to the needs of direct-response industry writers. Find out how membership can change the course of your career. Learn More »


Click to Rate:
No ratings yet
Published: September 14, 2016

1 Response to “Social Media is the Perfect Gateway Gig for Picking Up More Work”

  1. I was hesitant about doing anything related to social media but after reading today's article I'm eager to learn more. I see how beneficial Nick's training will be in allowing me to gain more gigs with clients.

    CCT Artist42


Guest, Add a Comment
Please Note: Your comments will be seen by all visitors.

You are commenting as a guest. If you’re an AWAI Member, Login to myAWAI for easier commenting, email alerts, and more!

(If you don’t yet have an AWAI Member account, you can create one for free.)


This name will appear next to your comment.


Your email is required but will not be displayed.


Text only. Your comment may be trimmed if it exceeds 500 characters.

Type the Shadowed Word
Too hard to read? See a new image | Listen to the letters


Hint: The letters above appear as shadows and spell a real word. If you have trouble reading it, you can use the links to view a new image or listen to the letters being spoken.

(*all fields required)