In my last post in the series Freelance Writing Guide For New Freelancers I talked about the marketing and branding aspect of your business. Today’s topic is networking. Networking in the sense of connecting with others within the industry and also potential new clients.
Networking can also incorporate social networking, as those platforms can be a great tool in the overall scheme of networking.
So what is networking for freelancers?
Wikipedia refers to networking as an interconnected group or system which in the case of social networking is totally accurate. There are many different networks within a human frame, such as:
- An entrepreneurial network
- An economic network
- An old boy network
- A sexual network
- A value network
- Social networks
- Love networks
- Scale free networks
- And knowledge networks
While some aspects of these human networks fall into what we are trying to achieve as a freelance writer, I’d like to talk more about networking in the sense of branding yourself and making new friends and connections online and offline.
To me, the strongest aspect of this is to use social networks, telephone, skype, email, forums and blogs to fulfill that need to connect with others. When I say “others” I mean other freelance writers, publishers, webmasters, friends and like minded people. By connecting with others consistently, we extend our reach into the world. Every new person who knows you, trusts and respects you has the potential to spread the word about your business.
Imagine the possibilities!
Despite this, a network shouldn’t just be seen as a means to get more work, acquire new business partners, spread the word about you or connect with the top dogs in your industry.
A network or networking is also a very important social aspect of our lives. We do it all the time, unconsciously, without realizing since childhood.
Networking helps us to belong.
When we connect with like mined people, be it in sports, religion, spirituality or by sharing a common interest, we rise to become our very best.
Belonging awakens our potential, our awareness.
I’m sure you can identify with this yourself as most people belong to a group or network of some kind. Humans are pack animals and don’t thrive too well by being lonely (unless you are a Buddhist monk).
Therefore we all need interaction with others to keep us stimulated, inspired, entertained and loved. Networking fulfills this need for us.
Networking isn’t just a social aspect of my business, it goes much further. I strive on interacting with other like minded people and form new, lasting friendships in the process. Networking has been a blessing for both my life and my business.
What has it done for you?