Get Social: Tips for Networking
Networking is a skill I am actively working on. Most days I cloister myself in my home and scroll through news feeds and emails solo. It is the bane of most writers—our creativity flourishes in quiet spaces and most often alone.
This works well for me most of the time. No wary looks from strangers wondering why I am talking to myself. My cluttered desk is kept from people’s sight. My cats have company and on sick days, I can pick up the kids early from school. I cannot live exclusively in a bubble though. Alas, I need people to be creative for.
While yes, I can write for myself, but as a working writer, my words are generally created for others. Whether writing in a client’s name or to see my words published in a magazine, the trick is to reach those people first. How do you do that? Sure, you can query editors or hope for word of mouth to meet clients, but ultimately, you have to get active. Toss off those introverted shackles and let people know you exist and that they really want to deal with you.
Truth? Most of the time I would rather just be writing solo though.
Don’t get me wrong. When I’m comfortable, I can talk your ear off. If I know my topic, I can go on at length. But throw me into a room full of strangers and all I want to do is fade into the background. Not ideal when the purpose is to build relationships and chat yourself up. Can anyone relate? Networking; why does it feel so hard?
So what can you do to get your name out there further as a writer? How do you let people know you exist and that they want to work with you? There are plenty of ways;
GET SOCIAL! Tips for Networking
- blogging: ask questions on your blog to elicit responses, visit other blogs and leave comments, share your posts on other social media sites to increase visibility
- tweeting: follow people who might make good clients, comment on streams/tweets of interest, share useful tips and tricks for others in your field
- posting on Instagram: use & follow hashtags related to your industry, comment on local posts, be creative with your posts to make yourself stand out from others
- join groups on Facebook: offer free advice to demonstrate your expertise, connect with others with like interests, show that you are active online
- create a Facebook business page: share posts from people you would like to get to know better, highlight your interest, skills and abilities, connect with others in your community and/or industry
- create a LinkedIn profile: highlight your skills and experience, ask others to give you recommendations, offer recommendations for others
- join a networking group: meet people in person to make a stronger impression, discover people who might be able to introduce you to potential clients, add to your resume of affiliations
The point is to be social. Let people know you exist. Establish yourself as an expert. Ask for help from others. Share content from quality sources. Build rapport with people in your industry and community at large. Give yourself a human face that people can identify with. Be you. Be accessible and approachable. Connect with influencers and build a relationship that mutually benefits you both.
What else do you do to connect with people? How do my fellow introverts combat their quiet nature? Any and all tips appreciated!
April 25, 2018 @ 5:21 pm
Oh, another method of connecting that I’m rather fond of is writers groups. Being on ground has its limits, but it’s also nice to interact in person, from time to time.
April 26, 2018 @ 9:37 am
True. I think that people are better behaved face to face too. Too often people hide behind their online presence, but you get more honesty and consideration in person. Are you part of any writing groups?
April 26, 2018 @ 10:20 am
For a time I was a part of one, then began running one when I couldn’t find one to join. Most of the members are much more casual than I, but they’re open to discussion, and willing to read & provide feedback. I know some who wished that I required everyone in attendance to write and share, but I think it needs to be a personal choice, and I don’t want to drive anyone away.
April 25, 2018 @ 5:18 pm
It’s an interesting conundrum. On the one hand we need solitude for the actual creative process, but we also (often) need a sense of purpose to give our efforts meaning.
In the digital age it can definitely be overwhelming, all these choices.
At a certain point one can easily let networking become “all you do”, with the promise that some day, once you “have it all set up” you’ll finally be able to do what you love.
I think one key component is recognizing what you personally like to do.
I’m fond of Facebook, so I tend to engage that regularly, but I’m not much for Twitter.
I recognize the need to adapt to audiences, and have a Twitter account, but I don’t use it nearly as much.
Personally my favorite way to connect is through blog posts.
Twitter and Facebook both tend to prioritize brevity, but I like a nice long post, something I can really sink my teeth into.
You may notice I’m partial to longer comments as well.
April 26, 2018 @ 9:35 am
Lol, I have noticed that Adam. And I agree that you can offer more depth in a blog post than you can obviously offer on Twitter (for sure), or FB (brevity wins most times there too). I appreciate your connection here. 🙂
April 26, 2018 @ 10:17 am
Thank you. I as well. I look forward to reading (and discussing) more in the future.