Because the February-March session sold out, I have been invited to reprise my three-part workshop “Become Your Own Boss: Effective Business Plan Writing” at Boston Center for Adult Education 122 Arlington Street Boston MA on three Mondays, May 9, 16 & 23 from 5:30 PM – 7:30 PM. For more information or to register please visit http://bit.ly/becomeyourown59 or call 617.267.4430.
As you develop strategies to promote your services, be mindful that the goal is to package yourself in a way that makes clients feel that hiring you is a smart move. Keeping your name visible by publishing good content across various media outlets and platforms is a strategy that will support your goal.
When under consideration for an assignment, you want to be certain that an internet search of your name brings up links to postings that demonstrate your bona fides. The savvy Freelancer creates an online footprint that portrays a knowledgeable and capable professional, one worthy of trust and lucrative contracts.
Today, we’ll take a closer look at how Twitter can support your online presence and brand, help you build relationships, connect with peers and portray yourself as a familiar and trusted source of useful information. Let’s start the process by considering these three questions:
- Who do you want to reach?
Since your tweets will focus on business, it’s safe to say that you’re looking to connect with current and potential clients and perhaps also peers with whom you do not directly compete.
- Will your tweets be interactive?
Will your stream be public and will you allow followers to post comments? I suggest that you say yes to both and post comments to other’s tweets as well.
- Do you have time to create good content?
In the allotted 140 characters, it’s important that your tweets be relevant and timely and a conversation, not a one-way sales pitch.
In the beginning, try spending a few days following the stream of someone whose tweets you find relevant, then join conversations and answer questions. When you feel ready, start tweeting.
Give updates on conferences you’ll attend, on items in your newsletter, on the workshop you’ll conduct. So that your stream is not just all about you, share links to articles you think your group might like to read and re-tweet interesting updates that you’ve received.
When it comes to followers, focus on quality over quantity. Your objective is to connect with key influencers and not everyone. Share relevant stories that highlight your expertise. Be helpful and informative. Make a point of commenting on what others are doing. Give your brand a voice and personality.
Tweeting is an ideal way for in-the-moment info sharing and that also includes listening. In other words, Twitter can play a role in market research and competitive intelligence. Use Twitter to learn what your clients say about services they find useful and are willing to pay for; about new trends and priorities that may help you identify potential business opportunities; and to learn what competitors are doing and saying.
Visit http://search.twitter.com to find out what’s being said about topics in your industry. Add the Company Buzz app to your LinkedIn profile and find out what’s being said about your business. You’ll be able to view tweets and learn the top key words associated with searches of your company. Use what you learn to refine your brand and sharpen your sales pitch.
While you’re on LinkedIn you can also add the Tweets app to your profile. This app will allow you to tweet, reply and re-tweet all from LinkedIn and will also display your latest tweets on your page.
Along the way you’ll no doubt make some Twitter friends, but remember that true relationship building requires personal contact and virtual connections are not necessarily reliable. So use Twitter to encourage face-to-face activities.
Invite your group to networking meet-ups and to your workshops and other speaking engagements. In return, be sure that you likewise support the activities of those in your group.
Social media platforms can make your name and business activities familiar to many and might even lead you to discover new business opportunities. Consider it “free” advertising, as you let the online community know of your capabilities. Just remember to factor in the cost of your time.
Thanks for reading,