Friday, November 5, 2010

Tweet for Me

Social Media Tip: Find an Urban Intern to help you with Twitter.

Maybe you’re already tweeting like crazy. Or maybe you think the concept of Twitter is crazy. Ether way, you know that 100 million plus Twitter users can’t be wrong, and now you want an Urban Intern’s help with managing your tweets. Here’s a checklist of a few easy items that an Urban Interns can help you with.

Set a Schedule – Because Twitter makes updates in real time, the more you tweet, the more often you’ll appear at the top of your followers updates. To stay relevant and on your followers’ pages think about how often you’d like to tweet. Set-up a tweet schedule and stick to it!

Add Apps – You may want to tweet ten times a day but who has the time? Instead, why not ask your Urban Intern to use a Twitter application to easily manage your account. Our favorite app is Hoot Suite. Create an account so tweets can be scheduled in advance. Automatic direct messages can also be set-up when your account has a new follower.

Find Some Interesting Folks to Follow – Now that you’re set-up, it’s time to start finding some key people to “follow”. Presumably these are folks who are notable in your industry, are always in the know, or maybe are just funny! How do you locate them? First, search Twitter for industry keywords and leaders. Next, check out their followers to find other people you’d like to hear from. Speed up the process by using Twellow, a Twitter app, that allow you to find other users based on similar interests.

Tweet Types - With each tweet, you’re limited to 140 characters, but you’re not limited by the types of tweets you can send to your followers! Here are some tweet ideas to get you started:

Updates: Let everyone know what's going on in your business. Is registration open for your new class? Did you just get in new inventory? Check out @marieforleo for more ideas.

Retweets: Use the retweet button to pass along messages that you like. Don’t forget to retweet our posts that you find helpful @UrbanInterns.

Blog Posts: Let everyone know that your blog has been updated, just like Chris Brogan, a master of social media, @ChrisBrogan does.

Customer Service: Answer your customers’ questions in real time using Twitter. No matter what size your business you can answer followers questions or troublshoot problems. @ComcastCares has this technique mastered on a large scale, but it can work for any size business.

Multimedia: You can show your followers photos and videos that you’ve taken using applications. Looking for inspiration? Businesswoman and trendsetter Tory Burch is always posting photos to her followers @ToryBurch. Use applications like Twit Pic to send your photos.

Lots has been written about twitter and strategies for effectively leveraging it as a business tool. If it seems like it’s too time consuming for you (or simply not you’re interest), you’re in luck! There are tons of people out there who love Twitter (especially on Urban Interns) and would really love to call Twitter Time a job!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Insider Tips for Finding a Great Freelancer

Hiring a freelancer for the first time is a big step for your business. You probably have a big project on deck, perhaps even something that’s mission critical, and you’re bringing someone on to get it DONE! Even more importantly you’re trusting that it will be done right. So how do you find that perfect person to work with you and your team? Read below for a few tips!

1. Shop Around – Even if you do strike gold with the first person you meet, keep looking around. Trust us, you’ll be happy you did. Why? Not only will you be that much more confident in your selection, but you never know when you’ll need some extra hands and want to pull back out the contact information of the runner-ups.

2. Play with the Pros – Experienced freelancers are business owners, too. They are responsible for managing projects with multiple people and trying to lure new clients. An experienced freelancer should be familiar with independent contractor forms and should ask you to sign a contract with payment terms and conditions along with the scope of the project. Pros also have credentials – whether it be an impressive portfolio or membership in professional associations, your freelancer should look quite nice on paper. His experience might cost more, but in the end – it’s worth your time and effort to find a professional who means business.

3. Reach Out to References – Professionals will also have previous clients that you can reach out to as references. When you’re working with an experienced freelancer, you’ll be paying for her expertise, but you’ll also be paying the credibility she has built up over time. Get in touch with your freelancer’s past clients. She’ll obviously recommend people who were pleased with her work, so ask more informative questions. What the process was like from start to finish? Are they’re things that they wish they had done differently? Learn from other peoples past experiences.

4. Simplify and Clarify – Before any contracts are signed, determine exactly what work needs to be completed, your budget for the project and your expectations in terms of communication and timelines. The more precise your expectations, the more likely your freelancer will meet them.

It's true- finding a great freelancer can take time. But in the end, when you're working with someone great, you won't be sorry!