They’re All Around You …
Welcome back to this week’s The Writer’s Life for the final key to successful freelancing. All week I’ve been sharing career-building insights from Master Copywriters that will help you start and grow your freelance business.
Today’s tip comes from AWAI’s 2009 $10K Challenge winner, Pam Foster. Pam is a specialist in building niches, is an author of three AWAI programs, and speaks regularly at AWAI’s Web Copywriting Intensive.
Her advice? Reach out to those who are closest.
Many writers believe their best prospects are somewhere other than where they are. Not so. Good prospects – potential new clients – are likely to be all around you.
How do you find them?
Start by networking locally. If your community has service clubs or a Chamber of Commerce, attend their networking events. Make sure you aim to get to know the people around you. If you don’t yet have an elevator pitch, it’s important to put one together. AWAI member Michele Peterson wrote a great article that will help you do it, titled Ready to Plant Some Seeds?
You also might want to try one of the popular lead generation/referral groups. There are usually several that are active in most cities and towns. Get to know people in your area and become known for being a problem solver. Pam got a lot of new business from a “leads club” when she first started out. Just do an Internet search for “networking groups” in your city. Some require an annual fee, and each group is different. Go as a guest a few times to make sure it will work for you.
Target trade associations, too. Almost every niche has one. Remember that they’re in constant need of content. They have blogs, websites, and likely their own journals. You can find them online or even in Writer’s Market. Those that are listed there will also give you their publishing requirements. Make sure you ask them for an editorial calendar. That will alert you as to what topics are of interest to them. Offer to write a regular column for them or even a series of articles. If you can, attend one of the trade association meetings.
If you’re an extrovert and really want to put yourself out there, offer to be a presenter in your area of specialty. It not only gives you instant credibility but also brings new opportunities.
Whatever happens, make sure you ask a lot of questions. Then listen, really listen to what your potential customers have to say. Find out what their needs are and let them know how you can help them.
Remember, it’s not about you; it’s always about them. When you do this, you’ll be able to deliver the results they need and continue to achieve your dream of the writer’s life.
How do you network? What are your best methods? Let me know in the comment section.
Thanks for spending this week with me here at The Writer’s Life. I learned a lot when sitting down with the Masters. I hope these five keys will help you find all the success that you desire.
Whatever you do, make a decision, take action, start where you are, build your platform, and look all around you. The writer’s life – with all it can give you – is closer than you think.
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