Are you an experienced coach who is hearing that you MUST be on Twitter? Have you jumped in? Do you find yourself wondering what you are doing there? You are NOT the only one! The word has gotten out. Twitter is a great tool for marketing your coaching business, but it doesn’t do you any good unless you know how you want to BE on Twitter.
You may want to grab something to take notes with because I’m going to help you create a few lists that will help give you some direction. As you create your lists do a brain dump. Add whatever comes to mind and you can filter it out later (if you even need to). This is all about creating possibility.
1) First thing to think about is who do you want to connect with via Twitter? Do you want to connect with potential clients, joint venture candidates, high profile connections in your niche? Someone else? All of those? Be as adventurous as you want to be. If you are adventurous as a coach, I suggest you implement that mentality here and be adventurous. Reach for those you really want to reach for. The possibilities truly are endless when it comes to Twitter. Brain dump and add them all to your list.
2) Next, what do those people want? As an experienced coach, you’ve made connections like these in other arenas. You know what they are looking for. You know what gets their attention and what makes them take the next step. Again, make a list. Put it all down.
3) Now, who are you being as a coach? You’ve probably been asked that question by one coach or another. Have you written it down? If so, pull it out and have it handy. If not, do it now. Write down how you are with your clients in different situations. Are you tough, but gentle? Write down as many phrases, words or sentences as you can think of.
4) Lastly, take a look at who you are being as a person? Again right this down. As a whole person who are you being in this world? How does that overlap with who you are as a coach?
Now you have lots of information that can help inform the way you will BE on Twitter. Think of Twitter as a way to create a community of people YOU want to be surrounded by. Take the answers to #1, above, and start building your community. “Follow” those people who fit your criteria. Look them up on http://www.twellow.com or http://www.twittersearch.com . Get yourself a desktop application that can help keep you organized while you do. I suggest http://www.tweetdeck.com, so you can group your community by the type of connection you want to make.
As you respond to other tweets, think about the connection you want to make and what that person wants. Listen to what they are asking in the tweet and use your list of what they want, from #2. Here’s the tricky part. At the same time you are giving them what they want, be yourself! I suspect that who you are as a person has a lot of overlap with who you are as a coach. So, be yourself. Listen to your intuition. Follow your gut and BE the person you feel you want to be in that moment. The list is just a guideline for when you get stuck. Your gut knows better than anything. As in all coaching. Trust it, try it, see if it sticks and let it go.
When creating your own tweets, look at what your community wants. Answer that call in general terms. You don’t have to give away all your secrets or even coach people via Twitter. Start your day with a tweet about some topic with which you already know they struggle. Give them 140 characters of wisdom that will make them think about new possibilities. Give your followers hope. Give your followers something that will move them slightly forward. Any of that will get your followers wanting more. In my own personal experience on Twitter, I’ve found that people respond to wisdom that gives them a new perspective. Send one of those every day and you will build your following in no time.
The great thing about Twitter is you can BE yourself! Many people choose to share their personal lives as well as their business life with the Twitter community. Set your boundaries however you want to set them. Just remember that it is a SOCIAL network. People want to get to know who you are. They also want to know a bit about what you do. Whatever the topic, if you are BEING the coach and person you are, then they will be most attracted to that!
Of course there are a lot more technical things I could go into as well as marketing strategy. You can find a lot of that at http://www.twitterhandbook.com. I recommend you DO get this guide which is a great Twitter reference and starter kit!
If I’ve missed something here, or you have a story to share about trying these strategies, I’d love to hear about it. So, please share.
I’ve been on Twitter for about 5 months now and I absolutely LOVE it! Let me tell you why. First of all, the JV possibilities are awesome! I’ve connected with people that may never have known me otherwise and we’re forming some really cool partnerships. I’ve also been in front of potential clients that I didn’t even know existed yet. So, that network has expanded. The best part about Twitter is that I now have a network of people that I can throw questions out to (and get answers). Since I’ve connected with a lot of techie/marketing type people, I can ask those kinds of questions and get some really great resources, links and advice. Many people are also sharing tips and tricks that are quite useful. Oh, and not to mention, I’ve already gotten a client directly from Twitter (a few others from Facebook, but Twitter made them actually contact me).
As a Coach, Twitter is your opportunity to lead and set the example. You can essentially microcoach. Challenge people on Twitter. Share a philosophy that will split their brains. Respond to someone’s post and let them know that they are not alone. Point out when someone is doing something you coach. When you catch yourself practicing what you preach, let your Twitter followers know what your choice was and how it affected you. Get in there and let them know what life can be like if they work with you. Don’t pitch them. Share your links and your newsletter etc…, but don’t pitch your services. Show them.
As for strategy, follow your target market and they’ll start following you back. Offer some useful information, but also let them get to know who you are as a person. People really appreciate conversation on Twitter, so respond to posts when you see something interesting (even if it’s off-topic). Have fun! Twitter is a great social network filled with generous people. Enjoy that and play.
As for tools, I have been using http://www.twhirl.org, but lately I’ve been trying out http://www.tweetdeck.com (it’s not ready for regular consumption yet…no multiple accounts and it doesn’t have Friend Feed yet…we’re hoping, soon). http://www.ping.fm is the most handy resource I’ve found yet. It will post to almost every social network out there that has a status update. I use that when I want all my networks to get the post. Mostly I stick to the desktop app though. Yes, I have Twitter posting to Facebook too. It’s just so easy.
I have days where I post 30-40 posts in a day. Other days, I only post once. Most days, I think I’m around 10 or 15, but I’m not sure. If you join the ranks of Twittering marketers, post once a week day (minimum). As your network grows into several hundred people you are following, it can be hard to keep up. Don’t try! Check in on a few people that are important. Then think of it as a stream of consciousness. Jump in when you can, look at what’s around you that you want to add to… then jump out after 10 or 15 minutes. It can become addictive. It may be helpful set a daily time limit.
Most of all, have fun on Twitter! That’s what it’s about.