Being a freelancer, it is often a challenge to share your story to the world. As writers, we really enjoy writing – when it comes to marketing and building a brand though, that takes some extra effort and we may not be the best in doing so.
One day, you decide to be a freelance writer. You did a google search for “Freelance Writers” and started looking for opportunities to write. Then, you stumbled upon freelance websites like oDesk, Elance and Freelancer. You create an account, start applying for jobs and after 2 weeks, you still have not gotten your desired position. That is very demotivating…
There are a few methods to make you “stand out” among the crowd. Stop being like everybody else and spend some time building your personal brand. The best place to start is Twitter.
Here are the 9 steps to get your started:
1. After signing up on twitter spend 30 minutes to 1 hour on Twitter’s homepage, doing basic searches to become familiar with the type of content available on the service.
2. Find followers by searching your town and surrounding areas as well to find key influencers, news outlets, bloggers and city officials. Also, search for large players in your market. If they share your posts, you have the potential to reach thousands. I suggest following a few people at a time (~10-20). To truly connect with them, mention them in a post immediately. You can also comment on one of their posts or simply say that you look forward to following their awesome tweets.
3. Treat your twitter profile as you would treat any other website. Send as much traffic as possible to your twitter profile to gain followers using other web properties. For example, if you have a website, you can place your twitter social sharing tool at the following location:
- Top right of your website
- Registration Page
- Edit profile page
- Thank you page
- Every Blog Post
4. You only have 5 to 7 seconds to convert a visitor into follower, so make your twitter profile as attractive as possible. Tweak all the aspects mentioned above (related to profile page), and you can see a drastic increase in the number of followers. Furthermore, use a custom background for your twitter profile. This will show that you are real and shares quality content.
5. Use your twitter profile wherever possible to gain backlinks. The higher your visibility to the search engines (SEO), the higher your chances of having people follow you. For example, when leaving a blog comment or signing up to a free service on a website, if you are able to use your twitter profile to sign-in, do it.
6. Re-tweets (RT) are important. The originator of the post will receive an email if their content is RTed. That will increase YOUR visibility and chances are the person who got your RT tend to follow you. If you are listed as the top 10 re-tweeters on Twitter, you will get a significant amount of followers.
7. Keep your followers engaged by participating in certain groups (hashtags) and asking good questions. In Twitter, you can easily start a conversation with any stranger. Make sure that you ask an open-ended question so that more users can answer your question. Groups can be created using Hashtags. The best way to start is to find trending hashtags and use those first. After you are use to using hashtags, create your own and start spreading by adding it on relevant post. If it becomes popular, people will search it, find yours and hopefully re-tweet their stories and comment on them! Alternatively, reply to each and every message. Keep the conversation going. The goal is to get them to trust you. Of course you should do this as much as you can. Then get involve in great debates and conversation with people with more followers. When the famous person reply to your tweet, his followers sees your twitter ID, if they find the conversation interesting, they may start following you and the conversation. Your first priority should be building relationships with people, not pitching your service or product.
8. Maintain consistent and high-quality content. The content that you tweet should be both consistent as in regular updates, and also consistent with your overall message or objective. Keep good tweets in the first page of your profile because your recent tweets will be displayed in the first page of your profile. Tweet valuable things. Do not tweet merely to get traffic to your blog by tweeting only about your articles. You can tweet about what you are presently doing etc, bit personal things; this is what twitter followers like to know. But try to provide some more valuable things. Like tweeting breaking news, latest happenings at your place etc.
9. To truly leverage Twitter you need to stay current. This includes desktop and mobile Twitter clients like TweetDeck, Seesmic, and Tweetie. Desktop clients give you more flexibility and more control over your Twitter strategy than you’ll have on the Twitter website. Among other things, you’ll be able to pre-define searches (so that you can monitor certain keywords, including your business name) and group people you follow so that you can minimize the noise and focus on the real content. You might also consider using a web tool like Twitterfall, which will allow you to define (and color-code) various custom searches that you can review from time to time, and also to follow trending topics. Get alerts sent to your phone when folks engage with you via your social networking sites – at least in the beginning – that way you respond quickly.