Studies show that on average, people spend over five years of their life on social media.
Wouldn’t it be great if you could spend some of that time on something productive, like say, growing your business?
Good news! You can.
Social media offers a lot of opportunities for entrepreneurs, specifically freelance writers.
While Instagram and Facebook have become synonymous with marketing these days, Twitter provides some pretty unique benefits for writers.
If you’re an enterprising freelance writer, check out just some of the ways Twitter can help boost your business.
Twitter is a great place to find and connect with freelancers from all over the world.
Networking is an excellent way to both help establish your brand and make valuable contacts. Professional freelancers often use networking contacts to get referrals, job leads, and grow their professional network.
A simple hashtag search will direct you to a large number of people and posts within your niche. Just type in #(insert your niche here) and see who or what piques your interest.
Some popular hashtags commonly used by freelance writers are #FreelanceLife, #WritersLife, and #AmWriting, just to name a few.
Once you’ve “found your people,” it’s important to start authentic connections with your newfound friends. You can do this by engaging with tweets, retweeting posts you genuinely appreciate or relate to, and subscribing to blogs, newsletters, and other mediums of the people you follow.
It’s crucial to authentically connect with people on all avenues of social media, not just attempt to follow or be followed by a large number of people.
Be wary of any accounts claiming to help grow your following by thousands in just a few days, as they are most likely bot accounts, not real people. After all, it’s real and genuine connections that will engage with your tweets and help you grow your brand, not bots.
You never know what kind of referrals, insights, or opportunities you’ll come across when you make genuine contacts through networking.
I never thought I’d see the day where social media could become a learning platform, yet here I am!
Once I filled up my feed with freelancers, authors, and editors, I started to find that learning opportunities were more than plentiful.
Twitter can offer some pretty fantastic opportunities to gain invaluable insight not available anywhere else.
Early on, I came across super helpful #AMA (ask me anything) threads by some pretty big names in publishing.
I was instantly hooked.
While some may announce when they’ll be doing an AMA, others are spur of the moment. Be sure to check in periodically on your contacts to make sure you don’t miss an opportunity. Even better? Ask for an AMA thread from editors and other people working in your area of interest.
To find people working in your interest area even easier, most Twitter bios will include the person’s position and who they work for, usually with a searchable hashtag.
Twitter also will suggest other people in similar networks, making it a breeze to find and learn from new people in your niche.
In addition to #AMA, there are a lot of other interesting and informative threads to follow.
Some of my all-time favorite threads are from Joanne Harris, author of the critically acclaimed book, “Chocolat.” She regularly puts out a series of threads called #TenTweets that shouldn’t be missed.
The topic changes on each thread (#TenThingsAboutPickingAPublisher, #TenThingsNewWritersShouldKnow, etc.) but is always chock-full of actionable advice.
Others have followed suit and put out similar threads that focus on different topics ranging from audiobooks to editing and even dealing with writer’s block.
Anytime you can glean insider tips from successful writers, bloggers, and editors, take advantage! The best part is, it won’t cost you a dime.
I’ve found that through my newfound “Twitter fam,” I’ve joined a circle that’s not only informative but incredibly supportive of each others’ goals.
Twitter can help increase your website traffic or blog subscribers. Many in my Twitter circle will often help promote others by recommending accounts, blogs, or articles to their audience.
This is where having authentic connections really pays off, as someone is more likely to support those who they’ve connected with on a real level.
Cross-promotion can help grow your audience by exposing your site, blog, or brand to a new audience.
If your primary focus is growing your number of followers on the app, “follow trains” on Twitter are also a common occurrence. Follow trains call for people reading the tweet to follow each person who responds to the post. This can be especially helpful in growing a following within your niche.
Whether you’re promoting a recent blog post, your services, or yourself as a brand, Twitter is an excellent way to get your work in front of a broader audience.
Remember, the more significant your following gets, the more potential subscribers, clients, or customers you get your message to.
Get a Reality Check
I consider Twitter to be a mastermind group in itself, as many freelancers take to Twitter to share their frustrations as well as their wins.
Twitter can give real (and sometimes hilarious) insights from real freelancers/writers that will have you saying “That’s SO me!”
As you may have figured out, freelancing isn’t always roses and candy. We will have our ups and downs. Understanding that others share in your struggles can help take out some of the self-doubts many freelancers experience, out of the equation.
Twitter can help you see you’re not alone and ultimately lead to having a secret a source of motivation, which bring us to our next benefit.
In the same way, you can share in and relate to the commiseration of other freelancers, seeing their wins can actually help boost your motivation.
Freelancing can be an isolating experience. Having a group of digital cohorts can help get you out of your own head and even help to avoid the dreaded burnout.
A lot of my Twitter followers are mega-supportive, and sometimes, that’s just the boost this work-from-home-er needs!
Whether someone is sharing a long-fought-for win or merely reminding you not to quit when times get tough, Twitter can give you that lift you need.
Parting thoughts on etiquette
Using Twitter as a business tool can be a great asset, as long as you’re doing it right.
As with many forms of social media, engagement is what makes the whole thing work. Take an extra minute to send a reply to a tweet rather than just liking it. Personal interactions go a long way in establishing meaningful connections.
If you tweet about another writer or share articles, be sure to @ them (adding their handle to your tweet). Think of it as giving credit where credit is due.
To fully reap the business benefits of Twitter, it pays to be consistent. Tweet regularly and be approachable and open, while always remaining professional.
It’s considered by some best practice to keep personal, hot-button topics such as religion or politics on an account separate from your work (unless of course, that’s your niche).
If you’re not already on Twitter and are looking for new ways to grow your brand, now is the time to #JumpOnBoard!