The Hello Bar is a simple notification bar that engages users and communicates a call to action.

Marketing

Find Clients on Twitter

Anyone running a service business needs a constant stream of incoming leads.

Let’s look at how you can find clients on Twitter.

1. Remember: Relationships First

Twitter is not a sales tool. Start hawking your services in tweets, and you’ll scare off rather than attract clients.

What is Twitter about then?

It’s a tool for building relationships. When you’ve established a relationship with someone, then you can reach out and pitch your services. You’ll have built up trust. And you’ll know whether it’s worthwhile pitching them, because you’ll have found out whether they’re your target client.

Adopt the mindset of “relationships first”, and Twitter will start to make sense.

2. Fix Your Bio

Yes, Twitter is a space for relationships, so it’s a good idea to make your bio shine with personality and pizzazz.

But if all your bio does is tell people that you love dogs and coffee, then you won’t be picking up clients anytime soon.

Your bio should explain what you do and how you help people. Only after you’ve done that should you add in your personal interests.

For more great bio tips, check out our 9 essential posts on writing a Twitter bio (we’ve collected the top tips from Twitter’s big hitters and put them all in one place).

3. Connect with Influencers

We’re using the term “influencers” broadly here.

Basically, we mean you should reach out to the people who can help you achieve your business goals and connect with your clients. These could be:

  • Thought leaders in your industry (who can give you promotional clout)
  • Your ideal clients
  • People who can put you in touch with your ideal clients

Need an influencer targeting strategy? We’ve put together a handy guide on getting attention from Twitter influencers.

4. Run Searches for Gigs

We’ve said that Twitter isn’t a place for pitching clients.

That’s true, with one exception. This is the only exception.

You can pitch people on Twitter who have mentioned that they need your services. E.g. if someone has tweeted “I’m looking for a web designer”, and you’re a web designer, then pitch, pitch, pitch, baby!

How can you find the people who are looking for your services? Run an advanced search. Yup, we’ve got help at hand for that too. Check out our guide to finding gigs on Twitter.

Your Call

What do you do to find clients on Twitter? Let us know in the comments section, below.

Business Blogs

Information is money.

The more you know, the faster you can get ahead.

Problem? We’re drowning in information. It’s everywhere! So where you can find relevant and helpful information on running your business?

Here are our top 11 must-read business blogs (with a slight social twist). We hope you’ll love them as much as we do!

1. LinkedIn Pulse

What is it?: LinkedIn Pulse collects articles that are relevant to your industry and business interests. It’s the perfect way to start your working day (together with a mug of coffee).

Who writes it?: A LinkedIn Robot. It’s a collection of articles from across LinkedIn’s blog network, so the authors could be anyone in your industry.

Why we love it: It’s tailor-made just for you. And LinkedIn boasts some of the world’s best business writing.

Check it out: LinkedIn Pulse.

2. You’re the Boss

What is it?: A blog about running a small business, by small business owners published by The New York Times. On the blog you’ll find advice, case studies and analysis.

Who writes it?: You’re the Boss has over 15 contributors including Rebekah Campbell, founder of Posse, Colleen DeBaise, director of The Story Exchange (where women mean business), and Gene Marks, who runs a 10-person consultancy.

Why we love it: The best teacher is experience, and this is advice from the trenches. We also like that it’s targeted at small business owners.

Check it out: You’re the Boss.

3. Harvard Business Review

What is it?: A collection of articles from Harvard Business School’s flagship publication. It covers everything from marketing to workplace conflict to the future of capitalism.

Who writes it?: The top writers and thinkers in the world of business are invited to contribute. Contributors are typically business owners or academic researchers who have written a business book.

Why we love it: It makes our brains light up! It’s the place to go for thought-provoking articles and advice on business.

Check it out: Harvard Business Review.

4. Lifehacker

What is it?: A blog about getting things done. That’s right, it’s productivity central. Perfect for procrastinators and people who need to get things done.

Who writes it?: Editor-in-chief is Whitson Gordon. Regular contributors include Eric Ravenscraft and Mihir Patkar. Plus there are a ton of guest writers.

Why we love it: Because if you run a business, you need to get stuff done. And Lifehacker provides all the cutting-edge advice on how to make that happen.

Check it out: Lifehacker.

5. Social Media Examiner

What is it? The world-leading blog on the subject of social media marketing. It covers everything social media related, from using social media as a PR tool to advice on creating a social media strategy.

Who writes it?: Cindy King is director of editorial and a regular contributor. There are also a wide range of guest authors.

Why we love it: It’s all about social media, our favorite thing!

Check it out: Social Media Examiner.

6. Seth’s Blog

What is it?: The musings and philosophy of marketing raconteur and maverick, Seth Godin. Most of the posts can be read in less than a minute. No wasted words here.

Who writes it?: The clue’s in the name. Seth Godin is the only author here.

Why we love it: Every post Seth writes helps us see the world in a new way. It really is that good. Also, Seth writes and publishes a new blog post (sometimes two new blog posts) pretty much every day, so there’s always plenty of brain candy to go around.

Check it out: Seth’s Blog.

7. BufferSocial

What is it?: The official blog of the social media scheduling tool, Buffer App. On Buffer’s blog you’ll find articles on social media strategy, consumer psychology, productivity and content marketing.

Who writes it? Buffer’s leader writers are Nicole Miller and Kevan Lee.

Why we love it: We’d probably love anything created by BufferApp, consider that it’s our favorite scheduling tool. Even so, Buffer’s blog is amazing. Every article is in-depth and well researched.

Check it out: BufferSocial.

8. Derek Sivers

What is it?: The thoughts and ideas of entrepreneur, programmer and intrepid traveler Derek Sivers. On his blog you’ll find reflections on creativity, business, life and travel.

Who writes it?: Most of the posts are written by Derek himself, with occasional contributions from guest writers.

Why we love it: Derek Sivers has walked the walk. He founded CD Baby, which went on to be the largest online seller of independent music. He’s a deep thinker, so if you’re into pondering the meaning of life (or just wondering about how to offer good customer service), then this is the blog for you.

Check it out: Derek Sivers.

9. QuickSprout

What is it?: QuickSprout is the online home of Neil Patel, who’s the co-founder of Crazy Egg and KISSmetrics. On QuickSprout you’ll find articles on SEO, copywriter, consumer psychology and growth hacking.

Who writes it?: Investor, advisor and entrepreneur Neil Patel.

Why we love it: What we love most about QuickSprout is Neil’s focus on metrics and optimization. The internet allows pretty much everything to be tracked and measured, and Neil shows you how to make the most of all this information.

Check it out: QuickSprout.

10. HubSpot

What is it?: HubSpot creates and sells internet marketing software to help businesses better engage with their online customers. Their blog covers everything from social selling to must-read business books.

Who writes it?: HubSpot has a huge team of quality writers.

Why we love it: HubSpot tests everything and they’re not afraid to share the results of their experiments. Every article on the blog is pack full with value.

Check it out: HubSpot Blog.

11. Practical eCommerce

What is it?: A blog that’s all about selling stuff online. If it’s related to eCommerce, it’s covered here.

who writes it?: Regular contributors include Sig Ueland, Jill Kocher and Armando Roggio.

Why we love it: Okay, we confess, this one’s at the dry end of the blogging spectrum. There’s not much scintillating writing here. What you will find is solid advice and analysis. And that’s just what you need when you’re running a business, right?

Over to You

What are your must-read business blogs? Let us know in the comments section, below.

social media metrics

Both Twitter and Pinterest have recently launched analytics platforms to help businesses get the most out of their social marketing efforts.

Meanwhile, Facebook Insights have been available for three years (they’ve come on a long way in that time). And social media apps such as Hootsuite, Buffer and Klout all allow users to measure different aspects of their social media engagement.

As copywriters and marketers have known for over a century, stats are the best way of finding out what works, and what doesn’t.

But how can you make sure you’re making the most of your social metrics?

1. Know Where You’re Headed

For any journey, you need a map, a destination and a route.

Metrics are not the map. They don’t show you where to go. And they’re not the destination or the end goal. Rather, they help you see whether you’re taking the right path.

Before you set any goals for your social media engagement, you need to know where your business is headed. The goals you set for social media should then serve your business goals.

For example, let’s say you have a business goal of increasing revenue by 10%. To do this, you need to make more sales. And to make more sales, you need to increase traffic to your website. Boosting traffic is a goal social media can help with.

2. Get Familiar With What You Can Track on Social Media

What you can measure is usually dictated by the analytics tools you use. Some of the things you can track include:

  • Engagement. This is measured by tracking how many people reply to a post. On Facebook, these are comments and on Twitter they’re replies.
  • Volume. How much are your posts being spread? The more your updates are shared, the louder your volume. On Twitter, volume is created by retweets. On Facebook, the volume is amped up by “shares”.
  • Reach. This is the number of people who are seeing a particular post. Reach helps you put other stats into context. Getting 10 comments isn’t too impressive if you’ve got a reach of 1 million. However, 10 comments on a reach of 100 people is something to smile about.
  • Sales. How many sales are you making as a result of your social media posts? If you run an online store, Google Analytics can keep track of this for you.
  • Lead gen. If you run a service business, how many new leads are you generating each month as a result of social media? This is easy to track if you generate leads directly on social media though you’ll have to keep track of the stats for yourself.

This is just some of what it’s possible to track on social media. It’s worth getting familiar with several social analytics tools so you can see for yourself what it’s possible to measure.

3. Set Goals Based on What You Can Track and Where You’re Headed

Once you know what it’s possible to track, then you can set appropriate goals for your social media accounts.

Compare what you can track to your business goals. Which metrics are the best indicators of whether you’re achieving your business goals?

For example, if one of your business goals is to provide excellent customer service, then you might want to keep track of how long it takes you to reply to customer queries on social media.

If your aim is to boost the visibility of your brand, then you’ll need to track volume.

4. Make Your Goals SMART

SMART goals, as invented by Peter Drucker, one of the greatest business thinkers of the 20th century, are:

  • Specific
  • Measurable
  • Actionable
  • Realistic
  • Time-bound

When it comes to tracking your social metrics, it’s particularly important to make your goals measurable. You’ve already done this by setting goals based on what you can track.

It’s also important that your goals are actionable. This means you know the specific actions you need to take to achieve those goals.

This is easier for some goals than for others. Taking the customer service example we outlined in the previous step, you might have set a goal of responding to customer queries on social media within two hours. Acting on that goal is simple. You’ve got to find a way of keeping track of customer queries, and you’ve got to make sure you reply to them.

However, if your goal is to increase the number of times your posts are shared, then the actions you should take are less obvious, so it’s not a SMART goal. You could adjust this goal to be “create three pieces of content with viral potential every week.”

5. Have a “Dashboard” Where You Can View Your Stats

Measuring your stats is only useful if you remember to check-in and see how things are going. You’re much more likely to do this if you keep all your stats in one location.

All good analytics software provides a “dashboard” with a stats overview. However, this is only useful if the dashboard tracks the stats that are relevant to your goals. You may find it more helpful to create your own “dashboard” by noting down metrics in a spreadsheet.

6. Tweak as Necessary

Social media is a rapidly changing landscape. A decade ago, Twitter and Pinterest didn’t even exist. Facebook was in its early infancy.

No matter what goals you set for your social marketing, you will have to adjust them. This could be because technology changes. Or it could be because you discover that your goals are close to impossible, or that your goals aren’t as aligned with your business objectives as they could be.

Adjusting your goals – and the actions you take to achieve those goals – isn’t a sign of weakness. It doesn’t mean you’re turning back. It means you’re responsive to feedback, and you’re moving forwards.

7. Keep Experimenting!

Social media is an experiment. No one has the monopoly on the right way to do it.

It’s a good idea to see your efforts in tracking metrics as experiments. That way, you can’t go wrong, because whatever you learn is feedback for your experiment.

And the great thing about experiments is that you never know when you’ll discover something no one has ever found before.