In my time as a small business owner, and indeed, ordinary woman on the street, using social media, I’ve had a few noteworthy examples of how being in the right place, at the right time, within the world of social media such as Twitter and Facebook, can reap dividends for your business and personal development.
Of course, being in the right place at the right time is important In Real Life, too. I picked up a few new clients at the book launch for a novelist client – because she was there, her book was there, my cards were there, and I was there. But social media runs round the clock, doesn’t involve dressing up, and doesn’t only happen at set times.
Yes, I’ve been lucky. And yes, I’ve probably missed as many opportunities as I’ve grasped – after all, who can keep up with all of the tweets by all of the people they follow? But here are some things that have happened to me in the last couple of years …
Client A tweeted one late evening (afternoon for her) that she was looking for a copyeditor. She was in the US, I’m in the UK, so the time difference was important. In fact, I found this tweet by re-running a saved search – see below. But there she was, and there I was, within 2 minutes of her tweeting. So I tweeted back. She sent me one project, then became a regular client. Then she recommended me to someone else, who I would NEVER have reached on my own, who is now another, larger, regular client.
Client B was stuck for a transcriber. She’s a journalist and interviews people regularly. Help – she needed a transcriber. Could anyone recommend one? At the time, transcription wasn’t even one of my core offerings. But I trained in audio typing and had done work with tapes over the years, so I got in touch. Again, I happened to catch her a few minutes after she’d posted, so I got in first. And, a year on, she’s another of my cherished regular clients. And has given me lovely references and recommended me on – via Twitter, of course!
And a personal one. Libro had been a bit quieter this week than it had been of late. So I had time to look at Twitter during my working day. I noticed one of my favourite running magazines was asking if people were booked in to do a particular race. And because I struck while the iron was hot, I ended up reviewing it for them!
How to create your own luck
All these three examples did depend on luck and good timing to a certain extent. But they also depended on me doing certain things to help create that luck and good timing:
– I have a presence on social media, backed up with a website where people can find out more information about me, and linked to that website via my profile. So I’m already there, active and tweeting or updating my status, and anyone finding me for the first time can see I’m legitimate, busy and (hopefully) useful.
– I follow people who are interesting to me and linked to my interests in some way.
– I ran searches on Twitter in my areas of interest (“need proofreading”, “need transcriber”, etc.), saved them (did you know you could do that?) and run them regularly (even when I’m busy!). Then I contact anyone who looks like they might appreciate my help. Not aggressively or spamming, just asking politely if I can help and directing them to my website.
– If I see an opportunity, I go for it. When I asked to review the race, I then had second thoughts, worrying that I’m not a good enough runner to review for them. But I’d already put in for it, and when I asked the contact at the magazine, she reassured me that my kind of runner was just the kind they wanted!
To win the lottery, you have to buy a ticket. Get on to social media, get them to serve your purposes, and see a whole new world of lucky chances open up! Go on … create your own luck!
Libro offers copyediting, copy writing, proofreading, transcription, typing and localisation services to other small businesses, individuals and corporations. Click on the links to find out more! Contact me via email or via my contact form.
November 16, 2011 at 10:16 am
Great post. Really like it. Was specially interested to see Twitter being used for something productive – I have a slightly biased take against it for no sound reason. It is certainly working for you.
Liz at Libro
November 16, 2011 at 10:28 am
Thank you Jan – really glad you liked it and found it interesting! Twitter has been great for me; I really couldn’t do without it!
November 19, 2011 at 2:31 pm
I was initially sceptical about Twitter, but since I started using it earlier this year I’ve found it so useful for making contacts and finding out about jobs or work experience opportunities – agree that timing is key!
Liz at Libro
November 19, 2011 at 5:45 pm
Hi Jemma – glad you liked my post and I’m glad Twitter is helping you with what you need to do – good stuff!