There were so many lessons I learnt from the Problogger training event last weekend, and my mind has been spinning with ideas all week.
During one of the panels, which featured Nikki from Styling You, Eden from Edenland, Mrs Woog of Woogsworld and Lorraine Murphy of The Remarkables there was a discussion about working with brands. This is of great interest to me, because I am not ashamed to say the dirty M word in relation either of my two blogs: Monetization.
To be honest, I’m not sure why the concept of making money from blogs is frowned upon. I understand there are people who blog for different reasons and have no interest in the commercial aspect of this industry (yes, it is an industry) but there are also many people who have built a successful business out of blogging. I spend a lot of time on both of my blogs, and see it as a logical place to make some money. I wouldn’t spend time on any of my other businesses and expect no return. It makes no sense for me to take so much time away from my family unless there is going to be some return.
I’ve been doing this for 12 months now, and over that time, I’ve had a few wonderful opportunities to work with different brands. My ambassadorship with Garnier would be the biggest connection I’ve made, and it has been so much fun! Now it’s time to expand that reach and look toward other opportunities.
So the question was raised: how can bloggers get on the radar of brands?
There are many ways to do this, but a common response from many of the speakers over the 2 day Problogger event was via twitter. Brands, PR companies and bloggers alike can start a conversation and create a connection via tweets.
I’ll put my hand up and say that I’m a big fan of twitter. I was late to the game, as I feared it as a fast-paced medium. There were so many conversations going on and it all felt overwhelming.
Then I jumped in feet first and joined the conversation.
That is the key: you have to JOIN the conversations, start new ones and respond to others who tweet you.
I saw a tweet the other day where one tweeter was asking another why they hadn’t followed them back? I could relate to this, as there are some people who I can’t seem to engage with. I watch their tweets every day, see the conversations going on…but that’s simply not enough!
I wasn’t engaging with these people. How on earth could they know I’m there if I wasn’t joining in the conversation?
It’s all very well and good to follow people, but you have to chat with them to let them know you’re there. Engage them and let them know you have something to bring to the table. Sitting on the sidelines on twitter will not bring brands knocking at your door.
So today, I’m bringing you my 7 tips for engaging on twitter:
- Speak up: let others know you’re there. Unless someone is following you, or they see your twitter handle in a conversation on their tweet stream they have no way of knowing you’re there.
- Look at who others are following: a great way to find the PR’s and brands is ask other blogs who are in your niche. Have a look at who they’re following and follow them yourself.
- Search for hashtags to help people answer questions: for example, my other blog is about a tourist town. I find people on twitter who are asking questions about the area and answer them, thus generating an engaged conversation.
- Don’t be afraid: it’s really easy on twitter to feel like you’ve walked into a party and everyone already knows one another. It may seem that way, but the only way they’ll get to know you is if you join in.
- If you already have an engaged community on Facebook, let them know your twitter handle and ask theirs in return. Once again, telling people where you are lets them know.
- Be aware of your brand: your blog is a brand of its own and you may want to consider having a personal twitter account as well as a blog/brand one. If you tweet something to a friend that could be controversial, brands will see that too.
- Separate your voice depending on your audience: tweets are limited to 140 characters and need to be short and sweet. Sometimes that means using abbreviations and acronyms which is simply not necessary over on Facebook. They are two different mediums with two different audiences. You may have some people who follow you on both, but it’s important to remember the difference between the two.
Twitter is such a cost-effective way to market your business and it can also be a lot of fun. I’ve made some wonderful connections with businesses and individuals which have been fruitful both professionally and personally. Jump in feet first and join the conversation. You’ll be glad you did!
You can find me on twitter at @workingwomenaus . Leave your handle below so I can connect with you