Guest Post: Networking Techniques that Pay Off Big

What’s on the iPod: Two Crooked Hearts by Langhorne Slim & The Law

Hump dayyyeeee! It’s been a great week so far. I’ve finished a few projects, have in a few more, and came up with some good article ideas that just might hit paydirt. I’ve also been in touch with some past clients and a few regular ones. Things are about to pick up, I suspect.

You know when you bump into an old chum and you get to talking? That happened to me virtually last week — I saw David Geer’s post over on Susan Johnston’s Urban Muse blog (go give Susan some love). David and I have been email chums for what, ten years or better? So when he wrote to me to say hello, I took the opportunity to invite him to blog here. He’s a super successful writer and a really good guy.

David, thanks. You’re welcome here anytime. 🙂

Networking Techniques That Pay Off Big!


The more you network with writers, editors, publishers and
clients, the more you will experience a correlation between those efforts and
increases in pay rates and volume of work. The more networking you do and the
better you get at it, the more that the fruits of those seeds will come back to
reward you.

After 14 years of full-time freelance writing, I can tell
you with confidence that what follows are solid, effective networking
techniques specifically for writers that pay off big.

Technique #1: Help Your Colleagues

Help fellow writers and editors you meet through writer
member groups and message boards. Help those you have worked with and those you
have not. Develop and nurture relationships with these wordsmiths.

Answer their questions and they will come to rely on you. They
will think well of you and remember you. When they have the opportunity to
recommend other writers, they may think of you first. If they become editors
themselves, they will already know they can count on you and may contact you
with work.

Suggest markets in which they may be able to publish. This
really does work to further your career. I would not suggest sharing the very
markets for which you want to work. However, you will likely come across many
markets that are right for others though they are not right for you. I share
those and so should you.

Be supportive. Encouragement, a pat on the back or a word of
hope can be as important as assistance that is more tangible. Relationships are
more important than results. Hold the value of your writer friends high.
Adhering to these priorities will secure positive results for your own career.

Technique #2: Ping Editors and Clients Regularly

Do this on a personal as well as a professional level where
you are welcome to do so. Demonstrate a genuine interest in them. Keep a note
card for each client or editor (works for writers, too) organized in some
manner, perhaps in alphabetical order. LinkedIn now affords the opportunity to
keep personalized notes about every connection where you view their profile.

Use the cards or LinkedIn data to maintain records of
significant personal facts about each person, such as their favorite hobbies or
important life events. Pull up the data when making contact and ask about these
things to show that you remember and care.

Even if you know they may not have work for you, write once
every couple of months. You can write simply to ask how they are doing, to
check in and make sure they are okay. A thoughtful, personal contact can lead
to a reply with work you did not expect.
Share links to articles on topics that are of interest to
both you and your editor friend or client. It will give you something to talk
about, show that you are keeping up on current news and events in their area
and provide them with another reason to remember you when more work develops.

Technique #3: Introductions Please

Locate editors, corporate communications managers and
similar titles on LinkedIn and ask for an introduction so you can send a LOI
(Letter of Introduction) including clips and credentials. Make contact in a way
that shows you are approaching them professionally. Learn how to tailor these
kinds of communications over time. Include the text of article samples (clips)
and project samples.

Summary

Help, check in and go out of your way to make new contacts.
Build solid, genuine relationships one building block at a time over months and
even years. Many solid working relationships have come to me because I had the
patience to take the time to build them. Keep pushing and put your heart into
it. That is the networking way!

David Geer writes about technology covering IT, data
centers, the Internet, networking, security and digital. For writing clips,
visit http://www.davidgeer.com/samples.html.
Follow David on Twitter @geercom Contact David at david (AT) davidgeer.com
about your need for whitepapers, case studies, technical guides and reports,
custom published articles, features, blogs or thought leadership content.

  

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Comments

  • Paula October 2, 2013 at 3:51 pm

    Great advice, David. I lean toward the shy side, so I've never asked for a LinkedIn introduction. After reading your post I'll look for an opportunity to do so.

    I've always sent job leads to other writers I know. Most reciprocate, too.

    Dropping a line to editors has worked amazingly well for me, even when I was just sending holiday wishes or congratulations. With some editors it has proven a more effective way of landing assignments that pitching ideas.

    Reply
  • geercom October 2, 2013 at 8:14 pm

    Thank you for commenting, Paula. I love the pink sock monkeys on your site.

    Reply
  • Cathy Miller October 2, 2013 at 10:27 pm

    Great tips, David. I am a big believer in LinkedIn. When you've been around the block as many times as I have – polite way of saying I'm old ;-), you meet a lot of people. And by and large, people like helping people they know and who have helped them.

    Prime example, good writer buddies, Lori Widmer and Jake Poinier referred a very lovely client to me recently. Jen Mattern has also referred potential clients my way. I love our freelancing world. 🙂

    I have another great prospect who was referred by an existing client – fingers crossed.

    Although I have never been accused of being shy, for some reason I rarely ask for referrals. When I do, people are typically very gracious.

    How have we not connected, David? Off to LinkedIn to remedy that. 🙂

    Reply
  • Lori October 3, 2013 at 12:21 pm

    David, thank you again for the great post.

    I'll admit I've not used LI as much as I should for introductions. Great advice there. In fact, I don't think I utilize LI much at all, and your strategies are great.

    Cathy, you've done the same. I love having a strong, friendly network. Thanks for helping make it that way. 🙂

    Reply
  • geercom October 4, 2013 at 12:28 pm

    Thank you for connecting on LI, Cathy. 'Much appreciated. I do find that LI has made a significant impact on acquiring new work. I don't know how we didn't connect before. 'Glad you solved that one.

    Lori, I definitely think you'll find LI helpful.

    Reply
  • hamid October 24, 2013 at 5:49 pm

    hi dear David.
    thanks a million for these very good and useful tips.

    Reply