Networking Opportunities You Never Thought About

freelancewritingLast week my phone rang–Jon Kitley of was on the other end asking if I wanted to go with him to a horror movie convention called HorrorHound Weekend. Why not? I’d never been to one before and it would be fun to see what kind of mischief i could get up to.

Little did I know that hanging out with the horror lovers could turn into an opportunity to score new writing gigs.

As with any good horror movie convention, there were plenty of DVD dealers to chat with. One vendor turned out to be the official table for a very good DVD company that licenses scary movies from four decades worth of obscure or neglected (by the mainstream) movies. After ten minutes of conversation I learned that this company relies on freelancers for some of its work, and before the end of the convention I had a pretty good idea that some freelance work writing descriptions for the DVD covers would not be out of the question for yours truly.

I had no intention of picking up work at the show, but in the world of freelancing, work is where you find it. The trick is to keep your antennae up without being one of those “always on” people. I tried to gather the right kind of info I’d need without being pushy or talking nothing but shop the whole time–it’s always good to know when the right time to pitch yourself comes along and when to just chill out and have a conversation.

The point of all this is, you never know when you might have a chance to offer your freelance skills to someone. If I’d been a bit smarter about going to the convention, I could have brought along some writing samples and a resume kit just in case. I wouldn’t have brought it out with the folks I was talking to in this particular case–it wouldn’t have been appropriate at the moment–but if someone had asked, I could have been ready.
Lesson learned? The Boy Scout motto, “Always prepared” is a damn fine philosophy to live by when you’re traveling.