Five Ways to Generate Referrals or Followers with Twitter

Twitter has been around now for about four years and is almost in the top ten Alexa ratings. Still a relatively new source for social networking, people are still not 100% sure of how to interact with others on Twitter or how to tweet in a way to generate a following or business leads.

In this post, I have compiled a list of five ways for freelancers to use Twitter to gain followers and generate an interest in your freelancing business.

Five Twitter Tips for Freelancers

Here are five Twitter tips to help freelancers get the most from Twitter:

  1. Tweet useful information–Tweeting all day is great. Random tweets are good. But, you also want to offer useful information to your followers, links to useful articles, etc. You want to show them that you are not just another person using Twitter. Most of all, you want to give them a reason to follow you and hear what you have to say. Offer helpful tips, urls and even suggest other people who they might like to follow.
  2. Be interactive!–Interactivity is a great way to generate a bit of buzz when you are using Twitter. Asking questions, answering questions, replying to replies and even using Twitter as a way to post contests for prizes (depending on your business) can be great ways to increase the following on your Twitter account.
  3. Use Hash tags–Use hash tags as a way to start bookmarking or attaching a topic ID to your tweets. This will allow people who might be searching for relative information using the Twitter search function to find you and your tweets. It is a great way to mark your tweets under a popular topic and works somewhat like search engine optimization.
  4. Signatures–Use every means possible to get your Twitter username out in the public. Adding your Twitter username into the signature of your emails, and forum posts is a great way to get links to your profile out into the web. Putting it on business cards (or even flyers and posters if you use those) can get your name out and spark people’s interest in you enough to see what you have to say on Twitter. Even adding a small feed into your website can be a great way to show that you are active.
  5. Pay attention to who you follow & re-tweet–The people you choose to follow can mean a great deal in Twitter. You want to follow other people who are relevant to you and your interests, because you want to be able to view their tweets and have the ability to re-tweet their useful information. Being careful about your followers increases followers for yourself and for the person you are re-tweeting. When your followers see that you are re-tweeting them, it makes them want to follow the person you tweeted, or re-tweet your tweets like you have done for them previously.

These are just a few basic ways to generate a large social network using Twitter. I am sure there are dozens of other useful Twitter practices.

These suggestions can be elaborated on in much larger platforms. These tips can also be used for your website blog, as well as for Facebook to some extent (depending on what you use these tools for).

What Do You Think?

I would love to hear how you use Twitter as well as hear from you as far as your suggestions in how to build a following. What methods do you find work the best?

Image by Coletivo Mambembe


  1. says

    I think if you want to get more twitter followers, you should have a attractive background and design to attract the attention of people. Beside that, using Twitter API to display your tweets at your blog will make them more obvious to people

  2. jan says

    Goot points!

    By my experience is important to focus on people that have similar or even better the same interest as you have, which makes your tweets more relevant to them and the other way around.

  3. says

    I have two Twitter profiles: one for my copywriting business and one for my freelance blog. For my copywriting business, my target audience is mainly web and graphic design agencies based in London and for my freelance blog, it’s – um – freelancers. I find people I want to follow using Quite often people will follow me back and then it’s a case of interacting with them on Twitter and having conversations.

    Earlier today I found out about the Twitter directory – so I’ve just added myself to that.

  4. says

    I have just started using twitter as part of our business and these tips are really informative. I agree with Jan that it is good to follow people who have a similar interest as you. This way I can start interacting with them and gain more followers. I think twitter is a little more difficult to get your head around, due to the fact that the way you interact is so minimalistic. It makes people unsure of how to do so.

  5. William Åström says

    Great Advices!

    I do still think Twitter is kind of hard to use in the beginning. I didnt really get around to tweet alot since i always forgot. But since I got my android phone this week, my twitter experience has really improved a lot. Now that i have my phone with me everywhere i can tweet all the time. Thats my tip.

  6. says

    I am in an experimental mode with Twitter also. I do have a personal account and a “business” account.

    With the business account I use search phrases to find people looking for my services. When I see one I send them a reply. I have gotten some responses and even a couple leads this way. I don’t think this makes my business account very follow-worthy though.

  7. says

    Great tips! However, you’re missing the point of actively finding new followers by searching for them. And before you follow someone, check his/her twitter profile out because sometimes people just create a Twitter account and let the bot do the tweet part. Then, that doesn’t give us much value in following them. So be sure to follow those who are active and at least, a person.

  8. says

    Thanks to Nick for writing this informative post. :-)

    Thanks also to everyone for adding their own tips and ideas about using Twitter in the comments.

    Keep the ideas coming!

  9. says

    Thank you for the additional tips, I appreciate everyone adding more thoughts to this post.

    I hope to write more articles in the future as well. :D

  10. says

    Interesting article about Twitter and how to use it to your advantage as a freelancer. I never knew what hash tags were and why people use it until I read your point on hash tags. I’ll definitely read about it more and maybe use it for my future tweets.

  11. says

    I think Twitter is a great way to meet new people and talk to potential clients. I think that showing some personality is key and I also try very hard to do what the article said, and bring some relevant information to the people who follow me. In my case, it’s a pretty mixed bag from tech to 3D to game development to programming, because I’m into all that stuff and follow those kinds of people and those kinds of people follow me, and while I’m certain that I’d have more followers if I just picked one, I don’t really want to compromise who I am just for the sake of people who “only want x kind of tweets”. I think Twitter is about being who you are and proving yourself valuable while meeting new people :)

  12. says

    It’s perfect timing for me as I’m considering setting up a twitter account. My only apprehension was that I’m still not sure how to work it and use it to my benefit, but these tips have come in very useful, thanks.

  13. says

    Remember that Twitter is not just about making money… at the core it’s about self expression.

    Before I follow someone I always do a quick read of their most recent few tweets to see what kind of stuff they post. If it’s dull and sales-like I don’t follow them! and I’m sure other people choose who they follow just as I’ve described.

  14. says

    Thanks for the Twitter advice. You’ve mentioned some excellent points about taking advantage of the these features and functions for freelancing purposes.

  15. says

    I thought that everything you have to know about twitter is alread said or written somewhere in the web, but no! I still find something new from time to time, thanks Nick.

  16. says

    Right on target! That’s what I think about your post. Many people make the mistake of shouting out silly post that we really don’t care to read. I am a huge hater of those, specially those #FF or follow fridays. I’d rather see someone posting even once a day, but with something worth reading — than have someone post every ten minutes on the most absurd thing that won’t bring me some benefit. In the end, being genuine counts ( and having a sense of humor ). Cheers!

  17. says

    I have two Twitter accounts, both a personal one and a business one.

    I usually keep them separate, and post to both often. I find it a useful source for articles etc that I wouldn’t normally go looking for, and don’t have to waste time looking up, instead my ‘Twitterati’ finds it for me!

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  1. […] Twitter has been around now for about four years and is almost in the top ten Alexa ratings. Still a relatively new source for social networking, people are still not 100% sure of how to interact with others on Twitter or how to tweet in a way to generate a following or business leads. In this post, I have compiled a list of five ways for freelancers to use Twitter to gain followers and generate an interest in your freelancing business. […]

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