- By Cathy Goodwin
- Published 04/3/2009
- Writing for the Web
Online business owners often ask questions like, “Twitter sees to simple and so silly! Can people really use it for business?” Answer: Absolutely. People say twitter brings the 30%, 40% — even 90% of their revenue. Here’s how you can grow your own online business with Twitter. (1) Set up your twitter account with an appropriate photo. Create an informative bio so prospective followers will know if they want to follow you. Before following anyone, create a dozen or so tweets. Let prospective followers get a sense of the quality of communication they can expect from you. (2) Choose your tweet follows and followers strategically. Begin by searching for key people in your field. Go to their twitter sites and click on “follow” so you can follow them. Often they will follow you, but it’s not a big deal if they don’t. Twitter is asymmetrical and that’s actually a benefit to you. Your first goal is to identify their communication styles and their contacts. Example: You’re a financial coach who helps clients deal with debt. Identify 3 successful financial coaches and follow them. You’ll notice they exchange tweets with other financial coaches and also with people who have questions about budgeting.
Look up some of these names. Some will seem to be potential alliance partners, suppliers or prospective clients. Choose a small number to follow. Visit their sites and identify visitors who seem to be actively engaged
and professionally relevant. Decide whether to initiate a “follow” relationship. You can always remove yourself from following someone if you realize you’ve made a mistake. (3) Tweet about topics in your area of expertise. For instance, if you’re a lawyer, share reasons why readers need to make a will or have their real estate documents reviewed. You can tweet tips to choose a lawyer. A fitness coach tweets about right and wrong ways to do basic sit-up crunches. A diet coach offers links to recipes. (4) Twitter calls for a special form of copywriting. Tweets are short but think of them as gateways to longer pieces of expertise. Add a link to your tweet, using a link shrinking service like budurl or tinyurl. This link not only introduces readers to your knowledge base, leading to increased credibility. You’ll also build traffic to and visitors to your website, or blog. (5) Include some posts just for fun so you can build relationships. You can tweet about the weather, the dog, or how your favorite sports team is doing. Your goal is to initiate dialog to build a relationship. In my experience, personal posts are the most challenging. It’s easy to feel, “I absolutely must post,” so you write, “I just ate a piece of chocolate cake.” You have to ask, “Will this post do anything for my image as a business person?”
A bigger problem is sharing Too Much Information. Before posting, ask yourself, “Will this post make me more attractive as a potential business relationship partner?” And wait to post till the answer is “yes.”