“Tweeter” Extraordinaire, Nicky Lavigne, uses Twitter to communicate to potential clients and to stay in touch with current clients. She has been generating leads through her tweets, and having a blast while doing it! Read what she has to say…
IHCA: You have been successfully using Twitter to book health histories and eventually turning those prospects into clients. Can you tell us about your most recent or most exciting lead from twitter?
NL: My most recent Twitter lead was born from me tweeting pictures of my juices and smoothies. I am asked about them every time I tweet one. A couple of weeks ago, I struck up a conversation with a Tweep (person who’s on Twitter). She was lamenting the fact that she has two kids and no time for her own health preservation…even though it’s imperative that she stays healthy as her husband has issues. I made a time for us to Skype (how I love modern technology), and last week, I saw her for her initial health history consult.
The most exciting lead, so far, has actually been from Facebook. Again, it was someone who keeps seeing my food pictures. She is an old family friend whose husband is now a famous movie director. She doesn’t need to do my six-month program, but wants help with food preparation.
IHCA: Now, for those of us who are still foreign to Twitter, can you give us a really general explanation of what it is and why you use it.
Twitter is a great social networking tool that lets you connect with anyone following you. [Your tweets will show up on their home page feed]. Each tweet only allows 140 characters, so you have to learn to convey your message in a short, informative way.
I have two accounts, personal and business. Originally I wanted to keep them separate, but I’m not good with checking which account I tweet from and occasionally it’s the wrong one! There’s never any harm done, but I do need to be more mindful…and professional.
I use Twitter because it’s an instant way to get a message out. It’s like instant messaging hundreds (or thousands, depending on your follower count) of people at once and they can respond to you immediately. You can have a “conversation” with one, or more Tweeps [by including their handle in the tweet, ex: @IHCAssociation] and others can join in, or leave when they want to. Also, they can be anywhere in the world. You can keep adding new @ names to the tweet, but the more you add, the less space you have to say anything because you only have 140 characters, which include @s.
You tend to find like-minded people on Twitter. I joined Twitter when I moved back to Australia from the US and was feeling very lost. I started by following a couple of celebrities and some friends who were already using it. I then began following friends of my friends and got the hang of it. Not long after, I “unfollowed” (a Twitter term) the celebrities because I wanted people to interact with.
Since starting The Sublime You, my health coaching business, I’ve used Twitter to network, to share my blog posts and to post photos of the food I make. My clients will also tweet about their progress, which is a great advertisement for me.
I’ve also actually made quite a few (real) friends from Twitter.
IHCA: How often do you tweet and what kinds of things do you tweet?
NL: I tweet EVERY DAY! I’m lucky to live by the beach so I post a sunrise photo most mornings. I also catch up with my friends and, as I mentioned above, post a picture of my breakfast juice or smoothie. With iphones, ipads, etc, Twitter is always with me!
IHCA: What kinds of questions and responses do you get to your tweets?
NL: The time of year dictates the conversations. If we’re going into summer I’ll ask my followers if they think they’re bikini ready, and going into winter I’ll ask something like, “Are you prepared with healthy holiday recipes?” Holidays are always about cutting back on sugar. It makes people ask what I do and what it involves. I get them to look at doing a health history with me. Occasionally, I’ll get someone who’s a complete skeptic, but that happens in every field.
IHCA: Now, we have some technical questions. How do you go about getting more followers? Do you have any tips and techniques?
NL: You get more followers by interacting with the people who are following you. What happens for example, is that if you are following someone who follows XX, and that person that you follow tweets @XX, then you will see that tweet and you will see XX show up in that tweet with a link to their home page. So…sometimes I read a tweet like that and want to know more about the other person (XX), so I go into their bio and also scroll through their timeline (all their recent tweets)…you don’t have to follow someone to be able to do this. Then, if they seem interesting to me, or we have a lot of followers in common, I’ll follow them. So, one trick to getting more followers is to engage other users so that they will tweet @your handle (the twitter term for your username), thus sharing your link to your homepage with all their followers.
I respond when anyone includes me [my handle] in a tweet. In person, I am exactly as I am behind my screen. I’ve found some people are not, but you either like my candidness, or you don’t.
IHCA: Can you explain what direct messaging is and what are the ways it can benefit a health coach using twitter?
NL: Direct messaging (DM) is a private message that no one else is able to see, between two Tweeps. In my business, I use it when someone seems interested in taking the next step of booking a health history. I can get their details from them and give them any additional information. Also, if someone wants to privately share something going on in their lives with me that we could address in their counseling sessions, they will DM me.
IHCA: Can you give us some other tips and tricks for being successful with twitter?
NL: Be yourself. Don’t just post links; you have to interact.
IHCA: What words of wisdom do you have for someone who is just getting started with twitter?
NL: Follow people you know and have them get you followers. Learn to get your message out in 140 characters. It’s not easy at first, but once you get the hang of it, you wonder how you lived using so.many.words!!!
If you have questions about social networking or anything business or health coach-related, join us for our Business Q&A Session on May 8th at 9pm EST! Sign up here.
Nicky Lavigne is a Certified Holistic Health Coach living in Sydney, Australia. After being told by a naturopath that she had stomach candida, she began learning and experimenting with how different foods reacted differently in her body. She is now doing great and loving life by the ocean. Currently, Nicky is building a successful health coaching practice and having a blast sharing her delicious food ideas and health wisdom with clients and friends. Nicky’s personal blog is thesublimeyou.blogspot.com and her personal website is thesublimeyou.com
Nicky can be contacted directly at email@example.com or on twitter at https://twitter.com/#!/Nicky_Lavigne