Guest blog by Lara Galloway, mompreneur, mom business coach and BlogTalkRadio host.
This month marks my one year anniversary of being on Twitter. Little did I know when I typed my first tweet last year how things would change! For instance, I could not have predicted back in October 2008 that Twitter would become “my office,” that I would eventually get 95% of my qualified leads from Twitter, and that I would be able to achieve my status as expert and go-to resource for mompreneurs in less than a year. For this, I owe a debt of gratitude to the developers of Twitter. Thanks, Guys!
As I look back over the past year, I can see what an impact this single tool has had on my business (and my life!). I thought I’d share with you some of the specific changes that have occurred in my business as a result of using Twitter.
1) Immediate access to people and information
I used to go to Google when I had a question or needed to research or understand something better. Now, I tweet. And all the questions I ask on Twitter get personalized, specific answers from friends and strangers who are willing to share their knowledge and expertise with me. I’m learning so much faster now!
2) The ability to market myself 24/7 without leaving my house or spending a dime
I’m a mom to three kids aged seven and under. I don’t have the desire or time to arrange for childcare, get dressed up, and then commute to a networking event that doesn’t particularly fit in my busy day. Thanks to Twitter, I can network and market myself all the time, even when I’m not at my computer (and instead playing with my kids), and I get to be relaxed and comfortable in my own house and on my own time.
3) Building amazing relationships with people who have shaped my business
What a gift to be able to connect with so many people I probably would never have met! I have found mentors, colleagues, friends, teachers, JV partners and (of course) clients on Twitter. We read each other’s tweets, comment back and forth and discover that we’re a good fit for each other. Then we start talking on the phone and some wonderful relationships are born. When I think of all the influence, inspiration and role models I’ve gleaned from Twitter, I’m hard-pressed to say I learned this much in my graduate school education.
4) Meeting and getting to know my clients in a very comfortable environment before we ever talk money
Twitter provides a comfortable, no pressure environment for my future clients and I to get to know each other. We can chat back and forth for days, weeks, months without me feeling like I’m wasting my time or that I need to put pressure to “close the sale” (which is not my style anyway). I read and RT their tweets, browse their websites, read their blogs, and am able to know more about them and the work they’re up to before we ever discuss working together. And I’m a full-disclosure kinda gal, so I share my honest thoughts, my mistakes, and my tips and advice with them on Twitter. That tends to attract people to me who are interested in my coaching, so I never have to “convince” someone to hire me.
5) Having a pipeline full of warm leads that are steadily moving closer to hiring me
The marketing gurus say it takes somewhere between 7-10 “touches” before the average person is ready to buy from you. How hard would it be to accomplish this without Twitter? Well, it was hard enough for me that I rarely did it in my business before I got on Twitter. Now, 7-10 tweets is something I can accomplish in an hour!
6) Being surrounded and inundated with messages from my target market and what they want from me, making it easy for me to create solutions for them quickly
Are you doing marketing research? Well, I didn’t do it at all before I got on Twitter. I just came up with an idea I thought was good and tried to sell it to other people I thought needed it. Didn’t work so well and wasted a lot of my time and energy. Now I do searches on keywords and browse tweets and the people who are tweeting them to see what my target market is talking about. I watch/listen for problems, struggles, and pain points, and then start developing my solutions. When I have a new idea, I simply ask my followers on Twitter what they think of it. Good response? I create the offering. Low/bad response? I ditch it and move on.
7) Being approached by other thought leaders who invite me to speak, collaborate, teach, write or coach, rather than me hunting for these outlets of exposure
Really, who has time to hunt for opportunities? Thanks to Twitter and my marketing strategy that is built around it, I am no longer a hunter and am now a receiver of opportunities to do cool things with other cool people. My presence on Twitter helps other people find me, and we’re able to connect and build things together that I would never be able to do by myself.
8) The most powerful tool I know of to build visibility, credibility and my brand
Well, enough said. Almost. Because I like to talk and write J. I have around 8,500 followers. That means that everything I tweet reaches all of these people. And then there’s the whole viral thing, which means that all the people following those people see my tweets, too. And so on. My Twitter profile is my virtual business card. How else could I get my business card into the hands of 8,500+ people (and I only have to type 140 characters to do it)
9) Creating a single platform in which I can leverage everything else I do in my business
I can tweet about my blogposts, my podcasts, my videos, my mastermind groups, my membership programs, my articles, my info products and my BlogTalkRadio shows with just a few clicks of the mouse. Twitter is the center of my online presence, making it easy for people who are interested in finding out more about what I do to have easy access to all I offer.
10) Feeling supported and appreciated
When you run a home-based business, it can get pretty lonely. Who even knows that you’re there, in your home office, doing great things? Who checks in on you to see how you’re doing when you’re not sitting in a big office building surrounded by co-workers? When I’m bored, lonely, or need some boosting up, I tweet about it. Within minutes, several of my friends (and even a few random strangers) send me happy tweets. When fighting kids and motherhood have me stressed to the hilt, some soothing (or hysterical) tweets from my tweeple make it all better. When I’m excited about something and just dying to share it with others, I tweet about it. I get dozens of congratulatory tweets back from my followers. This is the stuff that keeps me going!
So it’s no wonder why I’ve become a Twitter evangelist. When one simple, free tool can make such a big, positive difference, who wouldn’t want to use it? I LOVE TWITTER!
The Mom Biz Coach