At the recent How To Create a Successful and Profitable Training Business Workshop there was a lot of discussion amongst the delegates about social networking and Twitter in particular. As I’m a big fan of Twitter myself I was actually quite surprised at the amount of cynicism in the room – quite a few people said that it was a waste of time, you could spend all day tweeting and you still wouldn’t get any business from it. I’ve also noticed that there are so many people in my network of freelance trainers who are still not using Twitter. Where are you all?

For those that say it does nothing for their business, I would argue that it depends on how you look at it. If you go to a face to face networking event and get talking to someone, and give them your business card the chances of them ringing you up the next day and saying ‘Hey, come in and run this management development programme for me next week’ are practically nil. It’s just not going to happen. People only do business with you once they know, like and trust you – and that process takes time.

The same principle applies to social networking – it does take time and it does take effort – but one of the main benefits of Twitter is that you can build relationships and get known for what you do far quicker than you could do through off line mediums. Through Twitter I have built up some fantastic relationships with about 20 people (this is different to followers of whch I have 1800 or so). These are people who I have got to know well, I like them,I trust them and we are actively helping and supporting each other in our businesses. And yes, I have got work through Twitter and so have they as I have been able to pass pieces of work to people that I haven’t been able to do myself.

So,you really can’t afford to ignore Twitter or other social networking mediums. They are here to stay. Use them and make them part of your marketing mix.

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