Say it isn’t so! I know that Twitter is one of the most annoying trends of the last few years and no one seems quite sure how to use it to build their practices. Well, almost no one. There are some people who have used this sleeping giant to build their business and reach the clients they want. And there are some quick and easy steps that you can take to do this.
First, I suspect I need to convince a few of you that this is a worthwhile endeavor. According to Internet Marketing Guru, Patrick Shwerdtfeger, there are 85 million people on Twitter today and the number is growing every day. These folks are giving you unprecedented access to their lives and it has never been easier to identify your target market and reach out to them directly. Schwerdtfeger quotes the Pear Group noting that of the conversations taking place on Twitter:
- 40% of tweets are “pointless babble.” Things like I just went for tacos or off to bed.
- 38% are conversational between users.
- 8.5% are self-promotion or spam. (And totally annoying)
- 8.7% have pass-along value.
What that means is that if you can offer pass along value in your tweets then you can make a big impact.
Let’s take a look at an example. A recent client was a massage therapist and he wants to work with athletes in our city. After he had built a strong referral process (almost always the first step), he wanted to know where to find more of these folks. Of course, we had many of the traditional routes that we built into his plan. But using some easily accessible twitter search tools he was able to search the city with key words like bicycle, soccer and tennis to see who was interested in sports. He was quickly able to identify a lot of folks that were his target market. From there, all he had to do was follow them and many will simply follow back out of etiquette. Then, sending out valuable tweets such as tips for athletes to help take care of themselves, links to articles on his blog that offered stretches and eating tips (he doesn’t even have to write these) and perhaps a valuable offer every now and again he was able to build trust in his target market. How long do you think that it would take him to start to see his client base increase with all this trust he is building with noninvasive, value laden tips for potential clients?
So the steps are simple:
1. Make sure that you know your target market.
2. With your twitter account set up (do this at www.twitter.com), begin to search for people in your target market. Twellow.com is my favorite place to do this. Then simply follow them. Many people have it set so when someone follows them it automatically follows them back.
3. About once a day offer a valuable tip, link to a blog article, inspirational quote or occasional special offer that let’s them know it’s really just for them. You can even use Social Oomph (what use to be tweetlater.com) to organize these so you can set them to send later and go.
4. Make sure to give everyone you know lots of opportunities to follow you on twitter. In fact, why not follow me and my valuable tips on twitter now.
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It may take a while to build up but when you are offering value to potential clients they will come to you. If this is not something that you have a lot of experience with, having a guide help you set it up can save you lots and lots of time and frustration. But you can do it on your own with a little patience.
So get out there and start tweeting your heart out!
If you find this article helpful please feel free to leave comments and questions. You may also want to pass it on to your friends and colleagues!