Want to know the secret to following 7077 people on Twitter?

I love Twitter! I’ve been using Twitter since 2006, back when everything you said got a response from someone, and there were no automated direct messages, and no spammers trying to get you to click their links and buy their junk.

Over the past few years, a lot of people have started following me. A lot of interesting people have started following me. Many of these are people who add value to my life, and thus to the lives of my readers. And many new interesting people have joined Twitter, so I’ve started following them. I used to think I couldn’t follow them all, so I kept my follower count down low. Has that ever happened to you, where you’ve felt you couldn’t possibly follow even 1 more person, or you’d never be able to keep up with it all?

I’ve got a secret for you: You can’t! That’s right – you can’t! You can’t possibly keep up with 2000, 5000, or 7077 people on Twitter.

At least not without help.

No, I’m not saying hire a virtual assistant to read you your Tweets. I am saying you need a better system for using Twitter. And it starts right here.

Getting Started Following 7077 People on Twitter

Before you begin, write down or type up a list of all the types of people you want to connect with on Twitter. My people include Milwaukee people, Chicago people, social media people, authors, speakers, and small business owners, to name a few. It’s important you make this list FIRST, and you’ll see why in a moment.

Next, go to Twitter.com and create some Twitter lists for these buckets. You’ll find the lists feature underneath the gear in the upper right corner of Twitter.com.

twitter listsOnce you click the Lists link, you’ll see a screen that says Create List. Make a list for each of these lists. It’s up to you whether you make the lists public or private.

creating twitter listsNow every time you follow someone new on Twitter, think about why you’re following them. Do they fit into one of these lists? If not, take a deep breath and ask yourself “Why am I following this person?” If they’re a truly interesting person who deserves to be followed, create a new Twitter list called Interesting People and add them there.

Then, when you have time on a snowy Sunday afternoon when nothing else is going on, go back and fit all the people you’re already following into one of these Twitter lists.

Just adding people to a Twitter List is not enough

Good work! Now you’ve created your lists. Now what?

Every time you use Twitter, limit yourself to looking at only the list you wanted to look at. Set a timer for 10 minutes, 20 minutes, whatever time you have, and get your work done. Don’t let yourself drift off into “playing” on Twitter when you have other work to do. Focus your attention on the one bucket, and work on that and only that bucket for the time you have. Repeat as needed for the other buckets so they all get your attention.

One last thing about Twitter lists

Remember  that bucket of interesting people you just HAD to create? After 30 days, try to think about how many times you’ve actually looked at that bucket. Was it often enough that you need to keep that list? Was it profitable for you, or did it provide the break you needed to be even more productive? Or was it just a time suck, a distraction from doing your real work?

So that’s the secret to following 7077 people on Twitter. Create some Twitter lists. Add everyone you follow to the lists. Be disciplined enough to only look at those lists.

What’s YOUR secret for using Twitter? Please leave a comment below!

Increase Productivity with IQTell

How many of us social space professionals are constantly searching for a way to increase our productivity in this fast paced world we live in. There never seems to be enough time to completely get everything done without getting up early and staying up late. Well I can say that I have found a tool (app) that has greatly increased my productivity, and made my life much more organized. Let me say that I have used numerous different time management tools in the past, but this one really seems to go beyond the time management, virtual assistant role. Let me introduce….


IQTell the Beta…and Beyond

A while back (maybe a year ago) I was invited via Twitter to check out IQTell. At that time the IQTell team was having issues getting things to work. But over time, it became clear that the IQTell team stuck with it, and now have a worthy, well thought out product. IQTell goes way beyond integrating email, tasks and calendars etc, which it does well:

  • One feature I love is that ALL my emails come together under IQTell, as do my calendars and integrate nicely with my tasks etc.
  • It works closely with Google, as well as Evernote, which is a big plus for me. Love my Evernote….
  • One of the outstanding features is the “actionable” tab within the email space. With any email you can apply an “action” such as link to a reminder for a phone call return, calendar event, task, existing project etc. It really does keep that old email inbox from getting out of hand.
  • To make things even more awesome, I can link Evernote entries to my tasks within IQTell. For example, I use Evernote to keep blog notes, I have three separate Notes for each of my three blogs. I put notes and blog ideas in my Evernote folders which are accessable from any of my devices. I have a Note “Steamfeed” and when I had the idea for this blog, I placed it through Evernote neatly into the my Steamfeed “to do” task. In fact you can quickly and easily place emails, phone numbers, Evernotes, and more into any task as they come to you.

One of the added advantages of using IQTell is that they send IQTell tips each week. There is so much that this app does that it is impossible to get a handle on it all at once. Like most things awesome, it takes time. I keep the weekly tips in a folder and refer back to them often. I have a growing manual and user guide at my fingertips. I have to admit that the team at IQTell is pretty impressive as well, rarely do you have to wait for a response, and rarely do they not fix any issues on the first run. Come to think of it, rarely have I had an issue.

I DO hesitate to call IQTell a time management, or virtual assistant app simply because it does so much more. I DO invite you all to give it a whirl, I am still finding things that it will do to make me much more organized, and productive, which gives me more time for a life….oh and I did I mention…. IT’S FREE….

Are there other time management/productivity apps you would recommend checking out? Please leave a comment below!

I’m A Quitter And Darned Proud Of It!

Never give up. NEVER, EVER!
The Customer is ALWAYS right.
Remove Can’t From Your Vocabulary.

All three of the statements above? A bunch of hooey. Pretty and pretentious nonsense that has a negative impact on the way you do business and earn a living, as well as a sound and savvy reputation.

Do you have clients that:

  • Send you everything at the last possible second while still expecting you to meet a deadline?
  • Constantly tell you how busy “they” are in an attempt to excuse the fact that they dropped the ball?
  • Belittle your skills and expertise by repeatedly requesting discounts and price cuts?
  • Tell you the check is “in the mail” every month, without fail – but it still takes several weeks for the payment to travel across town?

busyIf you have clients that engage in any of the behaviors detailed above it’s time to create a plan to replace them with alacrity and fire them with the same speed. They certainly don’t appreciate you and they are not the types of clients that will refer you to others within their networks – unless it’s others as clueless and difficult to work with as themselves.

Is there anything worse than working on a project that takes up too much of your time for too little return on investment? In these situations, telling a potential client that you can’t take on the project is better for both of you. You don’t  feel pressured, rushed and overwrought and the client doesn’t get work completed with less than 100% care, commitment and zeal.

And, please, don’t get me started on the entrepreneur that says he or she CAN do ANYTHING. Design a custom WordPress theme and database? Absolutely! Ahem…never once mentioning that they’ve never designed a site in anything other than Microsoft Front Page. YIKES!

Fess up! We all have limitations, strengths and weaknesses and things we just flat out can’t do. Pithy platitudes don’t change that fact and the negative impact on your bottom line and your reputation can be nearly impossible to fix.

Honesty rules the day here, not ridiculous cheerleader chants. Be true to yourself by knowing and understanding your capabilities and your liabilities. Doing so ensures you are true to your clients.