Or, Why Losing My Job Was the Best Thing That Ever Happened to Me
Week 19 – Building Relationships and Making Connections
This week, I have begun to see the benefits of building relationships and making connections.
One of the key ingredients to building up a freelance business is the people you make connections with along the way. If people know you and trust you, they are more likely to think of your name when a freelance job comes up.
However, it doesn’t happen overnight. One of the first things I learned when I began this journey is the importance of getting to know people in the industry.
Taking Steps to Make Connections
The first step I took was signing up for newsletters. I needed to get acquainted with people who know what they are talking about. The next step was taking on-line classes, listening in on webinars, and subscribing to websites that answered the questions I was asking.
Once I narrowed down my niche, I made it a point to get to know editors and experts in my niche. I did this by leaving comments on blog posts and sending out a lot of what I call my QPL’s – Queries, Pitches and Letters of Introduction. I joined in on discussions when I took courses, replied to the creator of the courses, joined Facebook groups and joined in on discussions there. Anywhere I could join in on a conversation (and had something useful to say), I took advantage of the opportunity.
Lay the Foundation to Building Relationships
I had started this process almost a full year before I lost my job. By the time I was in a position to really start pursuing a full-time freelance career, I had a few connections. Now I was ready to start bumping it up to the next level.
Three of those connections led to three invites to do a guest blog post.
One such invitation was sent to me this week, and I’m thrilled at the opportunity. Stay tuned and I’ll let you know when that one comes out.
Guest blogging is an excellent way to start getting your name out there. The best way to get those guest blogging opportunities is to make those connections. Be genuine and sincere and offer your help wherever you can.
Create Connections through Conversation
If you are taking a course, you can offer some good feedback and show your appreciation. Who knows? Perhaps the creator of the course will ask to use your feedback as a testimonial on their course or website. This is good for you and it’s good for them. Spread the love around and everyone benefits.
Building relationships in a freelance career is all about establishing yourself as someone who can be counted on to do the work. It helps you become known as someone who knows their niche. Making connections helps a freelance writer build a network of other editors, writers and influencers in their field.
The bigger the network, the more connections you have.
I have also found that, the more people I made connections with, the more I learned.
The bottom line is, the more you know, the better equipped you are to build your business.
The truth is, I feel like a spider that is learning how to build a web by watching all the other spiders in the bushes. There have been a number of times that I’ve seen a lot of bigger, better webs. My first reaction, of course, was to look at my own work, pull it down and start over.
I see this as an opportunity to hone my skills and perfect my art.
I have a lot more connecting to do, and I will always be working to build more relationships. However, the connections I have made have been excellent ones and this has helped me lay a good solid foundation for what I am trying to achieve.
My take away for this week: Take the time to lay a foundation and build a good, solid net. Then you are in a position to create a business you are proud of.
Next Week: Undersell, over-deliver
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Remember, don’t ever be afraid to start something new or pursue your dreams. My goal is to encourage you to live a life of your choosing, find the strength you have inside you, and to use your gifts to add to the wonder of this world.