Every time there is talk of social media in the 30 Days or Less to Freelance Writing Success writers’ group, the inevitable Twitter questions pop up.
Do you really need a Twitter account as a freelance writer?
What exactly are you supposed to do with Twitter once you’ve created a profile?
How do other freelancers use Twitter?
We reached out to a few of them, and asked how this social media platform helped in their online business.
Here are the tips that they shared:
1. Be Very Clear About Your Niche
When I started out as a freelance writer, my niche was copywriting for IT service providers. I was using the Twitter search tool to look up IT service providers’ accounts and followed as many as I could find. Lots of them followed me back, and I even had a few reach out to hire me!
I think the main reason was because I had my niche clearly defined in my headline and shared a lot of content related to IT marketing. The second prospects visited my profile, they knew I specialized in their industry.
— Jorden Roper, Writing Revolt
2. Join Twitter Chats
I probably owe most of my career, both freelancing and in-house, to Twitter and the connections I’ve made there. It’s definitely been the best place for business networking for me. Public speaking gigs, guest blogging, clients – I’ve gotten them all through my network, which until very recently was almost entirely on Twitter.
In particular, Twitter chats are one of my favorite tactics.
I used to join 4-5 per week! I think the mix of real-time meetings and having a limited number of characters per post makes chats a lot more conversation and back-and-forth than posts and threads on other networks. So you end up really talking to and getting to know people well.
— Brittany Berger, Blog Bolder
3. Engage with Thought Leaders in Your Industry
Twitter is a place where a lot of thought leaders spend their time, posting their articles and engaging with their followers.
One strategy I use is to make sure I’m always up to date with the biggest thought leaders in my industry on Twitter.
Engaging with their post with your own relevant articles or insight is a great way to build up your following.
If you have a great post that you think someone would like, tag the thought leader and they may even retweet it, and then your work is showcased to a large audience.
The important thing is not to come off as a salesperson making a pitch, but a fellow writer who is looking to share quality information.
— Andrew Choco, Directive Consulting
4. Keep Helpful Tips on Rotation
My favorite way to use Twitter as a freelance writer is to make connections.
I spend time chatting with people and offering help where I can, and I always keep a rotation of writing and content marketing tips going out from my own Twitter feed.
You never know who may be looking for a writer, and being genuinely helpful is the best way to stand out!
— Ashley Brooks, Brooks Editorial
5. Make It Clear You’re Available for Hire
I started out on my own blog in 2008 and used Twitter to try and attract any readers I could. Through Twitter, I was able to network with other writers in the sports niche, and I was invited to write on a larger blog. Within a year, I was invited to write on sports business for Forbes, and within two years that led me to a full-time offer from ESPN.
Post-ESPN, I’ve returned to Forbes and also write for Fox Sports and freelance for outlets like Golf Digest and SportsBusiness Journal. Some of my very first clients ended up being sports-related businesses that wanted to hire a ghostwriter. They knew from my own blogging (which I promote heavily through Twitter) that I was a good writer and knowledgeable about sports, which made me a good fit as a ghostwriter for them.
One of the things I do that I think helps is post statuses on Twitter that read: “Ghostwriting for a new sports client today!” Simple statements that make it clear I’m available as a ghostwriter. When people see you talking about your work and excited about it, they get a sense that you’re passionate about what you do, and I think that makes them want to work with you.
— Kristi Dosh, Sports Biz Miss
6. Thank Your Followers
When I started my business as an author, social media was my only outlet to reach out and make connections, since my budget was $0. I started with Twitter, using relevant hashtags and connecting with people. As people started following me, I would thank them each one of them for the follow and ask them to check out my book – and they did!
It was as simple as Thank you for the follow, <insert name>. I’d LOVE for you to check out my new novel, Safe & Sound at tskrupa.com.
As with all things in life, I learned that:
a) a simple thank you goes a long way
b) all I had to do was ask; it didn’t mean that all people would go to the website, but 9 out of 10 times they did, and then they bought the novel.
I still use Twitter daily, but I have transformed my use of it to address my current needs and goals.
The great thing about Twitter and social media is that it doesn’t just have one function. With some creativity and hard work it can grow and support your business through every step and transformation.
— TS Krupa, TSKrupa.com
Do you have a Twitter profile? (If you do, you’re more than welcome to link to it in the comments.) How do you use Twitter, and what results are you seeing?