Friends with Income-Boosting Benefits …

Did you know investing in your writing network gives you both an emotional and a financial payoff?

Today, I’m going to explain why.

You know, I’ve often said learning how to write is the easy part of this career. What’s hard is keeping up your self-confidence and motivation.

Over the years, I’ve found other writers are the key to both hurdles. If I hadn’t made friends with other copywriters when I first started freelancing, I don’t think I would have made it.

I had plenty of days where I doubted everything about the writer’s life. I’d get blue and grumbly, convinced it was impossible to make money and that I was a nincompoop for trying.

That’s when my writer friends would pull me up out of the doldrums, dust me off with affirmations, and give me a little rump-kicking.

All of the writers I consider close friends are people I met at AWAI’s Bootcamps and Web Intensives. Even though we all live scattered across the globe, we relate to each other’s highs and lows.

As most folks who’ve been there know – once you make friends at a writer’s event, you often wind up closer to that person than you are to most of the friends in your community. Because nobody understands your hopes and trials quite as well as a fellow writer.

Not only do my writer friends keep me motivated and upbeat, they’re also there when I have questions unique to the freelancer’s life. Like when I don’t know what to tell a difficult client (only ever happened once, and it was nice to have friends to go to).

But there’s more to it than that.

Once you make connections in the writing world and you prove your stick-to-it-ness, you wind up with a bonus source of income: Friend referrals.

Many of the writer friends I met at Bootcamp years ago are now established and highly sought-after. At least once a month, I get a new project offer that stemmed from a friend’s referral.

And I refer a lot of my own overflow projects to friends who’ve proven their value as writers.

Not long ago, one of my connections referred me to a client who gave me a $60,000 contract. Out of the blue.

Here’s what I recommend so you can enjoy similar business perks:

  • Show up online. Join writing groups like AWAI’s Professional Writer’s Alliance. Visit the AWAI Facebook page. Comment and post until you get to know the community. Put yourself out there and reach out to others.
  • Show up to live events. Networking via social media and email is valuable, but it can’t ever replace the payoff of connecting on a personal level. Local Chamber of Commerce meetings can bring about new client contacts. Once-a-year conferences like Bootcamp connect you with new friends and marketing contacts. But the key to both is to show up.

Tomorrow, I’ll reveal how to adopt an entrepreneurial mindset. Fortunately, it’s easy to do and the payoff is massive.

The Professional Writers’ Alliance

The Professional Writers’ Alliance

At last, a professional organization that caters to the needs of direct-response industry writers. Find out how membership can change the course of your career. Learn More »

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Published: June 26, 2014

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