Trying to market yourself on Twitter can be tricky. Being a pushy salesperson, while never popular anywhere, is strictly taboo in Social Media. So how do you engage potential prospects while avoiding the appearance of a door to door vacuum salesperson?

I recently had an interaction with Kat from who negotiated the art brilliantly. I had tweeted how difficult a 2 mile run for me had been in spite of running a mini-marathon just 5 months ago. She responded to me with encouragement and some advice. I was told to take things slow, but to remember that I will attain fitness faster because of my prior running.

As I don’t know this person, I was inclined to look her up on Twitter to see what she was about. Her bio mentioned that she had completed 5 marathons and she also made “moisture wicking headbands.” Since my most recent run was in 94 degree heat and I am fond of headbands, I now found myself as an interested prospect.

Not once has she offered to sell me anything, but here I am as a potential buyer. So what did she do right that we can learn about as we navigate the roads in Twitter?

  • Search. She obviously had a twitter client, like CoTweet, where she was searching for keywords like “running.” This helps you identify a group with interests in your product.
  • She offered Value. She not only gave me some friendly advice, to adapt to things slowly, but she also offered me encouragement. You can trace those lessons back to “How to Win Friends and Influence People” as classic relationship management.
  • She had a great bio. Her bio told me a little bit about herself in that she was a runner. It also clearly defined to me what she specifically offered as a product or service including a website link.

Much of the advice available in the realm of social media is pointed towards telling us what not to do. While those lessons can certainly help us avoid some challenges, it doesn’t give us clarity on what we can do. I am thankful for this experience and I will definitely add this to my “rules of engagement” on Twitter.


Todays guest post was written by Brian Richardson has 19 years of sales and management experience and is a sales trainer at ExactTarget.  Follow him at B__Richardson (that is two underscores) and check out his Twitter bio for hobbies and interests.