Writers: Always Networking?

neuronby Catherine L. Tully

Let’s face it–as a writer–you are never “off”.

What I mean by that statement is this: if you are talking to someone, there is potential for work. I know this to be true because I have found jobs in the most unlikely places.

While a great deal of my work is from repeat clients or referrals, a sizable chunk comes from a weird sort of networking. For example, I have been to parties and other functions where I met someone who needed writing done for a project. I have gotten editing work from a “friend of a friend of a friend”. I have even seen had a nibble or two from people who were standing next to me in line somewhere who overheard me talking about what I do.

So what am I getting at exactly? It’s really quite simple. As a writer, you are always networking. It’s exhausting, to be sure, but it can also be a good thing. Stumbling into a good account when you are least expecting it isn’t exactly something to complain about.

To that end, I have a few tidbits to share that can be helpful in terms of getting the most out of your contact with others. Here they are:

  • Always mention what you do for a living when you are talking to someone. Be sure to give examples too, as some people will assume you write books if you don’t tell them otherwise. (Unless, of course, you do write books.)
  • Carry a few business cards with you at all times. Give them out liberally. You never know when someone might pass one along to a potential client.
  • Have a website. This is provides a very easy way for people to find you and see what your services are. That way you don’t have to hammer it home when you first meet them. (Be sure your website addy is on your business card.)
  • Don’t be afraid to use your network. Tell those you are close to that you’d appreciate it if they would spread the word you are a writer. If you can return the favor, do! (For example, if you know a carpenter, dentist, etc…)

These are just some of the ways you can tap into the social scene and drum up some clients. Do you have any to add? Feel free to share!