If you know me, you know I spend a lot of time on Twitter. I find Twitter to be an amazing tool. It’s just as effective for networking as it for procrastination. I can ask a question, give an interview and share recipes at any given time of the day. The thing I like the most about Twitter is it makes me feel as if I’m never alone. As freelancers we don’t necessarily get to to hang out at a water cooler, yet Twitter is the same idea. It’s a conference table, a lunch counter and a social media conference. I’d like to know where else in life you can accomplish so much using 140 characters or less?
Twitter is also an amazing career and reputation building tool. I credit it for so much of my success.
Check it out.
10 Ways Twitter Helps Me to Become a Better Freelance Writer
1. Twitter is the best brainstorming tool ever.
When ideas collide on Twitter it creates an awesome ripple effect. I’ve had some of my best project brainstorming sessions on Twitter. I collaborated on an ebook project, helped with a course, and did lots of job coaching thanks to Twitter. Through Twitter I learn of other people’s awesomeness and we discuss the various ways we can work together. I can also request thoughts on some of my own projects in progress and feel out whether or not I’m on the right track. One freelance writing blogger shamelessly stole an idea from me after a Twitter brainstorm session, but the majority of people with whom I bounce around ideas are helpful and respectful.
2. I’m held accountable by the masses
Sometimes a piece of writing doesn’t yield the intended result. That’s a good thing, by the way. I enjoy the discussion and if someone disagrees or doesn’t like something I wrote, it’s interesting to learn why. I’ll also get called out if someone feels I wasn’t giving out good information, made a typo in a blog post, or if a piece of writing doesn’t make sense. I appreciate the discussion and the chance to defend my writing.
3. I have more friends than I thought
Once a week I take the time to find new people to follow. I explore various interests besides freelance writing. I look for other cool social media types, find the people who are into the same television programs, Twitterers in my area and the folks who listen to the same music. I enjoy making new friends. Twitter has been a huge career boost, but it’s also helped me to grow personally and I treasure all my new friendships.
4. We can all give back in 140 characters or less
FWJ enjoys a very loyal community. One way I can give back is to help others with writing advice or tweet links to blog posts and books. I can share jobs and links to helpful places.
We can all raise awareness for a charity or help to promote an event. Even if we’re not digging deep in to our pockets, there’s always a way we can help. It doesn’t take much effort and it does a lot more good than complaining or pontificating all the time.
5. I get by with a little help from my friends
I have the most amazing friends. They help to promote my stuff and recommend others follow me, and ,as mentioned above, I do whatever I can to reciprocate.
6. Everyone is a potential client
All the people I’m chatting with every day? They might want to hire me or they might know someone who is looking for a writer, or task me to recommend a writer or blogger.
Twitter is such an important networking tool. I hate to sound like a broken record but talking to folks on Twitter each day builds up a relationship and trust. Who would you prefer to hire, someone you trust or someone you only know from a job ad?
7. There’s a very thin line between spamming and promoting
When I worked as a community manager last year, I was expected to tweet out my employer’s links all the time. I began losing followers at a rapid rate. I asked someone why and learned it was because of the links. No one wants to be spammed all the time, not even my Twitter friends. Balance is good. W
hen you take the time to communicate and participate and enjoy each others’ company, people will click your stuff. No one wants to be around someone who is always giving a sales pitch, and Twitter is the same way.
8. People follow negative people for the same reason they stop to watch a bus accident
There are a handful of people who I blocked from my Twitter stream because all they did was complain. They cursed, they insulted, they whined. I never saw anything positive going on. There are also a couple of Twitters who only tweet out controversial stuff or negativity to piss people off. They have many followers, but no friends.
Negative people have followers the way a train wreck has followers. When it’s all over, no one sticks around. It’s the honey/fly thing and it’s not how I roll.
9. Almost every Tweet is inspiration for an article or blog post
Brilliance abounds on Twitter. There’s no shortage of ideas. I follow some truly creative people and the inspiration never ends. If I want to use an idea found in a Tweet, I’ll always give credit where it’s due. Plenty of posts here and at other blogs have been written after a Twitter session.
10. If you know the right terms and people to follow, you’ll always find work on Twitter
Twitter is a goldmine of opportunity. There are people who have nothing but feeds to freelance writing job boards on their Twitter streams. Editors and clients tweet gigs and places like Craigslist, Demand Studios and ODesk often link to opportunities. If you’re searching for work, you’ll find it on Twitter.
What have you learned on Twitter?