Freelance writers: getting your name out there with Twitter, FB and MySpace

Thanks in large part to my dear friend Natasa, a marketing genius, I'm learning about tweeting on twitter.  I was the Anti-Twit for at least a year... until I got sucked in by a magazine quoting celebrity tweets. 

(Yes, I read tabloids.  I'm not proud to admit it.  In the grocery line, I quietly swoop them from the rack to the conveyor belt so no one behind me sees, and I avoid the cashier's knowing glare by fiddling with my credit card.)

In any case, social networking is a necessity - especially for freelance writers who want to brand their own name. 

I think there's more to tweeting than just offering your services; some of the most successful twits tweeters are interacting with other twits tweeters regularly, and re-tweeting tweeted links.  I'm getting there, and Natasa's helpful blog post on finding people to follow you is an amazing start to being a successful twit..terer.

Facebook is my big one.  You can set up a fan page, coerce your existing friends into joining and enlist their help in signing others on - and then you start doing the same thing you'd do with Twitter, which is sharing information while gently marketing your services.

MySpace does the same thing - although MySpace users are now the "younger set" and may not be the audience you're going for.

Gather has great networking; users are ultra-friendly and actually interested in what you have to say. 

Freelance writers get lost in the sea of other providers, so you have to manually get people to like you - that's the point of social networking.  It's not always easy, and while your work speaks for itself, you've got to find people to let it speak to. 

I find that I've been spending about an hour a day trying to network (aside from my Facebook habit, where I "like" my friends' statuses and comment on their antics just because) - and it seems to be paying off.  I've made a few new friends, found a few new clients and I'm actually having fun messing around on the computer.

Twitter's a good start - even if you already know what you're doing, go check out Natasa's post about getting Twitter followers; it's really cool and can help spread your name around the twit-fest.

Got any social networking tips to share?  Post a comment, and please feel free to include a link to your own blog or website!