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, as a working writer, my words are generally generated for others. Whether in a client’s name or to see my words published in a magazine, I need to reach those people first. I need to find clients. I have to query editors. I must toss off my introverted shackles and let people know I exist and that they really want to deal with me. Most of the time, I would rather just be writing 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?
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;
- 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!