Photo Credit: Twin Design / Shutterstock.com
Some people consider Twitter the ultimate time-waster – a watercooler of sorts where a lot is said, but not much gets done. While that’s certainly true some of the time, many industries thrive on Twitter sharing information, stories, tips and tricks, as well as showcasing their work and interacting with fans and peers.
Fortunately, that also means that Twitter can be a great place to find work. Using Twitter to focus on establishing relationships first can help you create your brand and ultimate find new sources of income. If that sounds like a tactic you’d like to use, take a few minutes to read these tips on getting started:
Search Hashtags In Your Field
Hashtags are often painted as something to be avoided, but the truth is that using hashtags properly can make a huge difference in whether people see your posts or not. Spend some time searching and identifying hashtags commonly used by people in your industry, and be sure to include them in your posts when appropriate. This is a great way to both find information and also to get your name out there.
Follow People In Your Industry
You have to build your network, and the first step in doing that is to find people who are already employed in your chosen industry and follow them. Not only will this probably get you on the radar of a few people, but you’ll also be able to gain some great insight into the inner workings of the industry. Paying attention to what’s going on on your Twitter feed can help you identify things like what knowledge and skills you need to brush up on, where problems exist that you may be able to help fix, what areas the best jobs are available in, etc.
Join The Conversation
Once you have a decent group of followers built up, you need to be sure that you’re staying involved in the conversations going on between people in your industry. Even if your following is small, you can participate in related Twitter chats to help expand your reach. Reply to people’s questions when you can help them find answers, retweet smart or funny posts you find on your newsfeed, and generally try to come across as a helpful, smart, informed person. The more you contribute, and the more value you bring to your followers, the better social proof your account will have when potential clients examine your history.
Showcase Your Own Work
If you’re looking for a job in an industry, chances are you’re already contributing to that industry in one way or another, whether it’s through a blog, freelance work and even personal projects and hobbies. Don’t hesitate to share your own work on Twitter – if you don’t get it out there, who will? Just be sure that you’re not spamming your work in exclusion of all else, or you’ll most likely find yourself alone in short order.
Once you’ve established something of a presence and have had some interaction with people in the industry, don’t be afraid to message people directly. It could be that they’re in need of someone with your particular skill set, but either aren’t actively looking yet or weren’t going to make the search public. A random message from a new account will certainly be ignored by most, if not all, people, but if you’ve taken the time to build up some credibility and rapport, you’re far more likely to get a response.
If you invest the time to create a persona on Twitter, the likelihood of you getting noticed will increase tremendously, as people will be able to see your work and get an idea of who you are as both a professional and a person.
Have you ever found work through Twitter? Do you have any tips for making the process easier? Share them with us in the comments section below.