The agony of trying to get noticed on social media. And what to do about it.

If you are a freelancer, consultant, coach, entrepreneur or other small business owner, you know you have to “get out there”.

You have to use your website and/or blog, and email, and social media sites to reach out to your prospects and customers.

In particular, you might be using social media to engage prospects and extend your reach.

That’s all good stuff.

But now for the hard part. How do you get noticed? Almost a billion people are on Facebook and Twitter combined. The scale of activity is astonishing. Twitter alone publishes over 140 million tweets per day.

That’s a lot of noise.

How on earth are you going to get noticed among all the other people who are writing, posting and tweeting about the same subject?

Beyond the noise and volume of activity, something else is happening.

The barrier to entry is falling even lower. More and more people are taking advantage of the fact that the web and social media makes it a lot easier to strike out as a solopreneur. They can launch their business quickly, and at very little cost.

This makes for more noise. And the thing is, most of that noise carries very little value.

Faced with their own struggles to remain visible, your competitors are tweeting and updating more frequently…and very quickly run out of useful things to say. The quality of content falls lower and lower.

Then, in another attempt to remain visible, your competitors ramp up their marketing approaches and become singing and dancing brands. Their promises become wilder, and their antics become crazier. Anything to get noticed.

Amid these billions of screaming voices…how can you, as a professional make yourself heard?

Don’t become seduced by big numbers.

You don’t need a billion prospects in order to be successful. You just need a tiny, tiny fraction of that.

This means you don’t need 10,000 friends on Facebook or 15,000 followers on Twitter. Nor do you need your blog to be viewed by thousands of people a day.

You just need to get in front of your core prospects, and maybe a few of your peers, and some bloggers and media types who are key influencers in your niche.

Now you can focus on adding real value to a smaller group of people who actually matter to you.

You can cut the time you spend wading through all the irrelevant nonsense on social media. And this will give you time to contribute higher-quality content of your own, and engage in deeper and more meaningful conversations.

Building a successful small business is not about making more noise, more often.

It’s about using your time wisely, and connecting with people who can contribute to your business in some way.

By all means use social media. It’s a fabulous tool for freelancers. Just use it wisely.