I have been a part-time writer for about seven years, but recently I decided to make it a full-time project and network on a full-scale. It’s definitely different, there is more at stake. When you know that your writing income will eventually be your only source of money, you find a little more stress in the freedom of a writing career.
As a writer that loves writing, you want to write, but the magnitude of networking that is involved in getting paying jobs is very large, especially if you don’t have a knack for networking. I’ve been there before, in fact, I’m still there.
Throughout my adventures of becoming full-time, I have learned three important practices that have helped make my networking just a little more successful.
Get a good clean picture of yourself from the shoulders up, your Facebook picture probably won’t work. When you get one, you should use the same one for everything you do professionally. Profiles, resumes, portfolios, social networking sites you use professionally and even off-line opportunities should all be graced with the same picture. Think of it like a logo, companies don’t use six or seven different logos to promote their brand, they use one, and for good reason, some people can relate and remember a picture better than they can a name.
Don’t Just Make a Connection
If you ask someone to connect with you and your network, they might oblige, but what do you or the other person gain from it. If you have 500 connection and most of those people don’t even share the same interest as you, you’re technically not networking, your just sprucing up your profile, and in most cases that won’t find you work.
Connect with people who can help you with your goals and vise-versa. If you’re a writer and you look at your home page, you want to see post that are helpful to you as a writer. Posts on how to better your stock portfolio might not help you a whole lot.
I look at networking like the engine to my writing career. If I have 500 connections and most of them aren’t worth anything to me. It’s like having an engine in your raceacar that is huge, but pumps out about as much horsepower as your mini back. A whole lot of bling without the ability to go anywhere.
Set Time Aside to Write and Time Aside for Networking
I think the hardest part about networking your writing career is setting time aside to write. But writing is your product and if you’re not writing than you have noting to network for. I make a point to set time aside each day to write. Even if it’s not for a client, it’s for my blogs, Ezine, Yahoo voices, Constant Content, etc. Something so I don’t get rusty.
Either way you go, the two have to be separated. To this day, I still find myself in the middle of writing an article and stopping for email alerts, Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin updates, etc. Even my phone becomes a distraction, and when it’s time to edit and proofread I can tell. I do my best to put it all aside and only worry about the article or articles at hand, and that includes the research, editing and proofreading process. You’d be amazed on how much writing you get accomplished when you have no distractions.
I wish everyone good luck on their quest to becoming a full-time freelancer. I can tell you it’s not easy, but as you go along it tends to become routine and every time you learn something new it’s just a matter of added that new something to your already lucrative routine.