Twitter can be intimidating. It’s fast. It’s got its own secret language. There are people on there who have tens of thousands of followers… just a few of the reasons why solopreneurs and small business owners may not have taken it for a test drive.
Inspired by Miles Austin’s 12 Most Lame Excuses For Not Using Social Media, here are my observations to compel solopreneurs to take their feet off the brakes and get moving on Twitter.
1. You’ll grow your smarts – Twitter is a treasure trove of content. No matter what industry or business segment you’re in, you’ll find articles and advice relevant to it on Twitter. Plus, there is a TON of information tweeted for solopreneurs, entrepreneurs and small business owners about social media, marketing, business management…the kind of stuff that will help you develop professionally.
Tip: Seek out and follow the Twitter folks who consistently offer quality information you can use and learn from. Don’t follow EVERYONE – unless you want your timeline cluttered with a bunch of junk that you don’t care about.
2. You’ll become known as a resource in your field – This won’t happen overnight, but I believe you can accomplish it more quickly on Twitter than you can on Facebook, Google+, or even LinkedIn. Twitter makes it easier to share business news and knowledge – quickly and without as much effort – than the other social media.
Tip: Don’t go crazy trying to read everything in your timeline. It’s impossible. Scan for topics that grab your attention and are hot with your followers. Don’t fret about creating all original content all the time. Use what the folks you’re following are posting. Retweet their tweets. @Mention them with links to the articles they posted. If the content was something you found compelling, most likely the people who are following you will, too. DO actually read the articles that you retweet. Whatever’s in there is a reflection of your credibility – even if you didn’t author the content.
3. You’ll get better at doing more with less – Prepare to fine-tune your fast-twitch thinking fibers. On Twitter, you’ve got just 140 characters to get your point across. Much of that will be taken up by the link (even if it is a shortened URL) to the article you’re sharing and any @mentions you make. After getting acclimated to the space constraints of tweeting, you’ll become more adept at saying more with less. And that will make you a stronger, more direct communicator across the board.
Tip: Be original, show your personality and be an authority. A little (appropriate) humor goes a long way, as do tweets that indicate your followers will benefit from – and be better people for – reading what you’ve shared.
4. Twitter is FREE! – For goodness sake, it’s freakin’ FREE. Yes, it requires some time and effort. But how much time, effort and money would you need to spend to get the same access to knowledge and opportunity for interaction at conferences, seminars and networking events?
You can interact on Twitter whenever and almost wherever (thanks to mobile apps) you want to. And you don’t have to be logged in 24/7 to get noticed. Just be vigilant in providing quality tweets and being there enough to show that you’re interested and engaged with your followers and those who you’re following.
Tip: Make a commitment to carve out 15 minutes twice a day for Twitter. During that time, follow the 70/20/10 rule (per Mike Sansone of ConverStations – 70% resource sharing, 20% chit chat to show your personality, 10% promoting your own products & services).
As a not-so-long-ago-newbie, I perfectly understand why solopreneurs resist – or procrastinate – embracing Twitter. But sitting idle will only increase the intimidation factor. Be bold, get started and discover how Twitter can make you better in business.
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