In the freelance world, who you know is critical. When a project pops up, if your name is top-of-mind, you might just get the offer.
So, what do I do to stay connected to potential colleagues? Quite a bit, actually. Each day I’m focused on making genuine, personal connections with other writers, editors, publishers, PR professionals, journalists, my readers and colleagues.
Today I want to quickly go beyond the usual suggestions to attend a conference or send thank you emails. Those are both important, but there are also several little, quick ways to stay relevant in your professional circle.
1. Connect on LinkedIn.
Each time I’m introduced to a new person via email, I scope them out on social media and send a connection request for LinkedIn to show that I value our professional relationship. If our link isn’t obvious, I’ll add a sentence to the request about where we met or our mutual connection.
2. Like their business Facebook Page.
This seems so simple, but if you’re writing for a publication or a brand, it only seems logical to actually follow them online, see what they’re up to and engage on occasion.
3. Reply to random emails.
I receive off-target emails weekly, but still make an effort to send a quick message back to genuine messages that aren’t a mass mailing. You never know who knows who, or how they got your name. Sometimes it’s two sentences: “Thanks so much for reaching out. However, I am not interested in this opportunity at this time.”. Be courteous to someone who took the time to write a note.
4. Express yourself.
I get the most engagement and strengthen my connections each time I share something personal about myself on social media. We all have lives outside of work. Don’t be scared to share your weekend plans or a photo from vacation. It makes you real and relatable — and takes less than 10 seconds to do.
What little ways do you stay connected to your professional contacts? Share your ideas in the comments below!
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