Finding Value in Twitter as a Freelancer

Yesterday I wrote about the value of Twitter on a personal level. While I don't place much value on my personal Twitter account, I have found that having a seperate social media presence can let me split my time online and have that time spent in a more focused way.

I operate as a sole trader in the UK which means I trade as a business under my own name. It also means that I can use a trading name for my freelancing work. The added benefit to this is that I can give myself a corner of the web dedicated to that aspect of my life. I could publish technical articles under my own name and on my own personal blog but as I already blog on a frequent basis on other topics then I would end up two different audiences on the one blog. To keep them separate I decided to start a separate blog for my web development writing.

This year I decided to apply the same tactic on Twitter and so I created a new account (@digitalbothy) for my freelancing business. The idea behind this is to act as a social media funnel for the web development blog I mentioned above to be able to found on at least one social media network. As I’m already on Twitter it made sense to start there.

There’s another benefit to this. Lately I’ve been trying to limit the amount of people I follow on Twitter, but it seems that no matter what I do I end up with more people on the list that I would like. Fear of missing out syndrome is hard though, and even though I unfollowed most of the occasional tweeters there’s too many people to follow.

Instead of cramming all these people under one account, why not bump the web developers, freelancers and other people that mainly tweet about this topic over to my Digitalbothy account? So that’s what I did. I started following most people related to web development and programming from my freelancing account and unfollowed them on my personal account.

Having two accounts running side by side isn’t much harder to manage than having two lists under the same account. In fact I would say that it’s probably easier.

Tweetbot’s multi-column feature on OS X means that I can see both timelines through the day when I’m working. As a rule I don’t check my freelancing account out with my usual business hours. If I’m checking Tweetbot on my phone it only has my personal account on it which removes the temptation to check on work related topics when I’m not at home.

I might not place much value on my own personal account, but at least now I have a place for the work aspect of my life online and it's another way that I can be found by prospective clients.