The Way We Work
December 7, 2011 by Stephanie Gonzaga

Twitter is more than a social networking site: it is a powerhouse of opportunities for freelancers. With a few clicks and the right keywords, you can connect with fellow freelancers, thought leaders in your industry and potential clients.

The key to making these connections is establishing yourself as an expert in your field and building authentic relationships with others. Your goal is not to increase the number of followers you have but to effectively spread the word that you are a freelancer looking for people to work with.

Here are five important steps to help improve your job search on Twitter.

1. It is time to get professional.

Think of the people you want to work with and how you can help them. Then look at your Twitter profile – how can you make it more interesting, professional and inviting for potential clients to follow you?

For example, you could

  • replace your avatar with a presentable portrait of yourself,
  • write an interesting description about yourself and your work, and
  • include a link to your oDesk profile.

2. Share useful, thought-provoking content in relation to your field of expertise.

share information sharing buttons Whether the content you share on Twitter is your own or from others in your industry, provide quality information that will help or ignite conversation among members of your community.

Share your own insights as well. Your followers may respond to your tweets, adding their own opinions about the topics at hand. Engage them and carry on the conversation.

3. Follow Twitter users who can be potential clients to work with.

How to Really Use Twitter to Find More Freelance Work, an article from Freelance Folder, suggests building your Twitter community by zooming in on businesses you want to work with the most.

Use these three questions to write a targeted list of people to look for:

  1. Who would you like to do a project with?
  2. Does he or she have a Twitter profile? Does the company you would like to market your
    services to use Twitter?
  3. Are you already following them?

With these three questions, you can create a concrete list of people to connect with.

4. Keep your eyes open for tweets about job openings and freelance gigs.

Companies are increasingly aware that social media is the new way to find customers and skilled professionals, and many now use social networks to reach out to the right people. Twitter is no exception, so it is important to keep an eye out for tweets about job openings and freelance gigs.

How can you find these important messages?

  • If you do well with the first three steps, clients or companies may contact you directly, or
  • Not knowing who to turn to, they may simply tweet job openings to their followers. To spot the latter, take the next step.

5. Use Twitter Search to find freelance gigs.

Twitter’s own search enables you to find tweets and users through specific keywords.

For example, a search for "freelance writer," "logo designer," "copywriter" or "Wordpress developer" will deliver tweets that mention these keywords. Your job now is to respond to those looking for people with the skills you offer.

The next time you log on to Twitter, keep a look out for potential clients to connect with and freelance gigs to apply for. A simple Twitter search can yield all sorts of opportunities, but it is up to you to take advantage of them.

Do you use Twitter to connect with potential clients and find freelance work? Have you developed a long-term working relationship with anyone? Share your stories in the comments section below.

Stephanie Gonzaga

Freelance Writer

Stephanie Gonzaga is a freelancer on oDesk who specializes in writing top-notch web content, such as product copy, articles, and blog posts for clients all over the globe. During her free time, she writes on her blog The Freelance Pinoy, a site dedicated to providing Filipino freelancers with tips, advice, and strategies to help them reach freelancing success.