Lately, I have been receiving tons of very similar e-mails. Everyone wants to know how they can be more successful with their freelancing, how they can grow their website further, what they’re doing wrong, and so on.
Some even want to know how to break into the personal finance community because they haven’t been having much luck with connecting with other blogs and bloggers. Basically, they want to know how to connect with others better and more effectively.
Well, let me tell you what works: networking!
I love the blogging and freelancing community that I am involved in. Everyone is very friendly and I have made numerous friends. I am a very talkative person to begin with, so everything in this post comes relatively easy to me. However, I completely understand how some things don’t come as naturally to others.
Some might be afraid to come off as spammy, some are just nervous people. Some are afraid of rejection.
Networking is very important. Someone e-mailed me the other day and said that no one is e-mailing them back and they feel stuck whenever they try to network. They feel that they can’t further their freelancing and website further until they improve their networking skills.
Now, why is networking important?
With networking, you can find out about future prospects, projects, ideas and so on. Maybe someone who you have networked with will need your services down the road. They will then hopefully think about you and your services. Most people would rather use someone who they know or someone who they know of instead of a stranger, and this is where you come in.
Networking is also important because you can gain friends in your niche/industry. Who wants to work alone? For myself, I’d rather not think of everyone as competition. I’d rather think of someone as a friend and a colleague. Some may say that this is not always the best idea, but for me, I prefer it this way.
Maybe you will need help one day, and your new friend can help you solve your problem. Maybe you two can team up as well. You never know, you might even partner up with a contact and start a business.
Below are several networking tips. Not everything works for every industry, but it is a good start:
Of course this depends on what kind of job that you have. If you are a lawyer, you will want to stay professional at almost all times. However, if you are a blogger, then you probably want to be as real as you can be. You want people to be able to relate to you. Not many people want to talk to a robot…
I talk to other bloggers and freelancers multiple times a day. If you are on Google Chat, then chances are that I have chatted with you and talked about anything and everything. I might send you a random text, an email, or respond to a tweet of yours. I love communicating with readers, other bloggers and other freelancers!
Engage in social media.
Engaging in social media can pertain to many different industries. Whether you are blogging or you have an online retail store, engaging directly with your customers/clients/etc. is very important.
You can have conversations on Twitter, post pictures of what you are doing on Facebook (such as the newest clothing trend that you are selling, something new in your life, etc.). The options are endless.
Attend events in your industry.
In October, I will be attending my very first FinCon. I don’t know why I decided not to go the past 2 years, but I am super excited about October.
Attending an event such as FinCon is great for myself and others in the industry because it allows you to finally meet all of those people who you talk to. You can also meet many new people and branch out. You can put a face to a name, hang out, talk in person and everything else at events like this.
Quality is important.
If you are networking and trying to become more successful, then numbers may seem important. However, what’s really important is quality. Good networking means that you are talking to people, following up with them, listening, helping them out, and so on. Good quality networking means that people can count on you and you can count on them.
Having a few really good quality contacts is much better than having 10 really bad contacts who you never talk to.
Do you engage in a lot of networking, either online or for your day job? Why?