When you are a freelance contractor, regardless of the industry you are working in, social media is one of the best ways to build your network. While Facebook and Instagram are great ways to socialize and show off your work, Twitter offers a different style of networking. With Twitter, you have the ability to keep in touch with professionals and share information back and forth. It is extremely fast paced, making Twitter Chats a key component of building larger networks. To make Twitter chats beneficial, you will want to know the basics, how it benefits freelance contractors, and which chats are the best to get involved with.
See Also: How to Host a Successful Twitter Chat
Twitter Chat Basics
Before you can use Twitter chats to your benefit, you need to know what they are, as well as the basics of using them. In a Twitter chat, you will have a designated hashtag that will help filter messages. During a chat, you will want to set up a stream where you see all new posts come through that are using that hashtag. This is the way you will be able to reply to messages in your chat without everything getting lost in the newsfeed.
To get started, you will want to communicate with a few people that are interested in your topic. It is best if you have at least one expert in the area, and if you can secure a brand sponsor for giveaways, that is ideal. The Twitter Chat will have a designated day and time, and most will have the ability to RSVP in advance to be eligible for any giveaways during the chat. It is imperative that everyone knows which hashtag to use so that they can follow the discussion and others can join in.
Why They Are Important
Now that you know the basics of Twitter chats, you are likely wondering why they are so important. You can find jobs through online forums and Upwork. However, Twitter offers the ability to fine-tune your niche and reach people you may not otherwise interact with, as well as making freelance work more productive. Here are the top reasons why freelancers have had success building their networks with Twitter chats.
Reach Industry Leaders
Twitter chats can be used like forums and conferences. When you go to business events, you will meet others in your niche. The speakers are generally experts in their field, but others who are joining in may have years of experience. When you are in Twitter chats, you can ask questions with the ability to hide behind your computer. This means you can ask questions that you may not otherwise ask, but it also means you will walk away with several new contacts in your industry.
Gain Insights From Peers
When you are sitting at home on a Sunday night, you may feel like there is nothing to do but read. However, with a Twitter chat, you can network with others who are in the same industry. Some of the things your peers can tell you include the current trends with clientele, or situations that they have handled over their years as a freelance contractor. Many times as a freelance worker, your peers are the only ones you can turn to. Consider creating a weekly Twitter chat for those who are in your industry to talk about situations you have encountered, or just to unwind.
Build Your Reputation
Finally, Twitter chats are a great time for you to build your reputation with others in the industry. Chats give you the ability to display what you know and the more you participate, the more others will see you. As you build your business and network, you will be able to gain referrals for other work, as well as find people who may be willing to work for you in an area you are not as comfortable with (such as accounting, graphic design, or photography).
Important Twitter Chats
There are many organizations available that you can find Twitter chats for. Blog groups will host chats with brands and sponsors; however, other chats are held weekly that allow you to build your presence. Here are a few that have been around for a while and have developed strong community followings.
#VCBuzz is an official chat held by ViralContentBuzz.com and is held weekly on Tuesdays. They cover everything involved in content marketing. This chat session brings in experts from many fields and benefits anyone who does business online. The founder, Ann Smarty, is also the founder of MyBlogU and MyBlogGuest if you are looking for blog chats to build your business.
Another Twitter chat that covers digital marketing is #Buffer chat held every Wednesday. Buffer reaches over 50 million people online, so this is a great chat to get involved with and participate. Some of the other topics they cover include building your brand, community management, and communicating with others online.
#PeepChat gives you the ability to build your network. CloudPeeps holds a chat every Thursday afternoon and discusses building a brand, balancing your work and personal life, and any other topic that leads you to become a better contractor.
If you are a freelance writer, it is a good idea to know about WordPress and scheduling. One application that is extremely popular is CoSchedule. The team at CoSchedule holds a chat each week on Thursdays to talk about how to come up with content, where to distribute it, and everything that is involved with scheduling posts.
#InsiderChat is a monthly chat that does exactly what the chat name implies, gives you insider information from industry leaders. This chat will cover everything from building your brand, to operating a business, and marketing strategies. Brian Honigman, contributor with Forbes, Reuters, and Wall Street Journal hosts these chats on the last Wednesday of every month.
Every Monday, Brian Fanzo and Rachel Miller host a business hour that talks all about social marketing. Their goal with these Twitter chats is to discuss ways to use social media to build your network through communication. Social media is only beneficial if you can get people to interact with it; therefore, this chat will help you learn how to use social media to grow your client base by talking about what works and what doesn’t. This is a great chat to participate in and ask questions, or just learn how social media influence helps your business overall.
Finally, what better way to learn how to build your brand than having a chat with brand leaders? #BrandChat is a weekly chat held on Wednesdays and participants always include experts, strategists, and people like you.
As mentioned above, there are hundreds of Twitter chats that are held every day of the week. You can find a complete list from Tweet Reports. Regardless of which chat you decide to participate in, you will find Twitter tools to make it easier to accomplish the end goal. These chats will put you in contact with the right people and influencers to help propel you into building a stronger brand. After you have gotten involved with Twitter chats, make sure you follow up by staying active on Twitter and communicate with those you have connected with. Twitter is a great resource that will help you find subcontractors or connect with new clients, especially when you have a better idea of how Twitter chats can be used to build your business.
See Also: Top 5 Benefits of Twitter Chats
Do you use Twitter chats? Do think they are an effective part of your social media marketing strategy?