Once you’ve attended a Twitter chat or two, you’ve probably come to enjoy the exchange of information and chance to meet new colleagues. If so, it may be time to take it to the next level: by hosting a chat of your own.
The host – also called the moderator – is like the glue that holds the event together. You’ll start and conclude the chat, keep the conversation relevant, and make the group feel comfortable.
Hosting a chat can benefit freelancers of any specialty, such as:
- Bloggers: you’ll generate buzz in your topic and attract new followers.
- Authors: you can introduce your new book or have a discussion; or, make yourself a resource to aspiring authors.
- Software developers: use the chat to discuss new features or updates, or crowdsource from your end users.
- Financial advisors: share your wisdom on targeted or seasonal topics, such as saving for college, retirement, etc.
- Groups of entrepreneurs: get together to hash out marketing strategies, problems, or share directions.
Interested? With some preparation and marketing, you can easily pull together a successful chat. Continue Reading
Do you occasionally long for the opportunity to hash things out with a group of colleagues? Whether it’s an upcoming sports game or a great new iphone app, that casual back-and-forth banter is usually absent when you’re a solo worker.
Joining in a twitter chat is one way that freelancers can replicate this. A Twitter chat – also called a party - is when a group of individuals meet on Twitter at a set time to discuss a planned topic. A moderator usually organizes the event. They’ll start things off, welcome the attendees, and keep the conversation going.
Aside from enjoying some interaction with your peers, attending a chat is a great way to grow your Twitter presence. Continue Reading
Twitter is a is a treasure trove of knowledge with jewels spilling out at the seams. Even universities and colleges are getting in on the act.
The only problem is, mixed amid the genuine pearls are plenty of fakes. On top of that, one person’s rock is another’s diamond. What’s useful to me may be useless for you.
As a freelancer, you can use Twitter to discover the needs of potential clients, spark up new ideas for a dusty old project, see what others are saying about you and your work, and train yourself in new skills. (You can also use it to find clients and job opportunities. I explain how here).
But unless you know where to find what’s relevant to you, Twitter can seem like a big waste of time.
In this article, I show you how to use Twitter as a powerful research tool to give you the edge you need as a freelancer. Continue Reading
I’ve often heard freelancers say “I don’t use Twitter for marketing”. That’s like saying you don’t use networking events to meet people (Well, perhaps you enjoy the free food, but really?).
Like it or not, if you’re on Twitter, you use it for marketing. Twitter is a public platform, and potential clients will look at your Twitter account when they’re deciding whether to hire you. More importantly, Twitter is about building relationships and networking, which is a form of marketing.
In this article, I show you how to pro-actively use Twitter as a marketing tool, both to search out freelance gigs and to reach out to contacts who could become clients. Continue Reading
Are you getting any results from all the time and effort you put into Twitter?
How can you really know whether Twitter is working for your freelance business?
In one sense, the answer is simple. If you’re meeting potential clients, networking with other freelancers, having a good time, learning new things, and watching your follower count grow, then Twitter is clearly working for you.
For many freelancers that’s enough.
But for those who’d like to know the mechanics of how Twitter is working for them, there are easy to use and low-cost tools available to help you dig deeper.
Keeping track of your metrics is a form of research. Your aim is to find out what works at engaging clients, and what doesn’t.
In this article, I look at what you can (and can’t) discover by digging into your stats, the types of stats you should be measuring, and the tools you can use to measure them. Continue Reading
Now that you’ve set up your Twitter account, it’s time you got some followers.
Followers are great for two reasons:
Followers provide social proof. The more followers you have, the more people will assume you’re good at what you do. Every follower is like a micro-testimonial. Think about it: if you were hiring a freelancer, would you first check out the freelancer with 10,000 Twitter followers or 10 followers? The more followers you have, the quicker you gain the trust of potential clients.
Followers help to spread your message. When you want to use Twitter to promote your blog, business or services, the more followers you have, the bigger your reach.
In previous articles, I’ve covered the basics of what it takes to grow your Twitter following. First, you must complete your Twitter profile. This includes a biography targeted at your ideal followers, and a smiling picture of your face. In your biography, give people a reason to follow you. Make sure you mention what you’ll be tweeting about. Second, write top quality tweets that are valuable and relevant to your audience.
Before taking a look at some more advanced tactics for growing your following, let’s consider what your mindset needs to be to become a Twitter authority with a tribe of loyal followers. Continue Reading
To paraphrase Shakespeare to the point of mangling:
To schedule, or not to schedule, that is the question:
Whether ’tis better to always be present
In person when you tweet,
Or to prepare tweets in advance,
Ever ready for what you will say next.
Whether or not to schedule Twitter updates is a topic of hot debate in the social media community. Numerous tools – including BufferApp and Tweetdeck – allow you to set up Tweets in advance, helping you save time while boosting your Twitter presence. On the other hand, opponents of scheduling argue that pre-scheduled tweets are lazy, and show a disrespect for your audience.
In this article, I look at the cons and pros of scheduling. Admittedly, I favor a mix of scheduled and live tweets. For me, scheduling a tweet is similar to scheduling a blog post. It’s convenient for you, as it saves you time, and it’s convenient for your audience, as it spreads your tweets across the day.
I’ll be as objective as I can, but bear in mind I’m biased towards scheduling. Continue Reading
To keep your Twitter account active and your followers engaged, you need to send out several tweets a day. A mere 140 characters sounds easy enough to write. That is, until you have to do it daily, over and over again.
In this article, I’ll provide a framework for what freelancers should Tweet about, and ask thought-provoking questions to help you create your own freelancer Twitter editorial.
I’m not providing a “one Tweeter strategy fits all freelancers” solution for one simple reason: There’s no right answer for choosing what to Tweet about. Every freelance business is different, and it’s a matter of what works for you, your business and, most importantly, your clients. Continue Reading
You’ve decided Twitter might be a good fit for your business, and you want to give it a whirl. In this article, I provide a step-by-step overview to setting up your profile and freelance brand on Twitter.
I don’t get too deep into the technical side of things. If you’re web savvy enough to be on Twitter, chances are you can navigate your way around the site. Rather, I show you what’s important from a marketing perspective. If you need more in-depth technical help with setting up your profile, you can check out the Twitter Help Center.
Let’s get started with setting up your freelance presence on Twitter. Continue Reading
Nowadays, it’s rare to meet a freelancer who’s not on Twitter. Most of us have an account, and many of us hang out there in our free time. Sharing our lives, and glimpsing into the lives of others in bite-sized chunks of 140 characters is strangely compelling.
But how about using Twitter for your professional life?
In a new series of FreelanceSwitch articles, I’m going show you how to make the most of Twitter as a freelancer. In particular, I’ll be looking at how to use Twitter as a marketing and networking tool.
If you’ve yet to dive into the world of Tweets, I’ll show you how to set up your Twitter account. If you don’t get Twitter, I’ll show you how to make sense of it.
I’ll also be looking at what to Tweet about, how to record and understand Twitter metrics, how to grow your Twitter following and find clients on the network, using Twitter for research, and the dilemma every professional Tweeter faces: to schedule or not to schedule?
Before we get into that, it’s worth deciding whether Twitter is right for your freelance business. Ultimately, you’ll only find this out by trying Twitter for yourself. However, this article will serve as a handy primer to help you make your decision.
Twitter’s a communications platform, which makes it suitable for marketing your services. But is it worth your while, and all the time and energy you’ll invest?
Let’s take a look, starting with the argument for Twitter. Continue Reading
Social media is a great way to connect with new people, including potential freelance clients. Having a presence on one of the hugely trafficked social-media platforms can also help your own freelancer website rank better in search and help you get found by prospects.
But here’s the problem: You’re not supposed to be salesy on social media. It’s supposed to be mostly a place to hang out and socialize.
As a result, it takes a little finesse to use social media for prospecting, since messages like “Got any design work for me?” tend to get you unfollowed, disconnected and/or blocked, depending on the platform.
Also, each social-media platform has its own flavor and etiquette. It’s hard to make time to figure them all out and use your time on them productively…without becoming distracted and ending up playing Mafia Wars or forwarding funny YouTube video links. But if you focus on specific marketing and network-building activities, social media can be well worth your time investment.
If you think it’s all a waste of time, let me report that I’ve gotten several high-caliber clients off LinkedIn and Twitter that booked tens of thousands of dollars of work with me in the past couple of years. Full disclosure: The collection of tips below represent my personal take on what I’m seeing out there that’s really working for freelancers in social media.
Besides having social buttons on your own blog and hoping to heck someone retweets your stuff and a prospect sees it, how can social media help you find clients?
If you’ve only got a sec, the short version is: Connect with and then help others, and they will help you.
Want more? Here are 15 specific social-media marketing techniques new freelancers can use: Continue Reading
Freelancers and small business owners can learn a lot from how bigger businesses use their social media. You’re not going to be able to capitalize on everything these larger companies can, because your business model is different. However, there are some things big companies do to leverage their Twitter followers that freelancers can put into practice.
Some of these ideas were found in this FastCompany article. I weeded through all 21 of their tips to find the ones FreelanceSwitch readers can put into practice.
Offering coupons on coffee would work great for Starbucks, but clearly not for freelancers. But giving out your own special offer can help entice someone to try your services for the very first time, or attract a repeat customer.
Most of the freelancers that I know who utilize this are photographers. They’ll offer a special deal during certain times of the year (holidays, for example) for a special rate. Customers use a promo code to sign up for a photo shoot. Sometimes photographers will create a contest where someone gets a photo shoot for free.
It’s all about enticing new customers to your small company. Whether you offer photography services, graphic design, or marketing solutions—offering a discount makes it less risky for new clients to use your services. Continue Reading