Twitter has been a great tool for me personally and a great resource for my freelancing career. I’ve only joined Twitter recently, in the Spring of 2009, but knew instantly that it is the place to be and I embraced this powerful platform.
Twitter is a melting pot of great people from all over the world. Once you learn how to sniff out and filter the spam, bots, occasional douche and all the guru-type out there, you can mingle and connect with awesome people with all sorts of backgrounds, interests, skills and personalities. That’s a great thing about Twitter. With that variety comes huge exposure to things and ideas outside of your normal, old-fashioned world of community. The growth potential is endless, if you only listen and play nice.
From Personal To Professional to Both
Initially, I became addicted to meeting new people and reading about their lives, checking out their personal blogs and just chatting. Then, I discovered the learning potential and started to follow people in the same industry. I soon was reading all the top industry blogs, improving my skills with rocking tutorials, discussing geek-stuff with fellow designers, sharing great resources with my followers.
They say that when you freelance, your brand is you. I know its true. And for me it’s very evident with social networking. I tweet about all sorts of things: my family, my personal hopes and dreams, my freelance business, web design, industry news, etc. I believe that being multi-dimensional like that makes me more me, more real, more connected. Everyone has their strategy but this is what feels right for me.
So What’s Not To Like?
Well, nothing is perfect and Twitter is no exception. There are few things that bother me about Twitter, most are related to human behavior and have nothing to do with Twitter application itself. Examples:
- Trust Issue
Too many people are trying to game the system.
Twitter is a game of numbers, idea/content testing ground. It’s a constant race. What it all comes down to is that you cannot trust anyone because everyone has a plan/agenda.
- Lack of Originality
Twitter is a race: who delivers the good stuff faster, who creates the best viral content, who can sell the most of their product, etc.
The problem here is that there are many tested and tried methods of achieving that goal and so everyone is trying to do it in the same way. Instead of coming up with original ideas and creating something unique, everyone is concentrated on following the steps in the tutorial on “how to be successful on Twitter”.
- Human Aspect
If you are on Twitter marketing your business, do it right.
Everyone is so caught up in this race that they forget about what is a foundation of success in the business world: being human. I’ve always advocated the need for creating meaningful relationships as part of good customer service which should be the core of any business’s model. I find that especially those who concentrate on high following/followers numbers talk at people instead of communication with them.
Stop the sales pitch, stop the link spam and talk to me. That’s how you will stand apart from the rest of marketers and get my attention.
What’s In It For Me?
I landed few projects through my Twitter interactions but they weren’t huge deals. That’s ok, I’m not here to get clients although that’s always a great perk. The true value for me is in the learning and growing right now. I’ve connected with lot’s of local people/business owners. That’s an opportunity right there. I’ve also met many awesome moms, designers & bloggers, people I feel connected to.
I’m not an expert on how to properly use Twitter so that it’s not just a time waster but an effective tool in your online arsenal. I don’t have 50k followers nor do I care to be there. That’s just not my plan. I hope all the marketing junk out there doesn’t ruin this great medium of communication and opportunity for all of us.
What about you? What has Twitter done for you lately? Let’s connect on Twitter.