Using Twitter to Effectively Network and Find Clients

Using Twitter to Effectively Network and Find Clients - #TwitterSmarter chat with Michelle Garret - October 1, 2020

Twitter is a great channel to grow your network and earn new business. However, this doesn’t happen if you’re just lurking in the background letting everyone else shine. Your social media profile should showcase you as a person. This means you should use it a medium to communicate, engage with others, and share your expertise. All these practices will help you strengthen your social media influence. What else can you do, though? We invited PR consultant Michelle Garrett to talk about networking effectively on Twitter. Here’s a summary of our chat.

Guest: Michelle Garrett
Topic: Using Twitter to Effectively Network and Find Clients
Format: Eight questions directed at the guest. Everyone’s welcome to share.

Q1: Who should have a personal brand?

A personal brand is a reflection of who you are and what matters most to you. And so, it’s important that everyone, regardless of what they do and where, should have a personal brand.

Our guest shared a quote that explains it well. On a daily basis, think of what you do as working for yourself rather than for a faceless company. That way, you’ll feel more involved and motivated.

It’s also worth remembering what Dorothée mentioned: We’re all human beings, and so we should behave as humans. When you sound as a brand, you might alienate people because no one resonates with a brand as much as they do with an individual.

Q2: How does a personal brand help you get clients/sales?

The most important thing is that we always buy from people we know, like, and trust. And the best way to build that trust is to be yourself. That’s why a personal brand is so valuable—it’s a way for you to showcase the real you to potential clients.

Kelly also pointed out that when people trust you and buy from you, they’ll also recommend you to their friends and acquaintances. That’s great word-of-mouth marketing, and helps grow your clientele.

Q3: Can you build a brand without a big budget?

Certainly. As our guest said, firstly, identify what you need to do to improve your brand. This might include making some cosmetic changes to your online profiles, and adding relevant bios and links, or reworking them.

Once you know what you need to do, think about how you’ll do those things. Some are pretty straightforward and you can do them yourself. For example, adding your website link on your bio might seem like a negligible change, but it makes a huge difference to people who land on your profile for the first time and need more context as to what you offer.

One of the essentials, and is worth paying for, is getting a headshot for your profile picture. Go ahead and hire a professional photographer and get it done properly. A good, clear, photo goes a long way in building your credibility.

And of course, as Jim reminded us, one of the crucial metrics that make a brand is the engagement it receives. Even if you’ve got millions in your budget and you run fancy ads every day, if people don’t react to your content or respond in the way you want, you don’t have much of a brand.

Q4: Why is networking important for building a personal brand?

Networking is building relationships. Think of your friends and family—they know what you do and how well you do it. That’s what you need to do with networking. When you make connections on social media, you showcase your offerings to others and show people who you are.

Kennedy from Rob & Kennedy made an excellent point about what networking does to your credibility. Having highly skilled people in your network automatically increases your value, and makes you reliable in the eyes of new clients. For instance, just imagine coming across a random business consultant on social media. You’re more likely to trust and hire them if they’re also connected with some of your colleagues or acquaintances.

Q5: What are some ways to expand your network on Twitter?

Twitter chats are excellent for networking. The more chats you show up for, the more you’ll realize that the world is quite a small place. You’ll often run into the same people from elsewhere. That’s what makes chats such a quick medium to meet and make connections with new people.

That said, don’t spread yourself too thin by attending too many chats. Prioritize so you can focus more on developing and nurturing relations rather than just making those relations.

Berrek shared some more ways to build your network. Aside from answering questions that your connections might be asking, follow topics and hashtags that are relevant to you. That way, you get more chances to engage in conversations and even initiate some. And most of all, always remember that whatever you say should add value to others.

Q6: Share some do’s and don’ts for networking on Twitter.

We can’t say this enough: engage. One of the first and biggest mistakes people new to social media do is to stop with posting content. Sure, that’s important. However, what’s more important and valuable is to communicate with others. You can initiate discussions if you’re comfortable with it, or you can start off by replying to people and answering questions. The more conversational you are and share your knowledge, the more connections you’ll make. You’ll also become a valuable part of the community.

As for things you shouldn’t do, don’t make every tweet about yourself. Don’t be selling all the time—Twitter and other social media channels are intended for genuine conversations.

Also, don’t ignore people who make an effort to directly engage with you. Be nice and always acknowledge. And of course, don’t just disappear and leave your audience guessing your whereabouts. If you’re taking a break from social media, inform your followers what’s going on. It’s the decent thing to do.

One of the biggest don’ts on Twitter, as Lori mentioned, is to sell to people on a direct message as soon as they connect with you. It’s equivalent to spam and goes against the “social” aspect of social media.

Q7: What are some tools that can help develop your personal brand?

Oh, there’s so many! Michelle’s favorites include Buffer for social media scheduling, Pablo for images and social media creatives, and MailChimp for email campaigns and marketing.

For alerts, our guest recommended Talkwalker and Google Alerts, and Google Analytics to understand your website traffic. MuckRack is another nifty tool that shows you who’s shared your link.

Jonathan mentioned WordPress to build your own website and blog, SEMRush to identify new topics and keywords you can write and talk about, and Canva to design social media images and other graphics.

Bernie mentioned some other great tools like SocialOomph, Feedly, Quora, and TweetDeck.

Q8: Name some people who have great personal brands.

There’s so many people, and I’m sure I’m leaving out a lot of brilliant personal brands. That said, Madalyn is a great personal brand, of course. Some other inspirational ones Michelle mentioned are Paul Jarvis, Seth Godin, Kara Swisher, Gill Andrews, and Christina Nicholson.

Janet is also a great personal brand. She’s a good example of someone we can relate to—she’s a regular on our #TwitterSmarter chats—and she’s put in a lot of effort in developing her personal brand. And as a result of her efforts, she’s also introduced her audience to #TwitterSmarter.

Check out their profiles—there’s a lot we can all learn from the way they represent themselves online.

Well, folks, that’s all from me this week. Thanks a lot for reading, and for more insights from our chat with Michelle, have a look at this Twitter Moment that Joana put together. And if you’ve got time next Thursday, join us at 1pm ET for the next #TwitterSmarter chat.

About me, Narmadhaa:

I write all things—technical and marketing copy to fill the pocket; haiku and short stories to fill the soul. A social media enthusiast, I’m a member of the #TwitterSmarter chat crew, and always happy to take on writing gigs.

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