News for Authors

Finding a Social Media Freelancer (If You Want to Work with One)

by Jacky Bethea|April, 2024

At our last Author University virtual learning event, we had the pleasure of hosting Payton Mitchell, a freelance social media expert, to lend her advice on how to create great video content for social media. We heard from many of you that you were curious about working with a freelance expert, what that would entail, and how to find one. Here are some tips to help you decide if it would be the right move for you!

Disclaimer: This resource is not a recommendation to hire a freelancer (or to do social media at all if you don’t want to)!

The greatest piece of social media advice I can offer to authors is that there is no need to show up on any platform if you decide social media isn’t for you. A freelancer can be a helpful resource, but working with one requires time and monetary investment—and you will still have to make social media content. If any of that sounds unappealing, that is totally fine. Your publishing team will be more than happy to help you develop a strategy that works for everyone, whether you need some insight on how to show up on your socials without a freelancer, or want to proceed without a social media presence at all. But if you are already considering hiring a freelancer, here are some tips and helpful things to keep in mind.

What does a social media freelancer do?

Social media freelancers can span a variety of functions, but they mostly act as consultants or strategists, assisting authors with growing their social media presence. This may include planning a posting schedule, tracking trends, and advising on what kind of content will best connect with the audience you want to reach.

Working with a freelancer is an investment best made when you know exactly what you need out of the experience. Here are few helpful questions to ask yourself:

  • “How much do I want to invest in social media?” Having any presence online will demand a certain amount of your time, no matter which platforms you’re on, but it doesn’t require monetary investment. There are plenty of free resources online about how to optimize your social media strategy. You can also search our newsletter site for social media tips specifically for authors and check out our Author University virtual learning events.
  • “Where do I want to show up online?” Instead of trying to show up everywhere at once, it may be helpful to focus on one to three specific platforms, based on what you are most comfortable with and excited about. If you’re unsure where to start, check out the Author Playbook Quiz.
  • “What are my goals when working with a professional on my socials?” Do you want to grow an audience, understand metrics, and get more engagement on what you post? To find your voice on social media and gain more confidence online? To figure out how any of this works?

Once you know what you want out of your social media presence, you can consider other methods for growth as well. Consult your marketing or publicity team for recommendations. If you want your content to look more polished, editing programs like Canva or Capcut are very accessible, and there are great tutorials online. Taking time to observe well-performing content on the platforms that interest you can help you get a good sense of what works and what doesn’t.

I want to work with a freelancer—where do I start?

According to Farin Schlussel, Director of Marketing at Avery and TarcherPerigee, here are some things to look out for:

1.They offer the service that you are looking for. Remember the above questions: Can they meet those needs? Do they specialize in creating content for the platforms you are working on?

2.They have other clients (authors and/or brands) in a similar space. This is a good indicator that they will understand your book and how to reach your target audience.

3.They are within your budget. Note that the work may include developing an overall brand strategy along with a book promotion strategy, so a freelancer can end up being a long-term investment.

4.They have strong communication skills, not just for you as the direct client but with your publishing team as well.  To quote Farin, “We need to know what the freelancer has been contracted to do so that we’re not duplicating any work or stepping on toes, when things are going to launch on an author’s channels, and that the freelancer is using correct language.”


Now that you know what you’re looking for, it’s a matter of knowing where to look. There are many marketplaces for freelancers online, but it may be tougher to find someone with specific expertise. If you already have quite a few followers, you can consider putting an ask out on your channels, but this isn’t the case for everyone. Often the best route for sourcing a freelancer for authors is asking around. Ask your fellow authors! Many work alongside freelancers or have consulted one in the past. If you have a background in academia, someone in your department may be able to assist with your socials. Your publishing team can be a great resource as well. Many divisions keep a list of freelancers they have collaborated with previously. Not only can they recommend someone you can trust, but it’s a good way to ensure that you have a great communicator who knows how to work alongside your team.

Freelancer or not, if you are looking to get more advice on your socials, there are plenty of resources out there to help you. If you have questions about how to show up online or need to get connected to someone in your division who can help, reach out to us at!