Effective Networking For Writers

Effective Networking For Writers

'Tis the​ season for​ conferences and​ seminars! Many of​ my friends have all been conference-hopping in​ recent weeks and​ we've been discussing how fruitful these gatherings can be when you can make great and​ lasting contacts. But how do you come away with something more substantial than a​ stack of​ business cards? Here are a​ few tips to​ keep in​ mind.

1.) Speak Up! the​ Magic of​ Telling

"Isolation is​ a​ dream killer," says life coach Barbara Sher. One of​ the​ women in​ my mastermind group reminded me of​ that today. She recently attended an​ event where, for​ the​ first time, she came out of​ her shell and​ started telling people what she did. She was met with great enthusiasm and​ people asking her for​ samples and​ wanting to​ refer her to​ others. All because she spoke up. Now that doesn't mean you go up to​ someone and​ talk non-stop! it​ does mean that you go into a​ conversation with a​ clear description of​ who you are and​ what you do or​ write.

2.) Be a​ Productive Networker

Your networking will not be productive if​ you are handing out business cards indiscriminately or​ asking someone who isn't the​ right person to​ read your work. or​ maybe you're listening only partially to​ someone and​ then writing them off if​ they don't seem to​ have what you want. Productive networking is​ about building long-term relationships. Why long-term? Because it's highly unlikely that you or​ your contact have what the​ other wants at​ that very moment. the​ idea is​ to​ keep in​ touch until you do. in​ the​ meantime, you want to​ offer value or​ be of​ service so that the​ other person feels it'll be worthwhile to​ stay in​ touch with you.

3.) Engage in​ Two-Way Conversations

When the​ other person is​ talking, listen up! Who is​ the​ person and​ what do they need? They've come to​ the​ event for​ their own reasons. What are they? Can you assist? Get a​ clear understanding of​ what the​ person does and​ respect it! for​ instance, don't push a​ science fiction novel on an​ agent who only handles non-fiction. Tell the​ other person what you're up to, but don't babble. Think attraction: be engaging, not desperate!

4.) Maintain the​ Connection

Ask for​ permission to​ stay in​ touch--don't just add the​ person to​ your email list. Decide how you'll stay in​ touch. Occasional emails? a​ monthly newsletter? in​ "Making a​ Literary Life", author Carolyn See suggests writing notes to​ a​ different contact daily. Try to​ attend events where your most important contacts are involved, even if​ it​ means taking a​ trip. It's just one more thing that helps them take you seriously.

5.) When the​ Time Comes, Be Specific!

Use your contact only when they can help you the​ most. "Ask early, ask often" doesn't apply here. Know exactly what you want from the​ person. Tell him or​ her, in​ detail, how they can help you. Make it​ easy for​ them! if​ you have developed the​ relationship well, the​ person will be more than happy to​ lend a​ hand. and​ when they've done so, be gracious--write thank you notes!

One Last Note: Be patient. Building a​ network takes consistent, persistent effort. if​ you truly believe in​ what you're doing, and​ it​ shows in​ your work, others will believe in​ you as​ well.

Effective Networking For Writers

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