This is a guest post by Alex Mathers, founder of Red Lemon Club, a self-taught illustrator and writer who believes that any freelancer passionate about work they are good at deserves to create a successful and thriving career from it. Alex recently released an extremely useful online course titled The Freelancer’s Guide to Winning Incredible Clients through Google+ Mastery
Google’s latest addition to the ‘social’ world, in the form of social networking platform Google+, appears to have divided people on how useful and how valuable it actually is. What it has so far shown, is a huge amount of promise and value through its use as a professional networking tool that can be used to expand business and bring professionals together.
Here are 6 ways Google+ can help you attract more and better clients:
1. You can engage with targeted prospects
Thanks to Google+ incorporating the much needed ‘circles’ element to the platform, you are not only able to very clearly define the feeds you see on your home screen depending on what circles you have defined and chosen to be revealed, but you can send out content to specific groups or individuals.
What this does is allow you to target your content so that it is seen by the right people.
On a web platform that could allow anyone and everyone to see all manner of content you post, this is really valuable, and to a professional like yourself, even more so.
2. Sharing more in-depth content
Google+ is brilliant for sharing expanded and varied content. Posts can be essentially any length you like, you can include animations, films, the ability to tag people in posts. Google+ displays pictures really nicely and picture editing is great, giving you plenty of control.
You could even treat Google+ as your own blog, like Kevin Rose, who has swapped his blog for his G+ feed.
3. Gives you the ability to more easily reach out to anyone, including ideal clients
Reaching out and interacting with people is a key element gathering support, exposure, fans, connections, and ultimately paid work for freelancers. Doing this online to complement your engagement in the ‘real world’ can be very powerful if done in the right way.
Google+ lets users connect with potential clients, key influencers and others who support your freelancing business in better and more effective ways.
Firstly, because the platform allows you to follow the updates of people without them requiring to accept a friend request ,as on Facebook, you are in a better position to attract connections by actually interacting with their content and mentioning their name appropriately through ‘+ tagging’ and so on.
Secondly, circles allows you to share specific information with the relevant people, which allows for the sharing of content in a much more focused way. This is very valuable when we are talking about relationship- building.
Thirdly, the highly superior search function within Google+ makes finding people, as well as content to share and engage with, much more easy. The extended circles feature will allow you to share your updates with people you follow who haven’t followed you back yet, bringing further connection-making ability to the system.
4. It provides a more professional, business-like environment
A more professional crowd appears to be being drawn to Google+, mainly for its features and benefits for businesses.
This is where freelancers need to be in order to make the most of being in close proximity to other professionals who can work with them and provide work for them. For the time being, Google+’s user-base is comparatively small (though still huge and growing!), which means being able to stand out more too.
5. Google+ showcases your work and business in greater depth
You have the capability to really turn your profile on Google+ into a place to showcase what you do, be that a visual portfolio, or something in written format, like your CV. You can utilise the great picture display and sharing options, such as albums, and images next to your profile picture on your profile page, as well as the ‘About’ area which can contain a great range of material, as well as links, details about where you’ve lived and contact details.
6. You are better able to get found in search
Being linked with Google+ means that everything that is associated with you, including your profile, and brand page, will attract preference from Google’s powerful search engine, so that you, your shared content, and your brand will be found more easily.
The value this presents for self-promotion is very clear. Google is very interested in material that is being shared socially, like it is on Google+, and will make sure that socially-shared content gains priority through their search engine.
Google’s introduction of the +1 button means that anything that receives a +1 (similar to Facebook’s ‘like’) will gain more preference through Google search.
Because everything shared in Google+, as well as images now, has a +1 button linked to it, there is a lot of scope for gaining a large amount exposure through this. As Google+ is still in its early stages of development, expect to see a lot of further improvement and added features that will benefit you as a freelancer or small business over time. I’d love to hear what you think of Google+ and what it could offer you as a freelancer in the comments section below.
This is a guest article from Alex Mathers, who has written a well-received e-course designed specifically for freelancers who want to use Google+ to win great projects and clients, called: ‘The Freelancer’s Guide to Winning Incredible Clients through Google+ Mastery’. You can read a free sample chapter from the course here, instantly downloadable.