“I met him on Twitter.”
That sentence has quickly become part of my everyday vocabulary. For me, Twitter started out as a way to meet people socially and keep up to date on local events and news. However, as I trolled through my timeline, I started to realize what an effective business tool Twitter can be. I wondered to myself many times how I might use this powerful social network to start the next chapter in my career.
Having an idea is easy. Bringing it to fruition is the difficult part. I had an idea for a business, but wasn’t sure how to start it. I had many questions and few answers. Research was key and I did my research on Twitter. The people I connected with on Twitter and the information and advice I acquired through them gave me the tools to take the next step.
One of the people who helped me the most was Jim Raffel.
I didn’t know much about Jim in the beginning. I didn’t really know what he did for a living or why he was flying all over the nation for speaking engagements. I didn’t even know that he ran a business out of his home.
I started interacting with Jim and his wife on Twitter because they were engaging. After months of 140-character conversations, I invited them to see some live music and I finally had the pleasure of meeting them in person. They were just as engaging in person as they are on Twitter.
What followed was many more months of dinners and in-person interactions at community events arranged on Twitter. During this time that we became friends, I learned more and more about Jim’s company, business philosophy and why people pay to hear him speak.
However, while I was learning from Jim, I never expected or even asked for the help and advice he provided. I certainly never expected he would hire me; but that’s exactly what happened.
Here’s the secret: I used Twitter as it was intended to be used. The key word in social network is social. I didn’t jump online and blindly ask my followers for help starting my business. I shared bits and pieces of my life and interests, built friendships and business relationships over time and took advantage of the many opportunities to meet those people in person.
That’s the history of how I met Jim. The future is my partnership with him and working with him to further develop and market his company ColorMetrix. One of my smaller tasks is serving as an editor for this blog.
My own business will focus on website design, social media marketing, graphic design and event planning. Jim is taking advantage of all of these services in some way.
I’m excited to be working with Jim and for ColorMetrix. We have some awesome things planned so please stay tuned. You’ll undoubtedly be hearing more from me.
About the Author: Shelby Sapusek has degrees in Journalism and Graphic Design from Ball State University. She followed that up with 17 years in graphic design for print media and writing/editing; 10 years in website design. You can find Shelby on Twitter: @ShelMKE or at home with her boyfriend and their 8-month-old puppy Zeke.