3 Ways To Get Clients From Twitter

New Clients on TwitterTwitter is quickly becoming the new online powerhouse for networking, and along with that growth comes a significant opportunity for freelancers to find new clients. For those of you who are very new to twitter, I recommend checking out our previous overview of twitter for freelancers before continuing, as it will probably explain a lot.

In the early days, most freelancers used twitter as an online playground or chat area. It was great to blow off some steam, and worked really well for things like making new friends. There weren’t too many potential clients on twitter at this point.

Recently though, twitter has become populated by just about everyone (a subset of everyone, at least) — including a huge number of potential new clients. Not only are there possible clients on twitter, but many times they are such good leads that they’re even ASKING for the work. How can you tap into this resource? It’s actually pretty easy…

Before We Start

Before we start talking about how to get clients on twitter, there are a few important details that I want to get out of the way.

All of these methods require that you sincerely join the conversation in order to get the best results. Active participation is what makes twitter as valuable as it is, and the increasing levels of spam and automation are making it more difficult to discern the useful accounts from the spammy ones. In order for you to get clients from twitter, its critical that you prove your account to be a legitimate part of the conversation and not just spam, otherwise people will be less likely to respond to your efforts.

Now that we have this out of the way, let’s move on to some client-grabbing methods.

Method #1 — Respond To Help Requests

The first, and perhaps most obvious way to get clients from twitter is to respond to people who are asking for help. If one of your followers posts a tweet saying that they’re looking for a web designer, then all you have to do is Direct Message them saying you’re interested and offering a link to your portfolio or website. You would be surprised at how effective this can be.

With this approach, the more followers you have, the more potential clients you will see. You’ll also benefit from having a higher profile if you have a significantly bigger following, so it is in your interest to build your twitter following.

Method #2 — Search For Help Requests

Another method of getting clients, similar to the above, is to search for people who are asking for help in your field. This opens your potential base to the entire twitter conversation, and can yield a particularly large number of potential clients even if your twitter following is very small.

To use this approach all you have to do is search for keywords like “logo design” or “article writer” that relate to your industry, and then look through the tweets to find people who need help. Since they won’t likely be following you, the best bet is to send an @reply to their username and offer your assistance along with a link to your portfolio/website.

Remember to use this method carefully, as spamming dozens of people with cut-and-paste messages will do nothing but give you a bad rep. Take the time to look into each person individually, and then contact them only if you can provide real value.

Method #3 — Offer Free Help/Assistance

For every one person that is specifically looking to hire someone on twitter there are probably a thousand who would benefit from hiring someone but just don’t know how to ask, or haven’t made up their mind. Often, these potential clients can be found by looking for people who are asking basic questions about your subject — all you need to do is offer some free help, build a relationship, and be there when they are ready to buy.

Pay attention to your followers and look for anyone who is asking for advice in your field (the client type of advice, not necessarily other freelancers). If you find someone, just shoot off a quick @reply and start building a closer relationship with them. Be genuinely helpful, and many times it will lead directly to a solid new client.

The 7 Point Summary

Most of what you need to do to find clients on twitter is fairly straight forward. It can be summarized pretty easily in 7 points:

  1. Get on twitter
  2. Join the conversation and build your following
  3. Talk about your industry, show your expertise
  4. Respond to any followers who are looking for services
  5. Search for twitter users who are looking for services
  6. Offer help and answer questions related to your industry
  7. Send your portfolio/website to all potential clients

That’s it! If you follow those steps with a sincere effort, you’ll likely end up with a bunch of new clients to show for it.

Have You Found Clients On Twitter?

Have you found new clients by using twitter? If so, what was your experience? How did you find them? Share your tips and advice with other FreelanceFolder readers.

Do you have doubts or concerns about finding clients on twitter? Let us know your feelings in the comments…

(P.S. Like our other twitter posts, feel free to leave your twitter name at the end of your comment. If you want to follow us, we’re on twitter as @FreelanceFolder)

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Comments

  1. says

    I’ve found a few clients on Twitter (and people who have recommended me to clients). I find that, as you suggest, the best way is to be generally helpful to your followers, giving new and interesting formation to them, helping them spread the word about their causes, and participating in conversations where you can.

  2. says

    I also found some clients thanks to Twitter some weeks ago, and know i try to put more attention to my twitter search bar webdesign, and interacting more with my followers, cause I’ve learned in the last time help and you’ll receive something.

    Great tips

  3. says

    This post is spot on! Rather than marketing myself on Twitter, I have done my best to meet others, provide useful information that I find, retweet others’ useful info, and engage in conversation with people of ALL interests. I have also helped a few people with minor ‘tweaks’ to their websites. In return, without much focus on it at all, I have had multiple opportunities to interact with potential clients. This week alone I sent out 4 different proposals for website projects specifically found through conversations on Twitter! And I haven’t ever searched for anything as suggested in this article (although it sounds like a great plan). Instead, all these opportunities have come solely from people I follow or who follow me. After only 2 months’ use, I continue to be amazed with the powerful possibilities of Twitter!

  4. says

    So far, I’ve found a few prospects on twitter, but their budget wasn’t in line with my rates. Still, I do think it’s a valuable resource and it’s value will only grow as more and more people join. RTing is an easy way to spread useful resources, position yourself as someone in the know, and help others gain exposure.

    My twitter handle is @UrbanMuseWriter

  5. says

    Susan, I’ve had the same problem. I’ve found several prospects on Twitter only to have negotiations fizzle when we talk money. I’m trying to think of a good way to keep the conversation going – perhaps by offering a package service or a first-job discount to Twitter clients. Does anybody have any ideas?

  6. says

    I’ve had my best luck finding new business prospects on Twitter by engaging people in conversation. By establishing your brand and conveying a human approach, people will be inclined to spread the word about your business. The best business lead I received via Twitter was from a recommendation of a fellow Twitter friend whom I had been discussing non-profit fund raising opportunities with. Because of our Twitter relationship, he felt comfortable and confident recommending us to a friend.

    Best advice: ask questions that spark conversations. It’s the gateway to real conversation.

    Find me on Twitter @concussionint

  7. says

    I think this is a great post, Twitter is great for promoting your services and getting yourself out there, but you have to be genuine. And hey, I retweet Freelance Folder’s stuff all the time, great stuff!

    @tskweres on twitter

  8. says

    I will have to carefully look over this article more because I have trying to use twitter to find more clients myself. I have a lot of followers from advertising it on my website, but I can never get into discussions.

  9. says

    I have to admit, have not used ny twitter account that much but from this post i will definately strategy on incorporating twitter into my marketing strategy. One thing though, here in Kenya, the ‘craze’ of twitter is yet to catch up, though we have our own home grown microblogging platforms.
    Otherwise, informative post.

  10. says

    I’ve found clients through twitter. I’ve also found that people I engage with regularly recommend me to others.

    It is so true that you need to build your followers and be kind and helpful. Too many people want thousands of followers and immediate results without taking the time to build your twitter reputation.

    Thanks for the article.

  11. says

    I’ve been using this approach for months and it really does work. I tend to keep it all public and not use DMs unless I have to send personal details like my email. That way, other followers can see what I do, will remember how helpful I am, and send others to me.

  12. says

    Yes Twitter has been very instrumental in helping me find new clients over the last 12 months. The twitter conversations allow me to get to know the prospect before we finally advance the conversation to an email or ultimately a phone call.

    This means that I don’t make “cold calls” anymore. Being helpful is the major tactic I use to break the ice. Anytime I see someone with a question that I can answer, I jump in on the conversation.

    Not sure where I’d be in getting new clients w/out Twitter, because I don’t like cold calling.

    Cheers!
    Jim Turner
    http://twitter.com/jim_turner

  13. says

    Great I info, thank you!
    It’s so true, social media, like twitter, facebook and others are great place to find people who needs your service or product. Simple rule : Give first then you will receive.

    Cha
    I do graphic design and website making
    http://twitter.com/ChaCahyadi

  14. says

    I totally agree. I just started taking Twitter seriously and continue to be amazed by the unbelievable wealth of information available. I absolutely LOVE the mentality of the Twitter community. Sharing is caring; helping others learn and contributing, comes back to you two-fold.

  15. says

    Great post!

    We recently landed our very first client via twitter after 7 months!
    We followed all those use use sign makers and waited until we seen a tweet regarding the need for signage, needless to say we jumped right on it and our proposal was accepted.

    Never give up!

  16. says

    OK, that’s the best freelance writer / twitter how-to I’ve seen to date. Will blog, retweet, etc. Keep up the good work! :-) (I’m still kind of hesitant to send @replies, but I’m sure I’ll figure it out eventually) SK

  17. says

    I agree, the key is not to hard sell but to add value.. It may take some time to gain REAL followers and a good reputation but in the end it’s def worth it.

    If not just for landing new clients, at least for the image of your company.

  18. says

    Realistically speaking …. how many “decision makers” have time to spend on twitter or facebook? Most of those on twitter are “marketeers” … or in lame terms trying to sell. How many “buyers” are there? How many “real buyers” would actually use twitter or Fb to find a service or product they’d need? I know I wouldn’t … and I know of nobody who would.

  19. says

    In response to “IT Support”: it is mostly about the 3rd degree of separation. Twitter is a mode of transport to other groups of people. The people u interact with may very well only be selling, but those same people may know people who know people which could very easily result in potential clients. For example I have on occasion pushed some of my excess work on to people who caught my attention on twitter offering their services. This is how it works.

    Great article Mason, enjoyed the read.

  20. says

    Twitter is the best tool to get clients for freelancing, but the important thing is being active and friendly. One should not just search of client, we can also help people if they need us.

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