I returned this weekend from my trip to NYC with a head full of ideas. I was a panelist for the Fair Media Council’s Connection Day, and for some reason it never occurred to me that there would be displays and booths set up by industry people advertising their services. I pictured the whole day as nothing but seminars and meetings. Wrong!
Then I realized that many others probably thought the same thing, but these journalism events can be quite a boon for a smart freelancer. What’s the last thing you’d expect to find at an event where the sole purpose is to help PR and marketing people better understand and connect with the media?
How about a bunch of booths set up by companies that use freelancers for their articles, web content and feature pieces? Naturally, these booths were set up to market the services rather than find new writers, but you can see where a huge networking opportunity exists. Never underestimate the power of your local chamber of commerce events, journalism and PR organizations and other groups that **seem** to have little to do with your needs as a freelancer. I talked to three different reps from companies all actively seeking writers, and the consensus is naturally “We’re not looking for writers. We’re looking for GOOD writers.”
These companies offer you a chance to write at levels beyond web content sites and SEO marketing gigs beginners often wind up using to further their career, and if you are reaching the point in your freelance writing work where you feel the need to move to the next level of pay, responsibility and quality in your assignments, these are the people you’ll want to connect with. Check the web for the next media-related event near you or a chamber of commerce meet and greet. You may be surprised at what you find.