Business-Building Thoughts From Terry L. Brock
[Note: Here’s the article I just wrote for my papers around the country. It is for the serious business person who wants to know why they would use Twitter for business. If you’re just getting into Twitter — or wondering about its applications in business — this is for you! Enjoy!]
Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you have heard about Twitter. It is huge. It is not a fad. It is here to stay and will be a big part of business. It already is and is growing more.
In my speeches I give and the coaching I do I find two types of reactions to Twitter. One group embraces it and is growing their network and their business. Another has a standard, pat answer they give for why they don’t use it. If you’re in the later category — get with the program! The same types of arguments were used a decade ago when people told me why they were not on the Internet.
If you’re not on Twitter, get there. This is for you bottom-line-oriented, business-focused readers. This is not something you want to miss. Dispense with your standard pat answers about why you aren’t there. Instead, wade into it with a focus on how to generate results.
Here are just a few of the ways serious business-minded people are using Twitter now:
Linking with prospects
Linking with existing customers
Finding the right subcontractors for a specific job
Getting information on suppliers and their reputation with your trusted peers
Announcing upcoming events
Finding out about upcoming events
Staying current with trends
Linking to great websites for information
And thousands more uses!
Recently I was meeting with a friend and colleague who is not on Twitter (yet). She is already very successful in her business as an image consultant. She told me she’s not on Twitter because, No one cares that I’m at Starbucks right now with Terry Brock. Well, I had to agree with her but told her that someone might be interested in a great image consultant to help for an upcoming job interview tomorrow. If her profile contained valuable information about that, she could get business.
Yes, there are a lot of people using Twitter for non-business purposes and that’s fine. There are a lot of Blogs, Podcasts, Websites, Videos, Audios and more that aren’t relevant to you. However, that doesn’t mean all of them are irrelevant. Your job is to find the relevant, profit-producing sources for you and your business and embrace those. Don’t worry about those that aren’t helpful to you.
I also told my friend that she might have need of a good business resource. This can be a quick, Hey, does anyone know about a good plumber who can. This could be just what you need in a bind! Your network can help you. And this is the flip side of networking. As you want people to hire you, when you have a need and contact a range of trusted people, you can find the resources you need quickly.
As you enter Twitter, don’t go in blabbering about your business and trying to sell your stuff. Think of Twitter as a social networking party — which is what it is online. You wouldn’t think highly of a person you meet at a social networking cocktail party who only wanted to sell you his stuff, hand you his card and blabbered on and on about his ideas. Instead, think of how you can appeal to the other person and find out what is important to him or her. Get to know them. Build a business relationship. This is where Twitter sparkles!
You build relationships on Twitter much like you do in the offline world. Be pleasant. Focus on helping others and have a quality introduction to help people know what you do in business and what you offer.
Start with a strong profile that concisely states how people benefit from working with you. Don’t tell me you’re an accountant who has been in business for 25 years and you have 15 partners, etc. I don’t care. However, tell me how you can help me eliminate the hassle of tax filing so I can do it on time, in full compliance and with minimal aggravation. Oh, and then, mention how you have your accounting degree and have the credentials to back it up. Then show me your website link for more information.
In addition to that, offer tweets — that’s Twitter speak for the short 140 character max messages you send — which provide value. One of the best strategies is to offer a terse benefit statement followed by a link to a website. Use a tool like Tiny URL (www.tinyurl.com) or Snip (www.snipurl.com) to shorten a long URL to something more manageable or descriptive.
Bounce over to www.Twitter.com/TerryBrock and see what I’m doing. I would love to have you follow me. I follow a lot of people now and the list is growing. We create a better network and support system by helping each other.
In the age of digital marketing, important trends come fast. Those who embrace those trends and think of how to use them in business do well. Let me know how Twitter is helping you in business. I look forward to sharing your experiences with other serious, business professionals.
Copyright © 2009, Terry Brock and Achievement Systems, Inc. Terry Brock is an international marketing coach and professional speaker who helps businesses generate profitable results. He can be reached by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or through his website at www.terrybrock.com. Join the Twitter adventure with Terry through his Twitter address: TerryBrock.