Follow Andy Crichton on Twitter
*cpt = characters per tweet
Follow Andy Crichton on Twitter.
But isn’t Twitter for inane gabblers?
It is easy to be cynical and get hung up on the old percepton that Twitter is just to tell the world you are having a quad mocha latte burger with basil and cucumber dips at your local deli, but that is olde school.
Twitter is one of 3 online tools that painting and contracting businesses can use to promote their expertise and subsequently generate enquiries and paid work. (ie Write a blog and publicise it on Twitter and other social media networks. If the blog is interesting enough, it will drive people to find out more about you and the services displayed on your website. Assuming your website is designed to sell, when it comes to making the final purchase decision or placing the order, you have yourself a well-informed and committed customer. The purchase decision is much easier for a customer to make if they know, like and trust you. Amongst other things, Twitter helps build that trust element.)
How to Tweet
The “engagement idea”, is the crux of how Twitter can help you build up a network of people who genuinely share the same interests as you inside and outside of business. Seriously, if you treat it like a meet up at a virtual pub, you will just gravitate towards certain people and find your comfort zone, and tweet with them. Some people you chat to regularly, others you just say hi now and again, many you will never interact with. But it doesn’t matter. As long as you are yourself, and stick to the 90/9/1 rule (90% general interacting, 9% talking about you, and 1% blatant self promotion of your latest blog post or work related offers/courses etc) … Twitter is an excellent way of meeting people outside your current circles. 10 minutes in the morning, 10 in the evening is enough to get going. And if people get to like you, know you, trust you, who knows what might come of it, and Tweeting can get really fun.
How Twitter has worked for me
Let me explain what has happened since I started participating “properly” in Twitter in mid-December 2009 as acmasterpainter, and then make up your own mind if there is any value in it for you or your business.
1 – I have received professional first hand advice about using Earthborn clay paint.
2 – I was introduced to one of the country’s leading paint analyst and colour matching experts @paperspaints Patrick has since advised me on the most suitable colour ranges for a hand-painted Shaker kitchen, sourcing flat oil paint, colour matching almost any paint in any colour.
3 – I was put in touch with local photographer Andy Marshall @fotofacade who specialises in architectural photography. The examples of his work are stunning, and he would be my first port of call for professional photos for a website or selling a house. He also recommended a camera to my wife which she purchased and it has proven to be everything he said.
4 – There are a number of interior designers and architects from around the country who now follow what I am posting about work and other interests via Twitter. I get asked about work quite regularly.
5 – I regularly follow developments with @ProjectBook who are using Twitter to bring together the country’s best craftsmen, so that owners of listed and historic buildings have a pool of professionals to choose from.
6 And of course some great UK based painters and decorators share info and chat with me since I have joined up via Twitter. And the best suppliers who “get it” are just a tweet away for quick questions. (See the footer on this site for examples)
6 – Twitter is global, so I can keep up with what is going on in the USA, via professional people who live literally in the same part of town that we lived in. I also follow the best painters and decorators from coast to coast, from Oregon to Jack Pauhl in Cleveland and Blogging Painters everywhere.
Amazingly, I have interests outside of painting and decorating, and Twitter has made it possible for me to get the inside story on climate change from a real climatologist at Manchester University, and gain all sorts of insights and tips from scientists, venture capitalists, socialites, environmentalists… in my village, in Cheshire and all over the UK… I also look out for updates about fashion and colour and interior design from my favourite Twitterer, Ingrid, at @LilouDesign.
62 127 431 720 people in Twitter are expressing various levels of interest in what I tweet – my approach to painting and decorating, examples of my work. And when I find interesting articles outside of painting, I use Twitter to publicise them so those people following me can read, enjoy, comment, and recommend to their own pool of fans / followers.
For all the time-wasters, scammers, spammers and smarmballs, I have met so many likeminded people on Twitter, decorators, designers, all manner of professionals who talk a similar language to me, and are really willing to share their expertise if asked.
And when Twitter online leads to real world phone calls, emails, and meet ups, you can’t argue that is a great way to meet new people and expand your options.
James at ProjectBook has written a great introductory summary of the hows, whys and wherefores of Twitter for business which will get you underway in the right direction. They also run half day course on effective marketing with Twitter
If my experience is anything to go by, Twitter really is a simple and rich way to network and develop meaningful relationships in and out of your business. Feel free to Retweet this page!
Twitter logo is from IdeaChampions article Twitter gets it
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