Here’s one idea you may have never considered. If you didn’t know this already, the vast majority of tweets are public and searchable. It used to be that you had to use a third-party website to search Twitter well, but that is not true anymore. Twitter has a very dynamic and fast search engine for its members.
Create a Dedicated Account for Design/Development
If you already have a Twitter account and you use it to talk about movies or rant about politics, get a new account and brand it specifically for the freelance work you are trying to acquire. Your feed should be full of resource links, retweets about the industry and your own thoughts about certain aspects of your field. So instead of a tweet like:
“I loved the Iron Man movies; I want to be Tony Stark.”
You should have a feed that looks like:
“I wonder if the new slider plugin from @company works on responsive sites.”
This kind of account not only helps when pitching through Twitter, but is helpful for you as a freelancer in general. If you contact a hirer, it’s pretty likely they are going to Google you. With that in mind, you’ll want them to land on a Twitter account that represents you as a web professional.
If you are off-shore, don’t be afraid to list your location. Let the conversation start first and then later you can get into location. Also, put the platforms/code you work in on your profile. This informs readers about your expertise.
Search Terms Are Key
Using Twitter to get client leads is not as straightforward as on other platforms. Most of the time, people are not actually posting jobs to Twitter; they are linking to posts elsewhere. However, potential hirers may post to Twitter asking for help on projects for which they simply do not want to create postings. So here is a list of sample search terms to use in the Twitter search box (you can, of course, make adjustments to apply to your field of expertise):
web developer needed
I need a developer to
need WordPress help
want to hire a developer
need to hire someone for help
need developer to work on my website
web developer wanted for
looking for help with Drupal module
need coding help
need to hire freelance developer
need to hire freelance web developer
You should be applying these search terms almost every day, as Twitter moves very quickly. In the search area of Twitter, there are two categories of what gets returned. One is ‘Top’ and one is ‘All’. Always click over to ‘all’. You may get more spam this way, but sticking to ‘Top’ will make you miss out on a lot of tweets.
Continue to use variations on the above search terms, and make sure you know what works best for you. But search often.
Part 2 coming soon.