Definitely not.

Though I should admit I’m a social media addict. It’s bad. My husband has to tell me to put the phone down, so it’s tough for me to understand why anyone wouldn’t want to use social media as a way to generate leads.

At the same time, social media is useless if you don’t get it, don’t want to get it, don’t like it, or aren’t good at it. You won’t engage anyone if you aren’t genuinely engaged yourself.

Does that mean your situation as a new freelancer is hopeless? Of course not. There are other ways to generate leads.

1. Guest Blogging

Guest Blogging Goldmine

I don’t agree with all the principles in this book, but it was a great resource.

The majority of my organic leads have come through guest blogging, which is writing for another site and include an author profile at the bottom. Always include an author profile with your guest blogs. Not only does it drive traffic to your site (make sure you include a link!), it gives you quality links for search engine optimization.

There are a number of resources on the subject, but one that I stumbled across is Guest Blogging Goldmine by Tom Corson-Knowles. I definitely don’t agree with everything Tom says — like not paying more than $30 for a blog post once you hire your own writers — but there are plenty of quality tips to take away.

2. Networking

You may not be into social media, but you can still leverage it. LinkedIn is especially great for connecting with influencers who may be willing to share your content on their social platforms. I have reaped the reward of influential people with significant followings sharing my social media posts, but this you could also ask influencers to straight up share your content.

Remember, the first reason you should network within your niche (make sure you have a niche) is for a mutually-beneficial relationship. A secondary benefit of those contacts is content and social media sharing sharing.

3. Upwork/Service

If you’ve followed me for any length of time on LinkedIn, it’s no secret that I love Upwork. The great thing about Upwork it is that it provides warm leads. You already know the potential client is looking for your services, so you get off to a great start before you’re even out of the gate.

The other benefit is that it’s within a platform that tracks your proposals so you can see if the potential client has hired someone else or stopped checking in. I’ve definitely fallen victim to submitting proposals for jobs posted to websites like Craigslist or Problogger and never hearing another word.

If You Do Want To Tackle Social Media …

Here are quick tips on my favorite lead generators:

  • Facebook isn’t the best for freelancers looking for organic leads. Unless you share your work with your personal network or want to take a stab at paid ads (which are great if you choose to go that route), I suggest trying another platform first.
  • Twitter is great for networking and building relationships with influencers, but it may be tough if you don’t have a good follower base. If you think it’s the platform for you, though, jump in and start Tweeting. Use hashtags, get into conversations with influencers, and have fun.
  • LinkedIn is the go-to for professional networking and lead generation. Join relevant groups and engage, write Pulse blogs, and comment on posts of others. I don’t recommend cold messaging people with offers, but I know that does work well in some industries and if done the right way.

How have you found organic leads outside of social media platforms?