Why Freelancers Should Be on Twitter (And How I Would Approach It)
I’ve been on Twitter since 2012 but didn’t realize the true power of it until 2020.
When I started my business, I resorted to content as my main marketing strategy and found myself naturally attached to Twitter.
The serendipity it creates is amazing. But it only exists if you put yourself out there and let it happen.
Right now, I’ve made over $15k through twitter clients and have ~$2,000 in recurring revenue.
Those opportunities wouldn’t have existed without Twitter.
This article breaks down why I believe freelancers should be on Twitter and how I would approach it if I was new.
1) People are always posting gigs
Finding open roles and new opportunities is challenging but on Twitter, new gigs tend to fall in your lap.
Whether you have a niche or not, you’re bound to find a role that aligns with what you’re looking for. Now, you’ll have to put in some work initially to find the right accounts to follow but once you do, you may never have to search for another role again.
I break down how to search for freelance roles on Twitter at the end of this article but to help get you started, Harlow created this awesome list of 28 freelancers to follow.
2) You can meet other freelancers
This benefit might be more impactful than finding new gigs.
Building your network of freelance friends can take your career in directions you could never imagine. Experienced freelancers tend to get offered more work than they can take on, so if they have trusted friends to send the work to, they generally do.
Simply by connecting with other freelancers, you may have roles offered to you that you wouldn’t have normally received. And Twitter is one of the best places to begin building those relationships.
Additionally, you can learn how to build your business, service offerings, and more from other freelancers. There’s no better teacher than experience, so try to absorb some of the knowledge from experienced freelancers to shorten your learning curve.
3) You can grow your personal brand
While the first two benefits should create enough curiosity to get started, building a personal brand is where the true power of Twitter comes into play.
Two of my favorite writers to follow are Jerine Nicole and Alice Lemée. They’ve beautifully executed on building a personal brand and from what I can tell, have been rewarded through amazing freelance opportunities. Jerine’s built her brand around being a “multipassionate creator” and while there’s many reasons why it’s worked, it’s clear and it’s relatable.
Many new creators feel overwhelmed when trying to niche down, but Jerine has showed that you don’t necessarily have to. Her commitment to creating content around personal growth, creativity, and the creator economy has led to landing freelance writing roles around those topics.
But creating content and growing on Twitter can be overwhelming if you aren’t sure where to start. So Alice wrote How To Run a Serendipity-Generating Twitter Account With Minimal Effort, a guide on how she grew from 0 to 6,600 followers.
Growing a personal brand is challenging but if you create with intention, you can begin to find balance in marketing, creating, and freelance work.
And if you want to get freelance clients through Twitter, this would be my strategy if I was just getting started:
Step 1) Define 1 or 2 ideal client personas
You want to nail down a few ideal client personas so you can begin marketing yourself towards them.
A few things to highlight:
- What they do
- What they most likely need help with
- What industry they're in
- Adjacent industries
- Their pain points
- Where they spend their time
- What's valuable to them
- What value you're going to provide them
Step 2) Search keywords around those personas
If you’re a personal finance writer, you could search “personal finance freelance writer” in the good ol' Twitter search bar and I guarantee you’ll find people looking for a writer. You can do this with any niche or industry, though results may vary.
Step 3) Engage with those tweets
Depending on the context of the tweet, you may need to reply to be considered for a role or it may be as easy and clicking the link and applying. It sounds counterintuitive, but you may even want to retweet or quote tweet the job posting so others in your network can see the opportunity as well.
Having an abundance mindset is key in the world of freelancing.
Step 4) Engage in DMs where it seems fit
Outside of the obvious “learn more & apply here” tweets, engaging in DMs is one of the most effective ways to build relationships and land gigs.
Whether it be following up with someone or reaching out to a potential client, DMs are where the magic happens.
All of my writing roles have come from me initiating the conversation, providing context around who I am and what I do, and creating value around the work I provide.
Step 5) Find freelance “niche-fluencers” and engage with their content
Building relationships and connecting with experienced freelancers is one of the easiest ways to put yourself out there.
Add value by commenting thoughtful responses on their tweets (people who see the tweet will see your reply, increasing visibility). You could even use their content as inspiration as you begin to create your own.
Again, this guide of 28 freelancers to follow from Harlow is a great place to start.
Step 6) Find other freelancers, DM, connect
As we briefly touched on at the beginning of the article, experienced freelancers tend to get offered more work than they can take on. They know what it’s like being a new freelancer so if you’re lucky, you may get roles referred to you.
But outside of experienced freelancers, start building relationships with other freelancers on the same journey as you. Freelancing is fun and freeing, but it’s hard to keep showing up if you’re all by yourself. Connecting with others makes the whole journey much more enjoyable.
Step 7) Start creating content
I listed this step last because I believe it’s the least important thing to do if your goal is to get clients.
Content and brand building is a long game, not a sales strategy.
But if you’re at a place where you’re ready to start creating, a few easy content ideas are:
- Writing essays around the topics you want to be hired for
- Writing on-topic threads or threads that share your learnings
- Sharing one new writing tip you learn every day
- Summarizing lessons you learned from a book or podcast
There’s no magical style of content that works. You have to find what works for you and what allows you to be consistent.
I’m a believer that Twitter is the best place for freelancers to spend their time (outside of client work, of course). The serendipity that can be created is unparalleled. I can’t describe the number of opportunities and relationships that have stemmed from Twitter over the past 2 years.
It’s kind of crazy.
And those results can happen for you too.
You just have to be intentional with your time, define your goals with the platform, focus on the right things, and over time, you’ll have a little client-getting machine that works for you 24/7.