Twitter 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:
- Get on twitter
- Join the conversation and build your following
- Talk about your industry, show your expertise
- Respond to any followers who are looking for services
- Search for twitter users who are looking for services
- Offer help and answer questions related to your industry
- 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)