Twitter: Confessions of an (Awkward) Entrepreneur Finding Their Way

Feb 11, 2010, Written by Sue Miley

It has probably been a year and a half since I set up accounts on twitter. Maybe a little longer but I have only been actively trying to figure it out for about a year now. There are so many experts on social media that I have really been hesitant to write about it as I am in no league with the true gurus. However, week after week I meet with my clients, Christian small business owners, and find that they are not utilizing twitter and are not aware of the value it could bring to their business. Instead of writing from an expert view, I will share my journey delving into the twitter world.

In the beginning….

I was lost in the beginning and this can be a dangerous thing because as you learn it is quite public. Even if you start with few friends and some followers, they still have to live with your mistakes and I made many. (Which is why I am writing this – hopefully you can avoid some!)

The Biggest Mistake I made in Month 1 of Twitter:

Finding people to follow – I didn’t know where to start, but people seemed to find me. It seemed like all the people who found me were the ones who didn’t know what they were doing either. They were finding me through these crazy aps that said things like “Get 300 followers per day by getting on the Twitter Train” or “Learn how I found 1000’s of followers in 30 days”. I don’t remember which one I tried but it attached to my account and sent out these random tweets like 10 times a day from my account with these statements. People who were legitimately following me started sending me what I call “hate tweets”. Like I was doing it on purpose or something!

It took me probably a month to figure out the only way to stop this “TRAIN” is to change your password! That was it. One of my true friends shared that tidbit with me thankfully because I was sending out apology tweets and ready to disable the whole thing because I was embarrassed. All my twitter account was doing was screaming “AMATEUR, NOVICE, IDIOT!!!!!” For a conservative person like myself, who was trying to even get used to being out their in the virtual world, this was not working.

MISTAKE #1 YOU CAN AVOID: Do not sign-up for any automatic or quick way to get or find followers. Even if you do get some followers, they are not targeted and real relationship isn’t built on automation anyway!

TIP #1: If you do make a stupid mistake and sign-up for something that turns into your worst nightmare, change your password. It will stop immediately. Thank you Lord!

I don’t want to end this on a negative because you may never try twitter. I did have a huge benefit in Month 1.

My First Business Benefit of Using Twitter

I receive some ezines and I read some blogs of internet marketers and coaching trainers. I found a few of these experts whom I trust on twitter. I looked through their lists of people they followed and found a few more experts. I started with the experts on social media. How did I know they were experts?

  • More than one person I respected was following them.
  • I could peruse their tweets and they were sharing information not trying to sign me up for the Twitter Train.
  • I went to their websites and saw that they had published books or had a significant blog presence on the topics.
  • Many had free special reports or white pages on using twitter or social media.

From these experts, I learned. And I learned quickly. What a relief to avoid some of the mistakes and to not have to reinvent the wheel!

I learned that:

  • Automated DM’s do not build relationships!
  • I learned that I don’t have to come up with original 140 character comments all on my own. That it is a positive to retweet other people’s content that you like. It is good to answer other people’s questions. It is a great place to share with others the people you have found to follow that add value or the blogs that you have read that have been useful or entertaining to you.
  • Twitter is a hub of information and education and if used appropriately can become an “educational tool” for you on almost any topic.

Month 1 Learning – Use twitter initially to learn about topics that will help you. If you are a Christian small business owner like myself, follow business coaches, christian leaders, select internet marketers, to learn about how to solve your business problems, grow your business, or grow your knowledge that later you may be able to share with others!

This is the first post to share my journey into the virtual world of Twitter. I am writing this to help others to navigate their entrance into social media with more ease, more value, and less mistakes than I did. If you have questions or want to share your concerns, please comment. I am sure I had the question or made the mistake and will be glad to share back in future posts to help others have a shorter path to getting the HUGE VALUE that is available on Twitter! What are your concerns???

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Sue Miley

Sue Miley MBA, MA, LPC helps small business owners build successful businesses on a foundation of Christian values. After 20 years in business, and 10 years as a Christian counselor, Sue uses a combination of faith, business and psychology to help clients in business and in life.

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