3 Keys to Finding Freelance Clients on Google+ Communities - Make a Living Writing

3 Keys to Finding Freelance Clients on Google+ Communities

Carol Tice | 44 Comments

online communityBy Tania Dakka

Social marketing is the lifeblood of most of our careers as online writers. But choosing the wrong social channels often results in empty leads.

Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn have traditionally been the Big Three for creating online connections that convert. Last year, I found all my new clients through Twitter.

But this year, I’ve stayed true to what’s paying off right now: Google+ Communities.

Not once have I been there actively searching for work. Yet I gained five new clients in one month on this monster network.

And this doesn’t include the relationships that I’m nurturing right now that are showing signs of conversion in the near future (there are actually three of those).

Getting the right attitude

How did I do it? Being there. Being helpful. And interacting.

In the groups I belong to, I see people being rude and snarky, or just plain dry – not a way to win clients, so I stand out with personality and a smile.

When someone posts a request for help, I answer.

When they’re looking for writers, I don’t blast them with my links or “Look what I did for X.” I respond to their request with a client-centered answer.

I never use the word “I” if I can help it.

This lets the poster know I’m not a self-centered writer looking to fill my pockets with whatever project comes along.

Google+ Communities is a power waiting to be tapped. Here are my three keys to getting the cash flowing:

Key #1 – That first handshake

Your profile is that first handshake with people who visit your profile. It isn’t about who you are as much as who you want to help. So tweak it to have the highest impact on your prospective client connections:

Let it scream awesome, but client-minded.

Weave your personality through each line.

Put up a real picture, not a picture of the beach, as your profile image. A lot of people are still using the blank avatar – clearly they are not out to win over the hearts of buyers.

A great profile is a start, but you have to find the right places to hang out to really make this work.

Key #2 – Find your right group

Choosing the right groups on Google+ means the difference between money earned and time lost.

Do a search for your keywords once you get into Communities.

Groups

Are you a blogger looking for gigs? You can join the ranks of some of the hundreds of Google+ Communities that will come up in your search, but if you join the wrong ones, you’ll be kicking yourself for the time you wasted “networking” instead of “lead nurturing.”

Are bloggers going to pay other bloggers for gigs?

Probably not. So stay out of groups whose members are all doing the same thing as you.

Join some small business groups where the members may be looking for content marketing help instead.

For me, hanging out in Chris Brogan’s Brave New Year group paid off. I responded to a request on there for a copywriter. I agreed to meet with him on Skype — and at our first meeting, he offered me a position on his team.

That was when it occurred to me that leads from Google+ were going to be better than leads from Twitter, because the people on Google+ are pros. They are in it to win it.

After that first success, other Brave New Year members began asking me for About page and sales page copy. I started doing copy critiques for them, as well. All because I didn’t waste anyone’s time with wishy-washy fluff.

Before you join…

Speaking of fluff, before deciding to join, check out the posts. Is it full of link noise? Where everyone’s flashing neon signs that say, “Look at me!” and all are being ignored?

For instance, take a look at the sample below:

Groups2

Is it drivel like this, or is it full of people helping people?

Is it a place where you could hang out to solve industry problems? If not, do not enter. Do not pass go. Move on to the next Community and start your investigation all over again.

Key #3 – Get busy helping

So many people join groups thinking they’ll get something out of it, but human business is the new business. It’s not about networking. It’s about help-working.

No matter what groups you join, join them knowing the more helpful you are, the better your relationships will be. And the better your relationships are, the more bonds you form.

Bonds equal more sales.

That’s the whole point, right?

So let the notifications come to your inbox. Keep your eyes open for people asking for help and answer them.

Every cry for help you answer, your bonds strengthen. Every time you prove your worth, your credibility grows. And that’s when the jobs come to you.

Have you used Google+ Communities?  Leave a comment and tell us your Google+ experience.

Tania Dakka, a/k/a Copy Fiend at TaniaDakka.com, plays with words and makes pages come to life for entrepreneurs and their customers through copy and content.

44 comments on “3 Keys to Finding Freelance Clients on Google+ Communities

  1. Kimberly on

    Hi Tania,

    You wrote two words that are magic to me…help working. I’m far more comfortable helping people than I am ‘networking’.

    All the best to you in 2014.

  2. Lee J Tyler on

    Great article, Tania and right on the money, so to speak. I’ve been on G+ for quite some time and love it (and the new update). Some prominent contacts in my ‘nerd communities’ keep insisting that Google+ is ‘dead’. I say they’re dead wrong! Don’t they understand the wonderful giant behind this tool?
    I’m in many communities and even in a group with a closed G+ sharing function.
    But you’ve taken it up a notch with the search function, concentrating on not just networking with writers, but finding paying clients, editing your profile, and ‘help-working’. A fantastic approach and one that is at the core of what I do and who I am; just never found a phrase that fits. Thanks to you, now I have.
    I am on WordPress and also verified my identity for an AP Key. It’s not just for Blogger anymore.
    I am adding you onto my best circle and, of course, sharing this article to help others as it has helped me. Nice help-working! 😉
    P.S. Do you know the best way to upload your website logo to the profile? I can’t abide the flowers or beach scenes hanging around my face. ;)Thanks again!

    • Lee J Tyler on

      P.S. Never mind re; pic. Simple upload feature I’ve done thousands of times but didn’t work the last time I tried. It’s up now thanks to you. Added you on and shared all over the place!

  3. sandra on

    HI

    Great article. Inspired me to sign up for Google+. just a question –do you suggest including contact info (email) or is there too much a risk of spam?
    thanks

    • Tania Dakka on

      I definitely include email in the contact. You want to make it as easy as possible for people to reach you:) And I haven’t been hit with loads of spam:) – uh, yet? LOL

  4. Bex on

    I’ve spent some time on G+ but the communities in my niche there are severely lacking. Most of those folks are still hanging out on Facebook, it seems.

    • Tania Dakka on

      If your industry isn’t strong there, it may not be the place for you. You have to test the waters to see if it fits:) Thanks for sharing, Bex!

  5. Angie on

    I know I’m a couple of days late with my reply, but thanks for this post, Tania and Carol! I’ve got a G+ profile, but it’s just been gathering dust because I haven’t been entirely sure what the heck to do with it. I’ll give the groups a shot. 🙂

  6. Samantha on

    Like a lot of people I have been just spinning my wheels on facebook, guess it’s finally time to take a more serious look at Google Plus Communities.

  7. Jan Hill on

    Great timely post! A custom content company I’ve been doing some work for recently asked me to write an ongoing weekly blog for a client, and to provide my Google+ profile to “verify my authorship.” My first thought was, oh no, another social media profile to build and maintain!!! 🙁 But after reading your post, I see a lot of value to being on Google+, and I’ll be using a lot of your tips to enhance my presence there. Thank you Tania!

  8. Lori Ferguson on

    Alright, Tania, you’ve convinced me. I’ve rec’d several invitations to connect with folks on Google+ but, as others have said, I just haven’t felt like I had the bandwidth to incorporate one more social media stream. Your post has convinced me that I need to rethink my strategy. Heading over to Google+ to check things out now.

    Thanks for a wonderfully informative (and compelling) post!

  9. Francesca StaAna on

    “It’s not about networking. It’s about help-working.” –I love this!

    Great post, Tania! While I’m not very active on Google+ (yet), help-working on other social sites and blogs got me some really great clients. I think that being helpful is the best social media strategy that you can have.

  10. Felicity Fields on

    I’ve recently been experimenting with Google+ Communities. I’m in a bunch where nothing’s going on, or it’s all self-promotional. Time to do another search and find groups that are more client than peer centric!

  11. Tom Bentley on

    Tania, thanks for the thoughts. I am alive on Google+, but not really kicking. I am going to look deeper into communities based on your tips (though dang, it’s hard to make effective and authentic “I’m actually a human being” use of the various social networks and still get everything else done).

    “Help-working” is an appealing notion; thanks for presenting it with clarity.

    • Tania Dakka on

      Thanks, Tom! It’s great to hear from you and I sincerely wish you all the best! 🙂 Good luck and looking forward to being “human” with you on G+:)

  12. Coco on

    I remember when I first started to use the computer in 2000. A friend was on the phone with me trying to walk me through a new venture we were doing together. She told me to “load the software” and I said, “What??” So she clarified and told me to “put the CD in the computer,” to which I replied, “Where??” She then said she’d be right over. Heck, I didn’t even know what right and left click meant. And then I had to learn how to use e-mail after that!

    I’m very impressed with myself, that I’ve learned all that I have in the last dozen-plus-one years. Now I even help others on the computer- it’s a miracle, to be sure.

    Trying to figure out Google+ reminds me of what I went through just getting oriented with the computer and e-mail. It was all so baffling, like learning a foreign language where even the alphabet looks different. So thank you for your assistance via this blog post. The specifics are very, very helpful. Obviously, G+ has some similarities to other social networks, but the differences are significant and I’m really trying not to fumble around in the dark forever over there.

    And one more thing- your advice to stay out of groups where everyone is trying to do the same thing as you is stellar and bound to propel us all into productive time on the computer instead of networking and BS-ing all over the place!

  13. Amandah on

    Hmm… I’m trying to figure out how to join Google+ Communities. It’s not like LinkedIn Groups where you click a “Join Group” button.

    I’ve attended a few Google Hangouts, but was disappointed because they hangouts seemed to involve four to five people. I felt like a spectator, or worse, a Peeping Tom. 🙂 It was weird. What’s the point of having a “hangout” if you won’t allow others to participate? What’s the point of having communities if you can’t easily join? Then again, maybe I’m missing something.

    • Tania Dakka on

      Definitely a curious thing, Amandah:) The “Join Community” buttons are located at the top of the home page of the group maybe they were different before the new update? 🙂

      If you have any questions or want help walking through it feel free to contact me at [email protected]. I’m happy to help you!

  14. Rob on

    I definitely prefer G+ to Facebook, which I loathe except for checking in with my family and real friends once in awhile. I haven’t really found any communities that might help me get work, though.

    • Tania Dakka on

      Hopefully this will help you do that, Rob:) Look for groups that your ideal client would be in. Do a keyword search and try that:) Good luck!

  15. John Soares on

    Very good info here Tania. I’ve been far more active in Google communities in recent months, primarily to network with other freelance writers and to get and give advice related to my freelance writing business, along with digital publishing.

    My work schedule has been full for most of 2013, so I haven’t needed to do much marketing, but I agree that there is great potential to connect with clients using your methods.

    And I just added you to my “Writers” circle and hit the G+1 button on this post!

    • Tania Dakka on

      Sweet! I’m honored and am hopping over there to hang with you:) I love your work and you’ve been an inspiration of mine since I read your post on Small Positive Changes (your back bend is amazing!). Thanks for the great feedback and looking forward to connecting further with you!

    • John Soares on

      Thanks for the kind words Tania! I did a back bend this morning during my morning yoga/stretching routine.

      And thanks for connecting on Google+. I’m looking forward to more interaction there.

  16. Willi Morris on

    I have largely ignored G+ because I didn’t want to overwhelm myself with too many social networks, but these are good tips! The same kind of link-crazy stuff happens in LinkedIn as well.

    • Tania Dakka on

      Yeah, I tend to turn a blind eye to those kinds of groups and people who network that way. I share links, but I largely share content that (I hope) is helpful to the people who have been kind enough to let me hang with them:)

      Love your “Lazy Isn’t a Four Letter Word” post (especially since I totally id with it! LOL)

    • Kevin Carlton on

      Yeah, Williesha, I’m not into ‘doing too many social networks’ either.

      Spread yourself too thinly and you won’t get any benefit out of any of them.

      I’m moderately active on Google+, but give Facebook a very wide berth. It just doesn’t do it for me.

      • Tania Dakka on

        That’s true, Kevin:) You can’t spread yourself too thin or it falls apart. That’s why I’m not active on Twitter as much anymore. I traded 🙂 Thanks for sharing!

  17. Tiffany on

    I like the term “Help-working.” That’s a great way of thinking of the writer-prospect relationship. I’ve been reforming my ideas about networking recently. I’ve come to see that prospecting is more about building relationships than anything. Thanks for a great post Tania. I haven’t been utilizing Google+ as much I should, and now I have a reason to use it more.

    • Tiffany on

      P.S, I took a look at the copy on your home page and I just love it. You empathize with the reader and show that you understand their pain points, and it seems you really have a gift for it. I can take a page from your book when it comes to my own site. Well done!

      • Tania Dakka on

        Hi Tiffany!

        Thanks for the amazing feedback! I’m glad it resonated with you:) Help-working is what we’re all about in our Google+ EntreFiends group 🙂 Looking forward to seeing you on the G+ channel! Have a great day!

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