When I set up my Twitter account a few years ago, I had no idea it would potentially bring me exciting projects to work on.
Now I’ve heard people going on about the power of social media, and statements to that effect. And I’ve experienced it to some degree.
But, I never imagined it would go further than that.
So, when I received an email recently from a television producer here in the UK, I certainly didn’t think she found out about me via my Twitter profile.
In fact, I initially laughed out loud when I read the email.
Not because I didn’t like what I read, but it just seemed a bit unreal at that point.
Basically, this company make pretty big shows. I had put in here what they are, but I’ve removed them for professional reasons.
I’m obviously not at liberty to go into specifics about the show I was contacted about, but needless to say, it’s an exciting opportunity for a dietitian to be involved in mainstream media.
Anyway, following this email, I got in touch with the producer to chat with her about the possibility of doing this TV show, and to get more details about what it involved.
You’ll see from my title, however, that I said Twitter “almost” got me a job. So what happened?
Well, it’s basically a timing issue. I simply cannot work with their schedule, due to another little piece of news which will be revealed all in good time.
Too curious to wait?
Well let’s put it this way. My husband is partially to blame! I say no more.
I hung up the phone with a mixture of feelings.
Elated to even be considered for such an opportunity, but a little sad that it had been snatched away so suddenly.
Anyway, back to the story…
During the course of my conversation with the producer, I was curious about how she came across me. I have a faithful number of followers, but I’m hardly someone with celebrity status.
So, I asked her where she found out about me, and to my surprise she had simply searched on Twitter (not Google) for Dietitians in the UK.
I was pretty stunned! I never imagined something that big could come from simply being present on Twitter.
If she had said she found out about me on my website, or my LinkedIn profile, or one of the websites I write for, like Health Central. Or, even those I have written for in the past, such as Diet Blog, or Zen Family Habits, then I wouldn’t have been that surprised.
But I didn’t expect her to say Twitter was the source.
So there you have it. That’s how a simple little Twitter account almost landed me one of the most interesting projects of my career thus far.
Lessons for you…
People are talking, connecting and paying attention, via social media sites to what is being said. And, as we’ve seen, they’re also looking for potential partners, clients, and employees.
Those of us who stay active on these sites know very well there are plenty of naysayers out there who simply cannot wrap their heads around why people would “waste” their valuable business time on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, etc. with a slew of updates, photos, random thoughts, and whatever else.
Let them think what they think. It only takes one opportunity like this to prove them wrong.
To leave them sitting in their scepticism while you pursue greater things.
Want to get started on Twitter, Facebook, or some other social media site? Here’s what to do:
1. Present yourself as a professional — Don’t simply be John Smith. Be John Smith the Web Developer, or Joe Bloggs the Fashion Consultant, or [insert politian name] the Yellow-Bellied Liar.
2. But be approachable — Refuse the temptation to only add professional info. Be human. Are you a mom? Engage in a particular sport? Have a weird talent? Add a handful of things like this, too. It makes you appear less clinical, and thus more approachable.
3. Contribute regularly — You don’t have to be on it every minute of the day. You don’t need to have the app and annoy people every five minutes from your iPhone. It appears narcissistic. You’re not that important, and what you do say just becomes noise when you do this.
4. Give more than you take — Like all things in life, you’ll be more rewarded by giving than taking. Forward other peoples links. Return messages. People will like you more and give more in return to you if you do this. It’s a basic principle of human psychology. We like those who have time for us.
So there it is, my personal experience of using social media, and how beneficial has been for me (so far).