If you’re anything like me, the thought of spending endless days in your cozy writing room, tapping away at your keyboard, sounds like bliss. But let’s face it, even us hermit-like souls need a dose of human interaction every now and then.
I’ll admit it upfront: I’m not exactly a social butterfly. Sure, I can turn on the charm when needed, but it drains me faster than a smartphone battery on full brightness. That’s why when I began my journey as a freelance copywriter, I was all about those solitary writing sessions in my home office (aka, my writing room).
But here’s the kicker—I quickly realized that as much as I love my alone time, I needed to sprinkle in some social spice to keep things interesting. And that’s where networking comes into play.
Why You Need Networking as Part of Your Freelancing Gig
Now, I’m not talking about those cringeworthy, forced interactions where you exchange business cards like playing cards at a poker table. No, I’m talking about genuine connections with like-minded souls who understand the struggles and triumphs of the freelance life (or who can benefit from your writing services).
So, why should you, my fellow introverted writer, step out of your writing cave and into the wild world of networking? Allow me to break it down for you:
1. Expand Your Social Circle
Sure, the thought of mingling with strangers might make your introverted heart race, but trust me, it’s worth it. Every new connection is an opportunity to learn something new, gain a fresh perspective, or stumble upon an idea that could spark your next creative masterpiece. And who knows, you might make a new friend along the way—and friends are good for our health.
2. Stretch Those Legs
Let’s face it, sitting in front of a screen all day isn’t doing your body any favors. Networking forces you to peel away from your comfy chair and move your body. You might even discover a hidden gem of a coffee shop or a scenic walking route along the way. The key here is that you can’t just sit at your desk all day unless you want your Apple watch pinging you every hour to stand up and move.
If you want any chance of hitting those daily rings, you need to get up and move. So why not do it by attending a networking event or scheduling a coffee with that person you meant to connect with so many months ago?
3. Boost Your Business
Ah, the holy grail of networking—growing your pipeline. Putting yourself out there and sharing what you do opens the door to new opportunities. Whether it’s a referral from a fellow freelancer or a chance encounter that leads to a lucrative project, you never know where your next big break might come from.
For those of you who are just getting started in the content writing space, don’t fall into the trap that I fell into when I first started. Quite quickly, I had so much work come in that I felt I didn’t need to keep working to find more. That’s the wrong mindset. Any small business owner quickly learns that the sales and marketing aspect of what you do never ends.
So if you’re on Upwork or Fiverr, make sure you take some time every day to peruse the open jobs. Send proposals. And if you’re on LinkedIn, send notes to folks from the past who might be able to benefit from what you have to offer. Always strive to have a healthy pipeline of leads that could convert into paid work.
4. Pay it Forward
Networking isn’t just about what others can do for you; it’s also about how you can lend a helping hand. Whether it’s recommending a fellow freelancer to a potential client or sharing valuable insights and resources, being generous with your time and expertise can come back to you tenfold.
Trust me, I am literally living this success story right now. A connection of a connection reached out to me in early January to see if I had the bandwidth to take on some writing needs for his new website. And the result? In just two weeks, I’ve added $1,500 to my revenue line—and there’s a lot more work to come!
5. Fuel Your Creativity
Meeting new people and hearing their stories can be a goldmine for content ideas. From inspirational anecdotes to industry insights, every interaction has the potential to fuel your creative fire. Not only that, but it can fill your content calendar for months to come.
For example, in December, I had coffee with a health and wellness guru whom I had met at a monthly female entrepreneurs networking event. She provided me with some great insights for my own health. And what did I do? I decided to turn it into a blog! You may appreciate the health hacks she shared with me, too.
Get Out There and Meet New Connections
So there you have it. While the allure of solitude may be strong, don’t underestimate the power of putting yourself out there and making meaningful connections. Who knows, your next big breakthrough could be just a networking event away. So grab your business cards and schedule that next coffee meeting or look for a networking event near you.
Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have a coffee meeting to attend. Wish me luck!