Twitter for Freelance Designers

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For several years I didn’t bother using Twitter. Now blogging, that I loved, but Twitter… I just didn’t get it. A couple of years ago I decided to have another go (DesignblogUK) and read a couple of books (Twitter Power and Twitter your Business) and watched some Twitter Tutorials and I started to see what all the fuss was about. Twitter can be a freelancers way of making an introduction to people they want to get to know.

So how can Twitter help you?

Now the first thing most Freelancers are probably thinking is to get more clients. While this is a biggy I think there are many more, but let’s start there anyway.

Can Twitter help you get more clients?

Follow people you want to work with/for
I think the answer is yes, but instead of thinking of Twitter as a big promotional tool perhaps it should be considered more of a way of introducing yourself in a more subtle way. Twitter allows you to follow anyone, so you could start following companies that you would like to work for. Then you can start joining in their twitter conversations, answering questions they pose, retweeting their tweets etc etc (NOT SELLING). If you maintain regular Twitter contact with them, with any luck they will check out who you are, follow you back and who knows what will happen from there. As well as the standard Twitter search also check out Twellow.

I have got work through Twitter
Personally I have got work through Twitter, one through someone I regularly tweeted with and actually hadn’t even considered they may give me freelance work. I have also indirectly got freelance work through Twitter by finding and following someone, and then asking if they would be interviewed for my other blog on Skype. After that we met in person through another Twitter friend and since then she has given me some freelance work.

Setting up twitter searches for your freelance niche
Twitter also allows you to set up searches (I use Tweetdeck for this), so you can keep an eye out if anyone is looking for the type of freelance work you offer. For example a little while ago a friend of mine was looking for a freelance copywriter, I said I would put a Tweet out for him through both my twitter accounts. Within half an hour I had people recommending people and some suggesting themselves. Some of these people weren’t even following me, so they must have either had searches set up for the term “copywriter” or alternatively my tweet was retweeted by someone they were following. To cut a long story short, my friend ended up with about 10 copywriters to choose from and ended up using one of them.

Getting advice

If you are a freelancer working alone it’s great to know that at the end of a Tweet their may be someone who can answer a question for you or offer advice.Perhaps you are having computer or software problems or just aren’t quite sure how to do things then put a Tweet out.

Need recommendations for products or Services

If you are looking for something such as a product or service what better way to find one than asking you Twitter followers. of course as with anything you have to do your own due diligence.

Making Friends

If you work in a big office there is never a shortage of conversation, but that is not always the case for freelancers especially if you work from home. Want to share a story, something you are working on or just pass the time of day you can do this with Twitter.

Finding Other freelancers to collaborate with

Who is to know what can happen with the people you meet on Twitter. Find someone you have a lot in common with and you can always take the conversation to email, Skype or even meeting up in person.

What are you thoughts on using Twitter as a Freelancer?

Please feel free to comment below or drop me a Tweet on Twitter

For tips on freelancing straight to your inbox click here

Other posts worth reading on the web

How to Really Use Twitter to Find More Freelance Work
http://freelanceswitch.com/freelancing-essentials/5-ways-not-to-use-twitter/
8 Easy Ways to Network on Twitter

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14 Comments

  1. Posted January 18, 2012 at 5:46 pm | Permalink

    Lots of great, and effective suggestions there.

    I particularly like the NOT SELLING in capital letters. Yes, we all want to sell at the end of the day, but I think it’s important we treat others well. For instance, I’d hate it if someone marched up to me and said “Buy my stuff”, which is what many do on Twitter!

    But if someone asks me about me & my business issues, shares useful info & tips with me over time, they’re building-up the know-like-trust factor, and I’ll happily hear about what they can offer me.

  2. Posted January 18, 2012 at 5:50 pm | Permalink

    Hi Mhairi, I totally agree I also really hate the hard sell people sometimes put in their twitter auto-response direct messages when you follow them.

  3. Posted January 18, 2012 at 7:36 pm | Permalink

    These were some great points. Especially because twitter is so big and how big it’s getting there are a lot of different types of people all over the world ready to hire people. I had a friend that found a job through twitter just because he used the #jobless. It was amazing! As for businesses they definitely need to not sell on twitter…they need to engage and interact make people see that they are also people just trying to help people out. This was a great article I always way to get an email to read up. Thanks Tara :)

  4. Posted January 18, 2012 at 7:41 pm | Permalink

    Hi Santora Media Group, Wow finding a job through Twitter with a Twitter hashtag that’s pretty amazing, that would be a great story to blog about :)
    Thanks for your kind words too :)

  5. Posted January 20, 2012 at 9:55 pm | Permalink

    Great blog post. I have only just really got into Twiiter. its great for networking in my opinion.

  6. Posted January 25, 2012 at 10:02 am | Permalink

    Cracking article – another thing to maybe consider is that Twitter can really help drive traffic to your blog. You can hook your blog up to Twitter so that any new post is automaticaly tweeted (Twitter feed for example allows you to do this easily: http://twitterfeed.com/). Again this helps spread your content around to your audience using Twitter. Thanks for sharing…

  7. Posted January 25, 2012 at 12:47 pm | Permalink

    Thanks for the Tip Matt

  8. Posted January 27, 2012 at 1:14 pm | Permalink

    Tara, like you I was initially dismissive of twitter because I didn’t understand its worth. It finally dawned on me after hearing from another designer about the benefit of using twitter to get advice (as you have mentioned). I still find it incredibly useful for gaining advice, guidance, and even referrals for products, services or people offering those services.

  9. Posted January 27, 2012 at 1:18 pm | Permalink

    Hi Tracey, I know what you mean. When you work alone it means you have always got someone you can ask for advice like you say. Only problem is it’s a bit addictive :)

  10. Posted January 27, 2012 at 2:05 pm | Permalink

    Addictive: perhaps the level of addiction is the measure of a successful social media platform! By that measure (and others) twitter is a runaway success.

  11. Posted February 12, 2012 at 9:10 pm | Permalink

    While I am not a freelancer, I am a real estate agent, some of the great tips you have presented here apply to my profession as well. Following the people i would like to work with has worked very well for me as it allows me to be more familiar to my prospect. It works great when combined with linkedin.

  12. Posted February 25, 2012 at 5:39 pm | Permalink

    Hey Tara,

    Thanks for all the tips you mention here – to be honest we haven’t “inmersed” ourselves in Twitter yet mainly due to lack of time, but reading your post gives me some great ideas I can implement very soon.

    As mentioned already in the comments – I guess the key is to not sell straight way – rather to develop relationships with people that share your same interests – and let them “discover” your services on their own.

    We have been slow to jump aboard the Twitter train – but it will definitely happen!

    Thanks again for the useful info.

  13. Posted February 29, 2012 at 2:35 pm | Permalink

    Hi Alex – I look forward to seeing you on the Twitter train soon – if you want to connect I am @designbloguk

  14. Posted March 10, 2012 at 12:38 am | Permalink

    Love the blog, and this post in particular. I have found to be Twitter most useful when it comes to learning the craft. Often people, in order to promote their own company, will post extremely interesting information. I learn something new every day by following my virtual mentors. My twitter name is @JackrabbitMedia.

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