Do you own a business? Are you a blogger? Chances are if so, then you will need to grow your business work to tell people about what you do, what you blog about, and what niche you’re in. There’s the traditional method of face-to-face networking at business functions. But you are physically limited to your local area. What if you were in NY and wanted to network with someone in the UK? With Twitter, it makes it so easy. Here are the steps.
Create A Twitter Account
The most obvious thing is you have to be on Twitter.
- Do create one with a profile picture of either yourself or your business.
- Do use your name instead of your business.
- Do write in the profile who you are and what you do. It can be the difference between someone wanting to click on your profile and ignoring it because it doesn’t look legit.
- Do get a custom background created because it shows that you are investing your time on Twitter.
This is what the TeenBusinessForum twitter profile looks like:
Figure Out Who You Want To Connect With
Just like at a business function, there are certain people you want to connect with more. They are either people in your niche, your potential customers, or just people you find interesting. For me, I want to connect with teen and young entrepreneurs as well as people who are interested in youth entrepreneurship. These are the things I look for in someone’s profile.
Follow, Then Direct Message
Once I find someone I want to connect with, I follow them. Next, I message or direct message them with an intro. Say something like, “Hello, good to meet you. I noticed you and I are doing similar things. Tell me more about what you do”.
Follow Up With Email
Once a message comes back, follow up and ask to connect via email. It’s really hard to hold a conversation on Twitter because of the 140 character limit. So you bring the conversation “off-line”. It’s funny how I consider Twitter to be on-line and other things off-line. It used to be email was on-line and phone was off-line. Anyway, I digress.
Follow Up With Call
After the email, follow up again with either a phone or Skype call to talk in-depth. Be sure to give more than to take. That is so important. Networking really is about helping other people first. A typical conversation would start like this: “Hey, tell me about what you do and how I can help you”.
Follow Up Yet Again
During the call, one or both should have committed to something- either sending a resource, making an introduction, whatever. Follow up with that promise. Show the other person you are not a sleazy salesperson (or internet marketer- joking). Show them you are part of a new generation of entrepreneurs that give first.
So Does It Work?
You bet. Here’s how one of my connections went.
I see a person following me. I check the profile and noticed that he is an author. Interesting. I follow the profile to their Twitter page. Person looks legit. I follow again to the link on their Twitter page to their website. Ahh… this person wrote a book about youth entrepreneurship. Really cool. Hey, I’m in that niche. I should connect with this person and see what they do. I direct message, then follow up with email. I ask how I can help that person promote their book. He responds with helping to get the word out about the book, maybe a review, or even an interview. All those things sound good. This works because we are in similar niche. If someone was in the wedding planning business, I probably couldn’t offer those things right away. The best I can do is offer up their name when someone I know is getting married.
I conduct the interview, getting to know both him and the book he wrote. In the meantime, I tell him about my project and my vision. I then let him know to please tell me how I can help him again in the future. We now are connected. I probably want to connect with this person on LinkedIn. That’s how we know it’s an official business connection right? Now, whenever I meet someone else that might want to talk to this person, I make the introduction. Both people appreciate the networking opportunity. I gain nothing by making introductions. Later, when they think of someone in my niche, they’ll make an introduction to me. And now you see how the network expand.
The person I referred to is Rob Salkowitz and that’s exactly how I met him. He published his third book called Young World Rising, talking about how the Internet has driven youth entrepreneurship in developing countries. He will soon be a New York Times best selling author.
[Image credit: Slava Baranskyi]
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- Newbie’s Guide To Twitter