Why do so many new freelancers automatically make a beeline to social media when looking to promote their services? It’s such a crowded marketplace and very few have the marketing experience to get the most out each platform.
Perhaps it’s because we’re so familiar with Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram that we think it’s an easy transition to talk about our freelance services and generate sales. Perhaps, it seems like the easiest, cheapest way to get our message out there. Done correctly, social media can drive a huge amount of traffic to your site, raise your brand profile, and initiate partnerships. Done incorrectly, and you’ll waste a massive amount of time and energy banging your head against the wall.
Covering the do’s and don'ts of social media would fill a book so we’re going to focus on the platform that, when done right, can add a huge amount of value to your freelance business - Twitter. Here are our top 5 alternative tips.
Don’t just post and run
The number one question we get from freelancers when talking about using Twitter is ‘What should I post?’ It’s a big question and the answer is very specific to each individual however there are some general rules that will help.
- Don’t just talk about yourself and what you had for breakfast.
- Be funny
- Be informative
- Be helpful
- Talk about what you know
- Retweet relevant articles within your sector
To see if the content you’re posting is working, click on your profile icon and choose ‘Analytics’. Don’t be intimidated by Analytics, it’s very simple to read and gives great insights.
Once you’re in, you’ll see a bunch of graphs and numbers, most of which are self explanatory. However, we’re interested in content so click on ‘Tweets’ in the menu.
The telling information on your Tweets page is Engagements and Engagement Rate. Click on a Tweet to see the breakdown. Total engagements can be misleading as the number may be irrelevant to your objectives. The figures below are in relation to a promotional tweet that had a link to a landing page. The objective of the tweet was to drive traffic to the page and generate leads. You can see that total engagements is 13 which looks good on the face of it. However, only 1 person clicked the link so it’s back to the drawing board.
Make a note of the tweets that are working and why. You’ll get to know what your audience responds well to very quickly that will enable you to adjust your approach.
Don’t follow everyone
New Twitter users are often stumped with this one. How do I build my followers?
If you have a profile with a handful of followers and you’re following thousands of random users, it doesn’t look great. Only follow people interested in your industry and what you have to say. Who is your target audience? Who else do they follow? Try the Twitter Search or directories like WeFollow and Twellow to pinpoint the people you should follow.
What’s the best way to grow your followers? Engage. Freelancers generally talk about themselves as they are often at the heart of their brand. New achievements, new clients, new kit, new cat, what you had for breakfast… However, your audience probably don’t care. Instead, flip it - comment, retweet, and like work of people you’re interested in or, even better, potential clients.
I am a robot
Nobody likes a generic Tweet. It’s impersonal and lazy. This starts with your profile and bio. Inject your personality into your Twitter profile to put a face to the person behind the tweets. Your banner and profile image are an opportunity to instantly tell your audience about you and your brand.
Decide if you should use a pic of yourself, your work, or a logo. Your bio is a great way to nail down your mission statement as you only have a couple of sentences to explain what you do and why anyone should care.
Stay with me on this one. You set your stance, raise your arms back, and cast your line out into the vast crystal clear lake. You’ve just posted a Tweet. Good job. Most Twitter newbies will put down their rod and walk away at this stage but, hang on, you’ve got a bite. Okay, I’ll stop with the fishing metaphor now.
When someone responds to your posts, respond back. A like, comment or retweet is an invitation to speak to that person. Step one, check if they are worth your time. What do they do? Are they a potential client, partner, or influencer? Step two, follow them, thank them for engaging, and ask about their services or goals. Twitter is about starting conversations that lead to connections, don’t walk away when someone says hello.
Scheduling is fine, but engage
Twitter streams are noisy spaces and you’ll fail to get noticed unless you tweet regularly. A general rule of thumb is that only one-in-five tweets get seen by your followers, so post plenty, retweet regularly and share relevant content so people noticed you and your brand.
Using schedulers like Buffer or Hootsuite can help you structure your campaigns and free up your time but make sure you’re logging in throughout the day to see if anyone has engaged with you.
This blog is by The Freelancer Club, which helps creative freelancers develop their business, find work, and make connections. To join the club, claim your freelance profile today.