Catherine’s post yesterday, “Helping Another Writer = Good Karma,” was a timely one for me, and I wanted to expand on her thoughts—because it’s even better for your freelance business if you expand your freelance network beyond just referrals for other writers.
Some examples from the past week:
- I received a referral from a client for a PR project that was really outside my expertise, so I sub-referred it to someone I know who’s capable of pulling it off.
- I referred a long-time graphic designer colleague, who’s recently gone freelance, to a client who needs some high-end talent.
- And while editing a white paper for another client, it occurred to me that another client (a professional speaker and author) might find the content useful for her audiences, so I introduced and connected them, too.
None of these will result in direct business for me, and I don’t know for sure if it will mean additional business for any of the people I’ve introduced to each other. And as Catherine pointed out, my motives for doing it were a blend of unselfish and selfish. Sure, I might help some folks generate some additional revenue. Sure, if my matchmaking works, I’m going to cultivate some good karma with clients and potential clients as well as fellow freelancers…and maybe some additional business or referrals will come back my way down the road. There’s nothing wrong with that, eh?
From a bigger-picture perspective, I think we often fool ourselves into thinking that participation in social media means we’re being social. It doesn’t. Real business means picking up the phone or sending a thoughtful email, personally connecting partners, clients, colleagues or friends in ways that improve their own networks and results.
In the comments, share your matchmaking tips or anecdotes. What do you do to expand your freelance network and influence?
Jake Poinier dispenses freelancing advice at DoctorFreelance.com and runs a Phoenix-based editorial services firm, Boomvang Creative Group.
Photo courtesy of Nate Brelsford.