Tag Archives: karma

Expanding Your Freelance Network

freelance networkCatherine’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.

Helping Another Writer = Good Karma

by Catherine L. Tully

Catherine L. Tully
Editor, Catherine L. Tully

It may seem counter-intuitive, but helping another writer get work can actually bring you good writing karma.

Many writers I know are reluctant to share information they come across about jobs in the field. There’s always this feeling that you should keep it to yourself–just in case you need it.

I take another approach…

If I hear of a job I can’t take on – I pass it along to another writer who I know is deserving. Now…that is where you have to use sound judgement…you don’t want a recommendation from you to be associated with a writer who can’t do the job…so you have to know they are a decent writer. And if they are, I say, give them the job–or at least share the opportunity with them to follow up on.

Part of the reason I do this is completely unselfish. I know how hard it is to get jobs in this field and how competitive things are when it comes to work. I’m sincerely happy to help out a fellow writer.

The other part is not as unselfish. I’ve gotten jobs this way too. Writers  that I have helped out along the way have done the same for me from time-to-time. It’s nice. It’s like a big job pool. And I have to say, it feels really good when we’re all working together rather than elbowing each other out of the way.

So…for the holiday season, that’s my pitch to you in the coming year. Look out for your fellow writer.  It will not only make you feel warm and fuzzy, but it may come around and net you a little cash down the line. Let the writing karma abound!

Guilt Free

By Jake Poinier

As a freelancer, it’s easy to feel guilty about shouldas, wouldas and couldas. It’s tempting to obsess on the things that you’re doing wrong — or that everyone else seems to do better than you.

I’m here to tell ya: Don’t do it. There’s no reason to feel guilty, and there’s even scientific evidence to back you up.

Career advisor Allison Cheston of Career Karma wrote a great post this week, “To Be Happy in Life, Find the Right Career,” referencing the work of author and Gallup pollster Tom Rath. (His bestseller was StrengthsFinder 2.0, and most recent work was Wellbeing.)

Since you’re on this website, I’m going to assume that you’ve found the right career. And I’d like to think you’re happy, or trending that way.

As it happens, I was fortunate enough to interview Mr. Rath a few months ago for Speaker magazine, the association magazine for the National Speakers Association. (Article pdf here). One of the things he said really stuck with me: Gallup’s decades of research bears out how much more effective it is to develop your natural talents and passions than it is to “try to be something that you’re not.”

As someone whose biggest struggles would include writing long stories (I prefer shorter stuff) and fiction (I stink at it, honestly), that comes as a relief to me. So, I can freely focus my efforts on the things I *am* good at: business copy and short features. I can’t worry that I’ll never publish a steamy tome about vampires like my buddy Evelyn Lafont, who posted “It’s Hard Out There for a Pimp…of Books” here on Freelance-Zone last week.

Mind you, this isn’t an all-ice-cream-no-broccoli excuse to blow off everything but the things you like to do. The yin to this yang is that you still need to…

  • identify and manage your weaknesses and blind spots.
  • measure what you’re doing, get honest feedback from peers/clients, and hold yourself accountable.

So, dispense with the guilt and start focusing on your areas of competence, confidence and passions. It’s a lot more productive.

Jake Poinier (a.k.a. Dr. Freelance) recently blogged about how freelancers should “Embrace your inner honey badger.”