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How to Use Twitter as a Prospecting Tool

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You can use Twitter to get photography jobs. There – I said it. It’s that simple. You can. How do I know? I’ve done it. You can too. It’s just like panning for gold though. You might have to bend your knees and spend some time working at it. If you expect it to come easy, keep moving. There’s nothing for you to see here. But if you’re willing to do hard work, Twitter might just be a way that you can score lots of photography business. Here’s how.

Search

Yep, search is the big deal for photographers who want to get business from Twitter. Yes, you can direct sell via Tweets on Twitter. I’ve done that too. But a better long-term strategy is to prospect for serious business.

Let’s say you’re a wedding photographer in Tacoma, WA. Go to http://search.twitter.com/ – this is a website that lets you search Twitter. Now, type in:

Wedding near:98401 within:100km

NOTE: The operators that define the search must be typed in exactly as shown. The (:) follows the words near and within without a space as does the parameter (zip/postal code) and distance (km or mi in lower case letters.)

You must type in the sequence exactly as shown above. Also note the screen shot at the top of the post to see what this looks like.

If you do type in that search in real time, the results will obviously be different than when I did it, but right away you should see how this might yield a prospect. The first response comes from someone who has a question about wedding announcements. As a professional wedding photographer, you should know or be able to find the answer. Simply Tweet back a reply with the answer and you’re done. No need to say “Oh and by the way I’m a wedding photographer if you need one.” Instead, you’ll rely on the link in your profile or your properly chosen Twitter handle, i.e., TacomaWeddingShooter, etc., to get that message across. If your answer to their question is a good one, you will have earned a click on your profile, and if they still need a wedding photographer, you’ll get your portfolio looked at – i.e., you have a prospect.

See how simple that was?

You can apply this technique to many kinds of photography in any area of North America. Simply type in the subject that you find relevant to the type of photography you want to do and the postal or zip code along with a geographic limit – such as 100KM, depending on how far out you want to reach, and you’re done.

Here’s another example. If you want to photograph events such as little league soccer, find out the name of the league (or a local team if you really want to drill down,) and make that the subject of your search, narrow the geo area to 20KM and type‚Ķ

soccer near:98401 within:20km

You’ll get all sorts of real-time results. Mine those results and see if there isn’t a way you can find out how to connect with some of the folks on Twitter who are talking about little league soccer in your area. These are your prospects. And you found them for free. If you can find a creative way to reach out to them; say in the case of the soccer team, you built a free newsletter or blog of interest to local soccer players, populated with your soccer photos of course – you should be able to generate some interest for your soccer photo business.

This post is intended to be both instructive and inspirational. Don’t get too caught up in the specifics. Think about the concept. Learn to use Twitter’s search feature well. Remember that the sky is the limit on what you can search for. Use your imagination. See what you can come up with. It very well may lead to new business. It did for me.

Written by scottbourne

May 13, 2010 at 7:29 am

Posted in Marketing

Tagged with ,