Twitter is a great way to make money as a freelancer. But it’s often overlooked in favor of other platforms like LinkedIn, Instagram, and Tiktok. Over 211 million people use the platform every day. Over 50% of American users say they use it daily. If you use it right, there is an audience willing to buy from you.
Why do many freelancers don’t think of Twitter as their go-to platform for business? Twitter has a reputation for being a place where people fight, rather than do business. A Google search for “Twitter is toxic” brings about 2,420,000,000 search results.
However, there are many successful freelancers who use Twitter to amplify their brand, sell, and make money for themselves. This article will guide you on what not to, what to do, and how to make money on Twitter in 2022 as a freelancer.
Four experts graciously contributed with their knowledge for this article; Sarah Townsend, Andy Strote, Baruch Labunski, and Shreya Pattar.
What not to do on Twitter
Let’s get the things that you shouldn’t be doing out of the way.
- Don’t buy followers: There are many people promising you instant followers on social media, on the dark alleys of the internet. For a fee, of course. Most of the time, these followers will end up being bots. In the best-case scenario, they’ll be people who have no interest in what you say or sell. Save your money and build a following the right way.
- Don’t do follow/unfollows: Don’t follow accounts randomly, in the hope they’ll follow back. Worse, don’t follow people and then unfollow them once they follow back. Follow and engage with people whose content you find interesting and useful. You’ll get follow backs naturally.
- Don’t use the same content from your other social media: At least without repurposing them. Twitter is not for chopped up LinkedIn posts or graphics you copied from your Instagram.
- Don’t get into fights: Everyone has the right to their views and the freedom of expressing them. No one wants to do business with someone who’s constantly arguing. Be careful not to get into Twitter fights, flame wars, or badmouthing.
“Don’t take the low road. It’s easy to get eyes on your tweets by engaging in personal or political attacks or negative postings. All publicity isn’t equal, and you want to build a following of people who look to you as a useful authority in your industry.” - Baruch Labunski, Marketer
What to do on Twitter to make money
Things to do on Twitter fall into three categories. Setting up your profile right, building up followers, and tweeting the right way.
Optimize your Twitter profile
Your Twitter profile is the face of your business on the platform. Follow these best practices to create one that will wow your audience.
- Profile picture: Choose a photo where you look great and approachable. Pick a clear background and remember to use good lighting. The recommended size is 400 X 400 pixels. You can use JPG, PNG, and GIF formats for the photo.
- Handle: Choose one that is unique, professional, and ideally, free from numbers. Many spam Twitter accounts have a lot of numbers in their handle. Avoid the association. It might even give your an SEO boost for your name.
- Header photo: A great header photo can lift your profile a couple of notches. The recommended size is 1500 x 500 pixels. You can use this to highlight brands you’ve worked with, good PR you’ve received, or state what you can do for prospective clients. Else, use a clean, simple image or a design. Keep in mind that Twitter is number 6 in most used mobile apps. Most people use Twitter on their phones. The top and bottom of the header could be cropped on mobile. Keep any important information towards the center.
- Name: Use your own name. You can add freelance + your profession next to your name. Visitors will be able to figure out what you do at a glance.
- Bio: Craft the best bio you can in 160 characters. Highlight what you do, why people should follow you, and your personality. Having keywords will help your profile appear in search results, in and out of Twitter. You can use hashtags in your bio, but make sure they’re very relevant. Hashtags are clickable, so generic hashtags can be a distraction that drives visitors away from your profile. A call to action at the end of your bio can lead readers to the website link you choose to display.
- Website: Pick a well-chosen link for the website section. It could be the link to your email list, a link to book a discovery call or a link to your products sales page. Tie this to the call to action in your bio. If you don’t have a website yet, you can link to your LinkedIn profile or the online portfolio.
- Location: Twitter will display your profile in the local Twitter searches based of the location you choose. If your business works mostly with local customers, this is a great way to help them find your business.
- Settings: Make sure your tweets are public and people can send you direct messages (DMs). To make your tweets public, go to Settings → Privacy and Safety → Audience and Tagging → Uncheck the Protect your Tweets box. To allow DMs from anyone, Settings → Privacy and Safety → Direct Messages → Check Allow message requests from everyone box.
- Pinned tweet - The pinned tweet appears at the top of your feed. Use this feature as a highlight of your profile. It could be a tweet about your website, your best selling products, your best work, or an important recent update.
Build your Twitter following
Once you optimize your profile, start building your following. Here are some ways to build a great Twitter following.
- Follow the right people: Follow peers in your industry, potential clients, potential business partners, and influencers whose content is relevant to you. In no time, you’ll have a feed that you’ll look forward to seeing.
- Use Twitter Lists: Twitter Lists can help you customize what tweets you’ll see on your timeline. This is a great way to organize your interests and engage with key accounts you’re following. There are public Lists anyone can access on Twitter. You can create private Lists just for yourself as well.
- Engage in a meaningful way: Comment and retweet when you can add to the conversations. Be respectful and add value to the conversations that take place.
- Take part in Twitter Spaces: Twitter spaces are a way to have live audio conversations on Twitter. It’s a great way to speak with like-minded people and learn from each other.
“I think courtesy goes a long way. I thank people for retweeting my tweets and try to respond to all comments. It’s all about the conversation.” - Sarah Townsend, Freelance copywriter
How to write a good Tweet
Writing great tweets is the next step. It takes some skill, but it’s not rocket science either.
- You can use up to 280 characters in a Tweet, but the optimal length for a tweet is between 71 - 100 characters.
- Avoid using more than two hashtags as it can be distracting to readers.
- As marketer Neal Schaffer recommends, be specific, ask questions, and use power words.
- Use threads to share tips, lessons learned, and useful resources with your followers.
Make money on Twitter
You’ve done the hard work. Now it’s time to profit.
Generating leads for your services and selling products are two of the best ways to make money from Twitter as a freelancer. Our experts weigh in with their experience on how you can start doing this.
Twitter lead generation
Andy Strote is the author of “How to Start A Successful Creative Agency” and two times founder of successful agencies. This was his advice to freelancers on Twitter lead generation. “Focus on your business on the account you use to promote it. Do your sh*tposts somewhere else. Give examples and other indications of your expertise. Promote recent successes. Post regularly and often. Post information useful to your audience. Don’t have too many outbound links—Twitter won’t give you much distribution. Also, make use of your bio, with a link back to your website.”
Sarah Townsend, freelance copywriter and author of “Survival Skills For Freelancers", stressed the importance of being genuine, helpful, authentic on Twitter. “I started using Twitter in 2012. I’ve never had a Twitter strategy, or a content plan (sorry!). Instead, I’ve grown my following by sharing posts about freelance life and language that are informative and entertaining – and by being myself. If people get a true sense of who you are – if you can inspire them, educate them, or make them laugh – they’re more likely to recognise you as someone worth following. Gradually those followers become friends, and sometimes clients.”
Selling products on Twitter
There are two ways freelancers can sell products on Twitter: selling affiliate products they trust and believe in and selling their own products.
Marketing expert Baruch Labunski, CEO of Rank Secure, shared his strategies on affiliate marketing on Twitter. “First, seek out and interact with profiles and posts that are in the same space you occupy, the way you’d like your ideal customers to. Find the influencers and the thought leaders. Second, you don’t want to cast your net too wide. You can’t appeal to everyone; focus on appealing to your ideal customer. Finally, make effective use of hashtags. I keep a running list of clever or funny hashtags that pop into my head but that I don’t necessarily have a use for at the moment. Then when the moment arises, I have it ready to go. I also scour the list of trending topics and hashtags and find ways to incorporate useful or possibly relevant ones in my tweets. The perfect hashtag strategy is one of preparing ahead with a list of clever hashtags and capitalizing on trending topics that your audience will be interested in.”
Shreya Pattar, agency owner, content creator and prolific ebook writer shared her experience about selling her own digital products on Twitter. “I started using Twitter a couple of months ago and focused on maximum value addition, minimal ebook promotion. However, I soon realised two features about content creation on Twitter. One, tweets are short-lived. And two, unlike other social media platforms, you can post 10x a day on Twitter; even more, if you want. Since then, I have been promoting one of my five ebooks at least once a day, and have started making at least 1 sale per day. Adding the link in your bio is great, but promoting your info products regularly is excellent.”
Make 2022 the year you make money from Twitter
Twitter is an underused source of leads and sales for a lot of freelancers. But it’s not hard to make use of the opportunities on the platform.
Create a great profile, build up an engaged following, wow them with great tweets. It would be a matter of time you make money from your Twitter profile.
About The Author
Kasun Pathirage is a freelance B2B writer helping fintech and SaaS brands with engaging content. You can find more about him and his services on his website, https://www.verbauream.com/.