This is a guest blog post from Ross Barber of Electric Kiwi. He designs amazing websites for artists and bands. I’m very excited to have him share his thoughts on my favorite social network site, Twitter. Be sure to follow him @webdesignmusic. If you are a Twitter newbie let me show you how to rock it and become #TwitterSmarter at www.twittersmarterclass.com. ~Madalyn
Social networks play a big part in our lives now, whether we like it or not. How big a role they play varies from person to person, but there is no getting away from the fact that they are an integral part of our society these days.
Twitter is one of the big players, but it is possibly the most misunderstood and misused, too. Like all social platforms, Twitter connects people to other people. This is – and should always be – the #1 thing to bear in mind when using it. Unlike other platforms where you have to “accept” a request to connect (hello, Facebook and LinkedIn) it is a very open network, for the most part, and it encourages and allows for interaction more than any other network does.
I joined Twitter relatively early on, but used it more as a way of keeping up-to-date with what was going on with my favourite bands, my friends and what was going on in the world, in general. But now, for me Twitter is used for so much more than that.
To give you some background and to put things into context, I graduated in 2009 with a degree in Popular Music. Now, here in Scotland (and I suppose in many places) there are not an awful lot of music-related career opportunities. I realised after a few months of working in jobs that were of no relevance to my studies whatsoever, that I was going to have to make my own opportunities somehow. I didn’t realise straight away how important Twitter would be in finding my path.
A while later, I noticed that an artist I was following on Twitter was looking for an intern in LA to help with some online marketing. Now, I know what you’re thinking – from Scotland to LA would be a pretty long commute. On the off chance, I sent a direct message to see if she would be interested in working with me despite the fact that I was halfway around the world. When she said that she wanted to work with me, something clicked. I knew that working remotely was a possibility already, but I hadn’t realised how useful Twitter could be in making connections (regardless of location), creating opportunities and gaining experience.
Of course, this won’t work for everyone or in every line of work, but for musicians in particular, Twitter can be – and is – invaluable. I can honestly say that around half of the enquiries I get through my business come through Twitter. That’s free marketing, right there! It doesn’t get much better than that. The one thing to remember above all, is that it is a SOCIAL network. Don’t just go on there with the intention of selling services or pushing your music on people – that won’t be received well, and you’ll quickly gain a bad reputation.
As a musician, Twitter can be (when used correctly) one of the most powerful tools in your arsenal. Essentially the world is your oyster, and I’m living proof that you can create opportunities, make real and valuable connections, and further your career by using it.
Twitter is by far my favourite social network, and if you’re not already using it, then you should be! If you are already using it, and you’re not seeing results, then take a step back and look at what you’re doing. Like anything, there’s a learning curve but I would definitely say that it’s an incredibly valuable thing to master – once you do, the possibilities are endless. Go get them!
Take a listen to Madalyn Sklar’s “Work Smarter Not Harder” Podcast: 6 Simple Tips to Network Effectively on Twitter
click here to read accompanying blog post
About Ross Barber
Ross Barber is a web designer who specializes in design for bands and musicians. With his company Electric Kiwi, he has worked with many independent and unsigned artists to enhance their online presence.