In freelancing, public relations is very important. It has to do with the reputation you have as a freelancer, the way you've worked before, how you treat clients, what they say about you, etc. PR is part of certain marketing efforts that aim to protect you in attracting and securing new projects. As well as forging useful connections. PR can be managed successfully in many ways: from attending networking events and being someone people want to know, who they want to associate with. But, as with anything, you can make a lot of mistakes that damage the image people have of you. That, clearly, is not good for your business of one.
In this article we will tell you what are 5 of the most common mistakes you are making that end up affecting your reputation. Take note, if this is something you are actively doing, you have to change it; but if you are a person who is just starting your professional life, keep them in mind so you don't make them.
1. Your Twitter feed is full of negativity
Twitter is a dangerous platform to have. Any hint of attacking someone else on something you wrote, or retweeting angry posts, can be a huge damage to your reputation. You'd think it's something you'd never do, but, you'd be surprised how many freelancers fall into this mistake. Consider that there are many people who analyze the social networks of the people they are going to work with; if you are lucky enough to have someone review your networks, what will they find, and should you change anything? If your answer is yes, you better do this: share other people's work and say what you like about it, write about your progress on projects, your accomplishments, etc. Basically post meaningful updates that someone else might find useful.
2. You share too many personal photos
Most of us love to post our selfies to the world, as well as pictures of our nieces and nephews we love, but is that really what you want your customers to know about you? At the end of the day, social media attracts certain audiences, all different for different focuses, so if you want that focus to go towards your work, leave out the babies. Now, no one is saying that you give up personal updates forever. Instead, maybe you should moderate what you share and how much you share. What's the purpose of your account if you tie it to your freelance business? Potential clients will prefer to see your work and where you get inspiration from. It's supposed to be a credible reaffirmation of what they've seen in your portfolio or website. So make sure you curate the content.
3. You close doors unnecessarily / miss perfect opportunities.
Always remember this: everyone has the potential to be a great contact for you, now and in the future. If you don't keep this in mind while freelancing, you could be making the big mistake of ignoring opportunities that come your way. The best thing to do in these cases is to make friends with everyone. You never know who you will be working with, who might become your boss or your next client. Remember that the world is smaller than it seems.
4. You underestimate the power of friendliness with your freelance colleagues.
One thing to know about freelancing is that others are not necessarily your competition. Everyone brings their own thing to the table, what makes them unique, so closing yourself off to just seeing them as competition can be a big mistake. Your reputation goes beyond your work, beyond your clients, it also goes to other freelancers. Of course, I'm not saying trust everyone, all the time, but give them the benefit of the doubt before you close yourself off and build a local network that includes people who are just as friendly as you, who share your work and support you at all times.
5. You badmouth other freelancers in the community.
We can all make the mistake of complaining about others, criticizing their mistakes, especially because of the negative competition in the freelance community. But, as our ancestors used to say, everything comes back, and that can be very damaging to your reputation. We understand that complaining is normal, even necessary, but we must learn to do it less. At the end of the day, we are all on the same path making mistakes. That's life itself.
To finish, having a positive reputation is good for business. It improves your standing in the freelance community by being someone nice that people want to work with. This way you can build a valuable network that can help you; it can be that force of good that opens doors for you when you need it. We know it's not easy to maintain a great reputation, but taking small steps to improve is how you get there in the long run. And, who knows, you may enjoy your work more in the long run.