Archive for January 22nd, 2013

January 22, 2013

Four networking tips, courtesy of freelancer Paige Taylor

Back to blogging again after a long weekend away!

Paige Taylor's book

Paige Taylor’s book

Paige Taylor, author of Secrets of Being a Successful Freelance Writer β€” 101 Real-World Lessons for Launching, Growing, and Sustaining a Profitable Freelance Writing Career, recently published a terrific post on social networking for freelancers.

I found it while wearing my fluffy red bathrobe and my fluffy black slippers, hair not brushed, etc. It was deadline morning; I had just submitted my article, illustrations and everything that goes with them and was blissfully surfing the web.

The first sentence hooked me:

As freelancers, we get very comfortable at home in our sweat pants and slippers β€” sometimes too comfortable: to the point where we don’t want to leave our cozy writing dens.

I felt slightly chagrined.

For the record, that kind of day doesn’t happen for me very often. Thank goodness. Still, I know what it’s like to have a completely backward day when you don’t want to talk to anyone.

I spent most of this past weekend getting reacquainted with relatives and old family friends I haven’t seen in years. Decades, even. In spite of a few shy moments, it was nice. Very, very nice, and I realized I need to interact with other people face to face a lot more than I do.

This is as much for my personal sanity as it is for marketing purposes. The truth is, as shy as I get, I really do enjoy talking with other people. I like finding out about them, sharing common ground, learning from them, laughing with them. I truly and deeply enjoy the variety of people in this great big wonderful world.

Networking as a writer seems to be paramount to success.

I came across an interview earlier today (linked from a Twitter post) indicating that a lot of social media marketing is nonsense. When I asked how it applied to writers, though, I got the same feeling I’ve received from everything else I’ve studied. For writers, networking and other public relations work has to be as much a part of their work as writing is.

For me, that’s done most easily online, sitting behind my desk with curtains open to let in the sun. I’m quite a bit more awkward when I meet people in person. I’m working on that.

Perhaps that’s why Paige Taylor’s post resonated with me so well. Here are the ‘Best Networking Tips’ from this post, to be used at social events (and afterward) for gaining and keeping a strong network:

  1. Speak to at least three people
  2. Share business cards
  3. Follow up with your contacts right away
  4. Find ways to stay connected with your contacts

It’s good advice for any freelancer, but I especially like the fact that it’s a simple solution to facing the public. These are solid steps, but baby steps, so they’re not overwhelming. Even I can do these.

You can bet I’ll be practicing! πŸ™‚



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