I knew I had to figure out the marketing piece if I hoped to be a successful freelancer, but networking for introverts and self-promotion isn’t exactly my favorite thing to do.
Before throwing myself into a crowd of people to drum up business, I thought I’d take a “class” at a local community college on networking to learn how it’s done.
There was just one problem.
The “class” turned out to be a roomful of professionals who all seemed to know each other… well. When I walked in, my mind started spinning and my heart pounding. “If I could just find a seat…”
Finally I did, and that’s when the director looked straight at me: “Stand up and tell us who you are and what your business is…”
“Who, me?” I thought. Cue the sweaty palms, queasy stomach, noodle legs, hands trembling with fear, and an intense desire to pull a bag over my head.
If you’re a fellow introvert and freelance writer, what would you do? Here’s what happened next:
Ever wonder how to stand out at a writers conference?
Here’s what most writers do…
- Sign up to attend a writers conference weeks in advance.
- Make travel arrangements.
- Scour the agenda looking for the lectures, workshops, and presentations that sound the most fun, interesting, or helpful.
- And that’s it.
You show up. There’s a zillion writers, editors and publishers, and you roam from one lecture to the next.
If “that’s it,” you’re missing out on a big benefit of going to a writers conference…making connections.
Fortunately, a little pre-planning can help you get more from a writers conference than a bag of goodies and a frenzy of ideas.
Want to learn how to stand out from the crowd at a writers conference? Here’s how to shine:
Some things never change, like the need to find great writing clients. But marketing doesn’t have to be a grueling, stressful, or frustrating chore. Check out these two fun and easy ways to find writing clients. Enjoy!–Carol
One of the questions freelance writers ask me most is, “How can I find better-paying clients?” Another one is “Where are all the good-paying clients hiding?” A third one is, “Why can’t I find any good writing clients?”
I’m sensing a theme here, that people want to know more about how to connect with great clients.
There are many ways to hunt these elusive good clients, but today I want to talk about two of my favorite in-person techniques for connecting with good-paying clients.
That’s right, these methods involve leaving your writing cave, going out, and meeting live humans.
Don’t be scared!
Once you get the hang of it, networking is actually a lot of fun. Or it should be — so remember to have fun with it.
Here are two techniques that are pretty fail-proof and simple for maximizing your networking time:
Note: If you’ve been looking for freelance writing jobs on content-mill sites and job boards, you’re probably frustrated. Most pay bottom feeder rates. It’s something I’ve been hearing from writers for a long time. But great freelance writing jobs are out there, you just need to know how to find them. Check out this post from the past to learn how. —Carol.
Do you feel like it’s a pipe dream to find freelance writing jobs that pay pro rates?
I hear a lot of comments like this from writers who are about ready to give up on their writing dreams.
They write me to say:
“It just seems like there aren’t any good-paying clients out there.”
Have to say, I disagree. But whether you think freelance writing is a land of unlimited opportunity or a field no one can earn a living at seems to depend on your personal experience.
If you want to start landing well-paying freelance writing jobs, you probably need to do two things. Here’s what you need to know:
Ever feel like you’re lost in the woods trying to find freelance work?
Maybe you’re at one of those crossroads trying to land your first client. Or you’re in the middle of a career change.
Or maybe you’ve been writing for a while, but it’s time to find freelance work and new clients to move up and earn more.
When you’re trying to map out the best marketing route to find freelance work, it’s easy to get that deer-in-the-headlights gaze and get stuck.
But you can’t stand around and do nothing, or you could literally freeze to death if you can’t pay your heating bill, or at least build a campfire.
So what should you do? That’s what I had to figure out when I quit my job as a park ranger to take care of my special needs son and start freelancing.
I picked the easiest path to freelance success. And within two weeks, I had my first client, a one-year contract, and a steady stream of inbound leads. Here’s the route I took to get there:
Are you taking advantage of in-person networking opportunities to find freelance writing clients?
When I wrapped up a phone call with an agency that hires freelancers writers for Nike, Adidas, Columbia Sportswear, and other Portland-based sports and athletic companies, I got an invite to a meet-and-greet with people from these companies.
The after-hours meeting fit my schedule, so I decided to go and see if networking opportunities like this could help me find more prospects and clients.
If you’re already thinking about your introverted tendencies that tell you to avoid in-person networking opportunities like this, take some advice from Linda Formichelli. Punch fear in the face and do it anyway.
You don’t have to be an extrovert, gifted sales pro or marketer, to benefit from in-person networking opportunities that can connect you with potential prospects and clients.
I’m an introvert. But I still I walked away from this networking meeting with some new contacts, and scored a few referrals from the effort since attending.
And that got me thinking about the many free in-person networking opportunities available for freelance writers.