1. Work out a strategy: just as your freelance business needs a clear marketing strategy, so does your Twitter activity. So take some time to work out who your target audience is, what your usp is, and how what you offer can help address the problems and issues your audience is facing. Then work out what your message is going to be. Random activity and following random people will not build your business.
2. Make your bio interesting: make the most of your 160 characters in your bio. People will decide whether you’re interesting enough to follow on the strength of this. And don’t forget to include the url of your website or blog in your bio.
3. Position yourself as an expert in your field: set up searches for your key words (www.Search.Twitter.com) and see what people are tweeting about. If you find a lot of people are experiencing the same issue, write a blog post that addresses this problem. Then @reply the next person who has this same problem, and include a link to your blog article. It’s a great way to position yourself as an expert, to be seen as helpful, and to build your brand.
4. Find relevant people to follow: if you’re using Twitter to build your business, it’s no good following loads of people who would never become customers in a million years. Take a step back and ask yourself: who do I want to target? This should be part of your Twitter strategy in point 1, so you should already be clear on who your targets are. Here are three ways I find relevant people: I use refollow.com. I type in my key words into Twitter’s search and find those who are talking about my topic. I also follow those who follow my competitors – if people are interested in what my competitor has to say and I’m tweeting about the same subject, chances are, they’ll be interested in what I have to say, too.
5. Find potential customers by using the search facility: if you’re, say, a freelance web designer who’s an expert on WordPress sites, you’ll certainly want to be alerted to Tweets that say: “I’m looking for a web designer who can design me a WordPress site.” So run a search for ‘WordPress website designer’ and, if you use Tweetdeck, set up a specific column for this search. Then, you’ll easily spot whenever a tweet appears that mentions these keywords.
How do YOU use Twitter to build your business?