In 2014 I published an article called “Using Social Media to Enhance Career Development Opportunities for Health Promotion Professionals” in the Journal Health Promotion Practice. I have joked that the article is a love letter to Twitter, which has substantially enhanced my career and professional network since I first joined almost 10 years ago!
One career development strategy I discuss in the article is participation in Twitter chats, which are facilitated discussions on a focused topic. Participants use a specific hashtag (e.g., #publichealth) in their tweets so that fellow participants can see their responses and they can be included in the larger conversation. These chats promote networking, provide the opportunity to establish yourself as an expert in your niche, and initiate conversations on historic or timely topics.
Here are a few regular chats for consultants or freelancers that I highly recommend:
This chat focuses on tips and tricks for running a successful freelance business. It is appropriate for professionals in any industry.
Schedule: Every Thursday at noon ET (Use hashtag: #FreelanceChat)
Host: Michelle Garrett (Find her on Twitter @PRisUs) Michelle is a freelance writer and PR consultant.
Recent chat topics include: word of mouth marketing, website tips and advice, and working with subcontractors
This is a Twitter chat for solopreneurs and freelancers. Learn key strategies for running a successful solo business. It is appropriate for professionals in any industry.
Schedule: Every Wednesday at 4pm ET (Use hashtag: #SoloBizChat)
Host: MeetEdgar (Find them on Twitter @MeetEdgar) MeetEdgar founder and CEO Laura Roeder created the app to stop social media updates from going to waste.
Recent chat topics include: testing your social media strategy/content, conducting a social media audit, and building an online community for your business
This is a brand new Twitter chat book club! Books selected are in the areas of business development, personal development and leadership. The goal is to foster relationships between consultants, freelancers and other small business owners.
Schedule: Last Tuesday of every month at 11am ET (Use hashtag: #ConsultantsRead)
Host: Amy Schlotthauer, MPH (Find her on Twitter @AES_Consult) Amy is the President and Owner of AES Consulting Firm and brings expertise in data, evaluation and facilitation to cross-sector groups to solve complex health problems.
First chat and topic: Tuesday, July 30, 2019. Book: Joyful by Ingrid Fetell Lee
Public health professionals have a wide variety of regular chats to choose from based on their topic interests (e.g., mental health) and need to build business skills.
In addition to regular chats, be sure to participate in public health chats on special topics or for annual events. For example, the American Public Health Association (APHA) hosts a Twitter chat for National Public Health Week (#NPHWchat). In April 2019 that chat had over 4,000 tweets from 700+ participants! The chat was trending nationwide so you can imagine the great opportunity it offered for networking and identifying yourself as a knowledgeable public health consultant.
Readers- please share your favorite Twitter chats in the comments! Are they focused on specific public health topics or more generally on running a successful business?