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Chapter
5

Use Twitter to connect with your peers and find work

The Twitterverse may seem like a lot when you first log in. But I promise Twitter is full of other freelancers you can learn from and countless freelance opportunities you don’t see elsewhere

Optimize your Twitter bio to show your value

Use all 160 characters in your “about” section to succinctly demonstrate who you are and what services you provide. Include a link to your portfolio and your location in your bio.

Take a look at your elevator pitch again. Take pieces of that and put it in your Twitter bio! For example, I specifically mention that I’m a freelance writer ready to write stories in my Twitter bio. I include a call to action that says “work with me” and my email address. Adapt your elevator pitch into a Twitter bio and save yourself a little time.

Create a pinned tweet

Twitter only gives you 160 characters to use in your bio and you probably have more to say! Craft a pinned tweet that will live at the top of your tweets. A pinned tweet adds value to your Twitter profile.

Spotlight: Kaitlyn Arford

I use my pinned tweet to talk about the services I provide and how clients can reach me. When I’m actively looking for freelance clients, I’ll share this tweet with my audience.

Use Twitter’s advanced search to find freelance opportunities

Twitter’s advanced search function is incredibly powerful. Here are three ways to use it to search for freelance opportunities:

  1. Type in keywords like “hiring freelance” or “looking for freelance writer” in the “all of these words” content field. 

  2. If you’re interested in pitch calls for publications, type “call for pitches” or “looking for pitches” in the “all of these words” content field

  3. Type in keywords like “freelance writer” or “call for pitches” in the “this exact phrase” content field.

By the way, you can browse through hashtags on Twitter to find more opportunities. You’ll find journalism opportunities under #CallforPitches or #JournoJobs.

So, what do you do when you find a freelance opportunity? It’s the same process as when you see a posting on LinkedIn. Comment below their post with your elevator pitch. Use this as an opportunity to introduce yourself and show your value.

Talk to people like a regular human

Remember, hiring managers and editors are people too. Give them a follow on Twitter. You’ll get a feel of the type of work they do, and what opportunities they’re hiring freelancers for.

Networking on Twitter is really just following other freelancers and brands you’re interested in working with and communicating with them. Just be a person! Share things you’re interested in, and respond to their posts with kind and helpful comments. This isn’t about cultivating a higher follower count or constantly self-promoting. Your aim here is to build professional relationships.

As I’ve conversed with people on Twitter, I’ve created professional relationships that have led to some of my favorite clients. When potential clients have sent me direct messages or emails asking about my availability, it’s often because they thought of me because we’ve chatted before.

You may not think that networking with other freelancers will lead to paying work, but it often does! When freelancers are offered work they can’t take on, they’ll look at referring other freelancers to it. If you’ve built a relationship with them, that person could be you!

Other freelancers know that I write about pets. So when they see someone looking for a dog writer, they send that opportunity my way! Freelancers I’ve connected with on Twitter will often see if I’m available for work they need to refer. Would I get these messages if I hadn’t connected with them? Probably not.

As you network with people on Twitter, don’t spam people with direct messages. Remember, some editors have their direct messages open on Twitter, while others don’t want DMs. It’s a very nuanced case-by-case basis.

Join Twitter chats

Interacting with other people in Twitter chats is a great way to put your name out there and learn something new. Look for Twitter chats that are relevant to your industry or freelancing as a whole.

You can find a long list of Twitter chats on TweetReports and Twubs. Obviously, you can’t join every single one out there! Try out a few, and see what works for you. For example, if you’re a freelance website designer who works with authors and editors, you may want to join Twitter chats targeting authors and editors, since that’s your target client.

A few of my favorites include:

Recap

Your Twitter checklist:

  • Optimize your Twitter bio

  • Create a pinned Tweet 

  • Find gigs with Twitter’s advanced search

  • Be a regular human

  • Join Twitter chats

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