Lots of marketers (more than I ever expected!) seem to be fascinated with me, my daily routine, and how I live my life.
I am not.
That’s not fake humility either. It seems to me I’m an ordinary entrepreneur. I live an interesting (but not insanely interesting) life. I just happen to have the uncanny knack to synthesize oodles of information, spot the upcoming trends and pinpoint all of it with laser focus to grow businesses fast.
Still, it seems many online marketers have a tendency to “glorify” me. A few others seem to consider me the evil mastermind behind everything that’s bad in internet marketing.
Truth be told, I am not that amazing, nor that wicked.
But, people are curious about me and so I thought I would invite you to come along with me to an incredible web 2.0 event happening in Texas right now… SXSW.
I’m boarding our plane in a just a few minutes, but with Twitter (an incredibly popular Web 2.0 real-time messaging system for groups) you can get all the juicy details about this event, who I am talking to, and the real reason I am heading to Texas.
Odds are, you’re not using Twitter yet. Not because it’s not extremely popular… (It is)…but simply because it’s web 2.0 and the internet marketing community has shied away from all web 2.0 applications.
I was in the same boat last week. But my buddy Gary Vaynerchuck made me promise I would start using it – so here I am telling you about it. And it’s great timing too, because SXSW is something you should know about – and I am going to make it real easy for you.
Let’s start with Twitter and what it is…
Twitter is an online service that enables you to broadcast short messages to your friends, your posse, or any group you are a part of. It also lets you identify Twitter users you want to follow so you can read all their messages in one place.
Twitter is designed to work on a cell-phone or on a computer. (I’ve got it all set to go on my iphone, so I’ll be able to send you quick messages while attending the conference.)
All Twitter messages are limited to just 140 characters. You can’t say much in 140 characters, so you have to cut right to the chase. That’s part of Twitter’s appeal.
Twitter is useful for close-knit groups or an entire niche. If you follow your friends, and they follow each other, you can quickly communicate to the entire group meet ups like “let’s all meet at the bar after this presentation”, or relay some fast breaking news about a website, or something else.
Of course, just like everything else that’s part of the new web…Twitter is free.
So here’s how to get started…
Go to Twitter.com and click “Join for free.” Use your real name when signing up; otherwise friends won’t be able to find you. You should also upload a picture, so you don’t scream…I AM NEW TO ALL THIS or even worse I AM A MARKETER!
DO NOT select the “Protect my updates” box, because people won’t be able to read your Twitters unless you authorize them in advance. Trust me, it’ll be a lot more fun if you leave this box unchecked. Just be sure not to Twitter, “Leaving my car keys under the rear drivers side tire in the dolphin terminal level 4 at the fort Lauderdale airport…be back on Monday.”
Now, you have a Twitter account – so do a search for me. It’s easy to find me, just look for richschefren. In return, you’ll get the inside scoop of where the internet is heading and the biggest pockets of opportunity for the coming months. That’s the reason why I’m heading to Texas… and you’ll be right alongside me as I network, and get experts to share their biggest profit-building distinctions with us.
And if I lose you… remember it’s Web 2.0… it’s all interactive – so just throw your comments and questions right back – for me and everyone else to see.
Ok, back to twitter for a sec…your next move is share your username with your friends or better yet send them a direct link to your Twitter page. Yep, you are special now… because as a Twitter user you now have your very own page. It’s located right there on their site at twitter.com/username. (Example: my Twitter page is twitter.com/richschefren.)
If you are really ready to dive in to the social web…hook up your cell phone and IM account to your twitter account. Don’t worry – it’s easier than you think. All you have to do is (after you’ve registered) go to Settings then click on the link “Phone and IM”. It is a straightforward process from there on out.
You can also set up Twitter to send you a message every time a user who you are following has posted a Twitter message (under settings: Notices). While fun, it can lead to a massive time-suck if you really get immersed in Twitter and start following a bunch of people.
But, for this weekend you might want to give it a try (get a message every time I post) – because I am scanning the convention for all of us. The reason you will want it real-time this weekend is… you might want me to expand on what I just said or even ask a follow-up question on your behalf… but if you read it an hour or two later, the moment will have passed and most likely be gone forever.
After Monday though, I would strongly suggest you turn the automatic messages off, but turn on “direct text emails” so your friends can still reach you directly. This way when anyone sends you (and only you) a message you’ll be alerted on your phone or instant messaging account.
Since we are talking about interactivity… and you joining the conversation let’s wrap up this rather lengthy post by talking about how you can send me a message (a “Tweet” in the Twitter vernacular) or send a message to anyone else you know on the network.
Twitter makes it easy to participate – because you can tweet from any of the accounts or devices you’ve registered. So, during the day I’ll be tweeting you from my iphone, but in the evenings I’ll probably send you a final message from the laptop.
Here’s how you do it: from your cell phone, send a text message to 40404. Because of the magic of caller ID, Twitter will know it’s you and respond accordingly.
To tweet from your im account, message TwitterIM if you’re on AOL (I really hope you’re not on AOL, but that’s a whole other story), or email@example.com if you’re on Jabber or GTalk (google’s instant messenger).
No matter how you do it, all of your friends, followers, or fellow group members will see your message right there on their very own Twitter page, and on their cell phone too (if they chose that option).
Of course, there’s lots more to twitter, but this isn’t “Twitter For Dummies”, this is how you can get plugged in to the biggest Web 2.0 event right now – for free, and get your feet wet with Twitter in the process.
So, here’s what you need to do.
- Go to twitter.com and register for your free account.
- Register your cell phone (if you want to go along for the ride with me) just like I described it above.
- Then go to twitter.com/richschefren and click on the “Add” link in the “Actions” box.
- You’re done.
Whew… The plane’s leaving – I’ll have to upload this once we land. Let me know if you are using Twitter already, and what you think about getting to be my copilot this weekend.
If enough readers show their interest in this – I’ll have an even bigger surprise next week when I fly to Europe to do a special presentation for Eniro Telecommunications and their distinguished guests (Microsoft, Google, etc…). You’re going to love it.
To higher profits,