Sending pitches, cold-emailing, and asking for referrals from existing clients are all great ways to let the world know you’re looking for work, but they do very little for helping clients find you.
If you want to wake up one morning with an inbox full of companies offering to pay you top dollar for your work, you need to use other marketing techniques. But before you start paying for ad space, let’s take a look at one of the most underused marketing tools for freelancers–Twitter.
Twitter has long been used by writers and journalists to share news, links, and day-to-day insights about the work they’re doing. It has always been a place to get ideas, keep tabs on competitors, or find out the latest news in your industry. But have you ever stopped to look at how you could be using your Twitter account as a marketing tool?
When I first started using Twitter, I never imaged it could land me a high-paying client. But after just three months of viewing Twitter as more than a place to share links to my blog, I received the email that all freelancers dream of.
“I came across you on Twitter. I want to talk to you about how you can help my business.”
This client and I ended up establishing an agreement for a $1,000 a month retainer for freelance writing work—all from the impression I was able to make through my Twitter account.
Here are the steps I used to land a high-paying client from Twitter—without even sending a pitch
If you’re ready to step up your Twitter game and start attracting high-paying clients, here are a few things you need to do.
1. Get Your Branding Consistent
If you’re running your freelance career like a business (and you should be), you probably have a website, a logo, and some images that you use. You may even have a color scheme that you’ve used across your website or your blog. Each of these items represents you as a freelancer and the brand you’ve created.
Your Twitter needs to act as an extension of your website. This means it should use the same logo, have similar images, and follow the same color scheme as your main website.
Consistent branding will help your Twitter page appear more professional and help potential clients connect your Twitter account with your website. When your website and your Twitter profile look like they come from the same place, you’re building trust with a potential client and showing that you care about even the smallest details.
2. Complete Your Bio – the Right Way
When it comes time to fill out your Twitter bio, you may be tempted to leave something quirky or to completely ignore the space all together. But as one of the first places that another Twitter user will read before determining if you’re worth following, the keywords and hashtags you use in your bio could determine whether or not a high-paying client can find you.
Just like your Tweets, you need to keep your bio short and to the point. You do have a character limit to your bio, so you’ll only want to include the most important details about your freelancing career and yourself.
Your Twitter bio should be a balanced mix of personal and professional. While you could simply list all the areas you specialize in, you risk looking like an automated account. Share who you are, what you do, and what you like—all in under 160 characters.
3. Create a Following Strategy
Many Twitter users believe that getting followers is the best way to boost their Twitter career. While you do want to have a solid group of followers for your account, the people whom you choose to follow can actually be more beneficial to your business.
If you get caught in the game of following whoever follows your account, you’re going to have a completely useless timeline. With so many individuals and businesses automating their social media accounts, you could be looking at a steady stream of useless links every day if you’re not picky about who you follow.
Get strategic about the companies and individuals that you connect with. From other freelancers you respect to small businesses you’d like to work with, you should know exactly who you’re following and why you’re following them. Consistently look for new individuals or companies that fit within your “following” strategy.
4. Have Real Engagements
Your Twitter account will only be as valuable as you make it. If you simply set it up, automate some posts, and leave it alone, you can’t expect to not receive work. In order to get high-paying clients from Twitter, you need to engage and start conversations.
I landed my client through responding to a link they shared. I read the article, responded with a personalized message about what I specifically enjoyed, and thanked them for sharing. Because it wasn’t just a retweet or a generic “Cool!” message, it got me noticed.
When you have real engagements on Twitter, you’re establishing real relationships. Instead of pushing a product or service, you’re simply letting the other user know who you are and what you do. Whether it’s the marketing manager or an intern on the other end of the account, you’re getting your name recognized within a company that you’d like to work with.
5. Keep It Professional, But Have a Personality
If you’ve ever followed a boring brand on Twitter, you know it can be excruciating. They only tweet links or generic responses because that’s the way they believe a business should act on social media. I’m going to guess you hit the “unfollow” button pretty quickly.
As a freelancer, you have some more space to make your Twitter account all about you. Because you’re the voice behind your freelance business, your Tweets should read like they’re coming directly from you—not a robot version of yourself.
Clients want to know the person they’re working with, especially if they’re considering a long-term contract. While you probably shouldn’t live Tweet your Friday night at the bar, don’t be afraid to let your personality show up.
The more you use Twitter as a strategic marketing tool, the easier it will be to grow your network of valuable relationships. Unfortunately, there isn’t a shortcut to building a Twitter profile that will bring high-paying clients to you. It’s up to you to create a profile that will grab their attention and push them to reach out.
Using Twitter to land high-paying freelance clients is all about relationship building and getting your profile in front of a decision maker at the right time. Through creating a profile that aligns with your brand, maintaining genuine interactions, and owning your professional personality, you can create a Twitter profile that brings clients to you—just like I did.