Growing and sustaining your freelance writing business relies on relationships, not job boards, writing forums or Facebook groups.
Relationships. Yes, connections with people.
As an independent contractor, your next gig is dependent on making a positive impression on a person. So, let’s work to strengthen those relationships, and in turn, be more productive and successful in our writing ventures, shall we?
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Get a little personal.
When conversing with editors and publishers, don’t be scared to toss in a little talk about current events. Asking things like, ‘Did you watch the eclipse?’ or ‘Are you planning a spring break getaway?’ help foster a more genuine connection.
Pitch writing ideas.
Let your contacts know you’re thinking of their publication, campaign or project. Share your thoughts and ideas. Your writing pitch might just turn into a writing assignment or insightful conversation that leads to more work in another capacity, diversifying your offerings.
If your budget and abilities allow, attend industry-specific conferences, meet-ups and events. Visiting with your contacts in person takes your relationship to a professional level instantly whether you share a morning coffee or exchange a few positive words after watching a presentation.
Be social on social.
Go to your current or dream client’s Facebook posts and leave a comment. Reply to an editor’s question on Twitter. Make your personal voice heard on social media so you’re not just another avatar on a friend’s list.
Answer your email.
I often land projects by being the first to respond to a request via email. Being attentive to those who want to work with you is obviously a good way to stay memorable. If you’re cutting back on projects or taking some time off work, reply and let your contact know. Don’t ignore them.
Many freelancers I chat with wait for people to come to them. Why? If there’s a person you want to know or website you want to write for, reach out. Send a tweet, comment on their blog post or shoot a quick email their way. Building a relationship is a two-way street and making the first move shows initiative!
Over the years I can confidently say that I rely on a core group of connections in the freelance writing industry. Each month my list of contacts evolves and changes, but I’m always working to maintain a relationship with those who also share a love of writing, editing and publishing.
Do you have a favorite editor or company you work with regularly? Send some kind words or ideas their way today!
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Note: This post was last updated on July 15, 2022.