Freelance Marketing on Twitter
Before you start this learning track, I recommend you complete Introduction to Social Media for Business so you’re clear about where Twitter sits in your social media strategy.
Let’s get started with Twitter. Remember, Twitter has a mostly male audience with most people in the 30-49 age group. I’ve found it to be a great place to connect with other writers and a few clients have also found me via the content I’ve shared there.
If you already have a Twitter account feel free to skip forward. But as you do, assess your profile with fresh eyes and see if you’re really making it work for you. You may need to edit your bio, follow new people, and create new lists to focus on finding freelance writing clients. And you may want to change the content you share so it enhances your reputation with potential clients.
Activity 1: Secure your brand
One good thing to do, even if you don’t intend to use a particular platform, is to secure your brand name and do the basic setup. That’ll make sure nobody else gets it. Twitter has a character limit on usernames, so you may not be able to get your full name if it’s long. If it’s a common name, Twitter will often suggest you add some numbers to the end.
Assignment: If you don’t already have a Twitter account, set one up.
Here are some resources to help you with that:
- READ: How to sign up for Twitter and create a new Twitter account
- READ: How to set up a Twitter account for business or personal use
Activity 2: Add your bio and avatar
If you’ve followed the resources shared above, you may already have done this. If not, it’s time to make your Twitter account your own. That means adding an avatar, a cover image and a bio.
By now you should have a good idea of who you want to write for, what, if anything you plan to specialize in.
Your avatar is your image on the web.
You’ve got options for this including your logo and a headshot. These days, many individuals use a photo, while many brands use their logo. You can decide based on your circumstances. Whatever you choose, you’ll want to use the same image across the web to make sure potential clients can recognize you. For example, I use a professional photo for all my social media sites.
You’ll also need to create a cover image (don’t leave the default, whatever you do). This can be an image that represents your business, your logo, or a product or service you’re promoting. This sits at the top of your profile. Sometimes people use an image, sometimes an extended header image, or even a background with some text relating to the business. Again, aim for consistency with your other social sites.
Your bio is exactly what it says. On Twitter, you have limited space to describe yourself, so pick some key points. At the very least, include your role and a link to your website. You can also include a link to your email newsletter signup form. There are lots of options, so browse Twitter and see what looks good to you. My bio includes the fact that I’m an antiracism writer and a B2B writer.
Assignment: Set up or edit your Twitter avatar, cover image and bio.
Activity 3: Follow people who can hire you
Twitter recommends people to follow as part of the setup process, but don’t stop there. Be strategic in following the right people. For me, that’s a mix. I follow writers, potential clients, accounts for tools and services I use, and people who tweet interesting things.
I’ve used Twitter to get work, and I’m not the only one. One trick is to follow people who can hire you. If you already know the kind of businesses and clients you want to work with, follow them.
Assignment: Find and follow 10 Twitter users who could be clients one day.
Activity 4: Create a list
Lists help you organize the people you follow and can be public or private. I keep a private list of current clients so I can see what they’re tweeting about and respond when appropriate. As you start to follow more people, you’ll need to organize them this way, otherwise it’ll get very noisy.
Search Engine Journal has some advice on using Twitter to get clients
Assignment: Create two Twitter lists – one list of fellow writers; and another of businesses you’d be interested in working with. You’ll need those later when you start using Twitter.
Activity 5: Learn key Twitter terms
Before you start using Twitter, here are some key terms to be aware of:
Tweet – a Twitter update. These are up to 280 characters. If you want to create a longer update, you can put several tweets together to create a Twitter thread.
Retweet – when you share an existing tweet, by pressing a button. You can also retweet with comment, which lets you share an existing tweet while adding your take above the tweet you are sharing. In tweets, retweet is often shortened to RT.
Timeline: the stream of tweets from people you follow. This can be organized by importance (decided by Twitter) or chronologically.
Follow – to subscribe so you see the person’s updates in your timeline
Hashtag – a word or symbol preceded by the # sign. These are useful for finding content on a particular theme. You can use more than one hashtag in a tweet, but remember to leave room for the actual update.
DM – direct message – a message from one Twitter user to another, or to a group of Twitter users.
Like – click the heart under a tweet to show you like it
@ – Use this symbol with a username to mention another Twitter user in a tweet. This is like tagging them on other platforms. You can do this multiple times.
Activity 6: Send a tweet
It can be:
- A link share of someone else’s content (add some context if you can)
- A link share of your own content (add some context if you can)
- A response to something you’ve seen on Twitter
- A retweet with a comment
Add a relevant hashtag to give your tweet more reach.
Assignment: Send a tweet
Activity 7: Share an image
Images are popular on Twitter. Options for images include:
- Header images for content
Assignment: create an image for Twitter with Canva and share it. You can use a quote from one of the pieces of content you created earlier, or pick something else that appeals to you.
To help with this:
- READ: Canva: The Ridiculously Simple Way to Get Great Designs in Minutes
- READ: Always Up-to-Date Guide to Social Media Image Sizes (Each social media site has different optimal sizes for images. Bookmark this guide and you’ll always know which size you need. Canva Pro includes an image resizer tool, but you can also use the free tool below.)
- TOOL: Free Image Resizer | Resize Your Images for Social Media (This will come in handy for resizing an existing image for use on a different platform.
Activity 8: Search for jobs/clients/prospects
If you’re active on social media for long enough, potential clients will start to find you. Until that time, you’ve got to do some of the heavy lifting yourself. Luckily, this is easy to do with Twitter. Here are some things to try:
- READ: Best Hashtag for Job Seekers to Find Your Dream Jobs. Use these job search hashtags to find opportunities. The list also includes hashtags you can use in your tweets to let people know you’re available for work.
- FOLLOW: Find the Twitter accounts for popular job search sites, like Media Bistro, Journalism Jobs and others and follow them to get new opportunities as they come up.
- SEARCH: Search for people who are hiring. You’d be surprised what you can find simply by searching for tweets containing “hire a writer”
Assignment: Use the methods above to identify at least one prospective writing opportunity on Twitter and apply for it.
Activity 9: Take part in a Twitter chat
Twitter chats are a great way to connect with new people and extend your reach. There are loads of them out there. I’ve had good results participating in chats on writing, blogging, and social media, and have even been the featured expert on one of them. This helps to build your brand so more people can find you.
Assignment: Find a Twitter chat related to your business and take part in it. Use the resource below to help you.
Twitter chats can be difficult to follow on the web or mobile app because of the huge volume of tweets. It’s useful to use an external tool to participate. Many of them automatically append chat hashtags to your tweets.
Activity 10: Learn more about using Twitter
Well, this is almost the end of the Twitter section of social media for freelancers. I just want to add a few more resources you might find useful.
- READ: Twitter Marketing Guide by Crazy Egg
- READ: Twitter Tweet Little Star, How to Sparkle Who You Are
- READ: Twitter for Lead Generation: 19 Clever Ways to Explode Your List
- TOOLS: These tools will help you with social media scheduling and sharing your content: Buffer, Hootsuite, MissingLettr
Assignment: after reading the articles above, try one Twitter lead generation task you haven’t already done.
That’s it! Don’t forget to check in with me via the drop in sessions if you have questions.