Just Ask

One of the top tenets of the sales world is “ask for the job.” So I took this idea to the social networking world last week. There’s something to this asking stuff.

Within hours of my Twitter post about being available to “rock your insurance articles” I was approached by a new client to write for her company. We’re still working out the details, but things look pretty good.

Friday I posted a note on LinkedIn saying I was available to handle writing projects. Didn’t I get an email yesterday from a past client asking me to call him? We chatted and he promised to be in touch as soon as his world settled down in the next month. But my note made him reach out in the first place. I know he’ll call when the project comes up. That’s because I’ll send out a follow-up note in 4 weeks to see where things are for him.

Are you using your social networking tools to ask for work? Mind you, I’m not advocating your getting on Twitter and pestering the life out of everyone with a pulse, begging for work. I’m saying when appropriate, announce your availability. Remind folks of what you do by saying something like “Just finished a white paper on a new CRM technology” or “Researching a cool article on market speculation.” You’d be surprised who’s listening. It wasn’t a month ago I mentioned working a particular market niche company’s blog posts on Twitter and receiving an invitation to work for another company doing the same thing.

You don’t have to beat them over the head with your availability, nor should you ever beg anyone for work. But why not talk about what you’re doing in a more constructive way? No one really wants to hire you because you just had a terrific grilled cheese for lunch. These tools are great for building a network, but you render them useless if you don’t then tap into that network for your work opportunities.

What’s your favorite social networking tool? What percentage of your business has come from that?

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  • syscorp May 27, 2009 at 1:25 pm

    Hello. Very interesting article. Just ask is clearly what most people want you to do. Just ask for the sale, is my favorite. In a lot of cases my accounts seem to like for me to “just ask” for payment on invoice. 🙂 I think the list goes on and on.

    Here’s a note of thought: Having a blog does make one a “writer”. However, having a blog does not mean one knows how to “write”. Thanks for being a writer and for knowing how to write! I enjoy reading your blog because your words flow with what I call: logical ease! Again, thanks.

    Stacey Eizenbach
    Market Manager
    SysCorp Worldwide

  • Lori May 27, 2009 at 2:02 pm

    I like that, Stacey! “Logical ease.” :)) Very cool.

    It is true – not all bloggers are writers, even if some of them think they are. LOL Mostly I follow great people who are also great writers. They’re inspiring.

  • Gabriella F. May 27, 2009 at 2:05 pm

    Hi Lori.

    I’m still not that into social networking. Just not my thing!

    However, when my articles are published online, I include a link on my Facebook page, which I think reminds clients that I’m here and constantly working.

    I’ve been thinking of doing the same on LinkedIn. Just haven’t take the time. Your post is a good reminder that I need to do it.

  • Clare Lynch May 27, 2009 at 3:38 pm

    Great advice – I’m going to try it. We Brits are a bit crap at this sort of thing but I like the idea of reminding the world what I’ve bee writing about lately – and therefore can write about.

    I couldn’t see a “Tweet this” button on the article, which I thought was a bit ironic, given that it was about social media. I’m going to anyway – it’s perfect for sharing.

  • Lori May 27, 2009 at 5:10 pm

    I know, Clare. I’m a little concerned that Blogger hasn’t caught up with the Twitter craze yet.

  • Katharine Swan May 27, 2009 at 6:12 pm

    I’m not too into the social networking thing, so when you talk about “tweeting” something, I know it has to do something with sharing it, but other than that I don’t have a clue. So Blogger isn’t the only one who hasn’t caught up. ;o)

    Lori, leaving a sort of open invitation to clients on your social networking page is a good idea. I’ll keep it in mind… If I ever get into that kind of thing. I tried MySpace a while back and was disappointed, so I’m admittedly skeptical about social networking as anything other than a big black hole for my time.

  • Lori May 27, 2009 at 7:26 pm

    MySpace hasn’t worked for me at all, Katharine. I’m getting much more mileage out of Twitter and LinkedIn.

  • Susan May 28, 2009 at 6:18 pm

    That’s impressive. I should rock the jobs out via Twitter, you’ve inspired me.

  • Jesaka Long May 29, 2009 at 4:22 pm

    Lori, I’m chiming in a bit late here but you are so RIGHT about Twitter and LinkedIn. My magic combination has been Facebook and LinkedIn. It’s those semi-regular updates about projects that have resulted in some great work for me. You never know who’s watching!