Present Networking For Your Future

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I was reading this article on The Career News about how everything we say and do is a way to pitch ourselves to future clients. Being someone who has become used to those rejection letters it speaks of has me thinking. Rejection is really hard to take, especially when you know you are strong in your work ethic and skill set to be able to provide any future provider and excellent employee. The job search is a daunting process and is a knockdown blow to many unsuccessful seekers who might have high skills, but resort to under-employment just to have some type of paycheck to bring home.

As I think back to how I have achieved most of my jobs, it is not because I spent countless hours each week scouring all the job boards and papers I knew of (trust me, I did) but it was because during the time I was actively job hunting, I told everyone I knew that I was in the market for a job. Those I never thought would ever help me were the ones that overheard or knew of, or somehow had a connection or a clue of who I needed to talk to and directed me there. If I never thought to tell them I was in the market for a job, and being specific to what type of job, then they would have no idea to be on the lookout.

Also, staying honest with others when they might see you have a job lined up, be sure to speak up if it is A.) not what you are looking for but at least a paycheck while you are still looking, or B.) A temporary job that ends at such and such date. Your friends and acquaintances need to know your job status and what you are looking for. For instance, tonight I went to a cookout with some great friends of ours. They invited over some friends from our past and while it was wonderful to catch up with them, it was also interesting to hear about their current job endeavors and gave me the freedom to talk about my job. In the end, we decided our direct paths do not cross professionally, but we both learned more and will be able to keep ears open for possibilities.

I have also learned through my Thirty One business that not everyone has ever heard of the product. We were helping a friend’s family with a house project and they asked how the job was going. When the response is, “What job?” it means I have not done a good job keeping them in the loop. It also gave me the opportunity to mention temporary projects I am working on in my writing career, what types of jobs I am currently looking for, and it opened a door to mention my Thirty One business and the possibility of a party with her when they finish their house move.

Do you have a story of how your networking turned into a job or tips for networking? Tell us below.

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Ten Things a Freelancer Can Do To Get Noticed

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Be your brand

 

Define the look and feel of your freelance company. Find your niche and focus directly on that product solely. It is easy to try to be all things to all clients in the beginning to find work. Instead, be the best at one thing instead of mediocre at too many things. If you are a writer, decide what medium you will write – such as blogging. Define your brand image specifically around the work you want. This includes every facet of running your business. If you want to be known for always meeting deadlines and working well with others, then your brand must portray that sense.

 

Tell all your friends what you do

 

Your friends and relatives will usually advocate your skills for you, but they need to truly understand what it is you do. Be sure you are educating your friends by letting them know first, that you are available and actively looking for work and second, what type of work you are looking for. They need to know more than you are a writer; they need to know what type of writing and what industry of writing you prefer.

 

Network, Network, Network

 

Join the local Chamber of Commerce and attend any of the various events. These social events are made up of other business representatives in the city and this is a perfect opportunity to get your brand name out there to others in the area. Also, be on the looking of anyone you could team up with to help recommend your services. If you are great at web design but not the greatest writer, pair up with a writer so the two of you can both take on a project together. This is a preference if you like to collaborate on projects.

 

Be on the lookout for any other organization to join. Some might have a cost but others may not. Look at who the members are, if the website hosts a job board, and how often the organization hosts events. These events can help you learn from others in the industry and could lead to tips for your own business.

 

Blog regularly

 

An easy way to show the world what you know is to keep a blog. By hosting a professional blog, write about your niche topic. This shows the depth of your knowledge in the field. When a potential client reads your work, this will be proof that you will get the job done because you know your craft. Decide how many times a week you will post to your blog. Your readers will come to expect a blog that is regularly updated by someone in the profession.

Research and comment on other blogs

 

Take the time to see what others are writing about your niche. Always stay current in the latest information in your field. Also, write comments whenever you can that are productive and show your knowledge or thank the author for their post. Commenting allows you the opportunity to leave your name and website link so others may click back to your site. Acknowledging other blogs helps gain community trust with is important for networking.

 

Create a professional Facebook page

 

Keeping a professional page separate from a personal page is a great way to keep your professional image sharp. Most blog posts automatically update your facebook status to help your readers know there has been a blog update. Use your personal page to invite all your friends to like your page. Friend other professionals as well as potential clients.

 

Join Twitter and twitter chats

 

The benefit of twitter is you can follow whoever you want and they do not have to follow you back – at least right away. This gives you an avenue to follow others in your niche field. If you are an editor, start following publishing companies. Also follow other editors. Many will post links to their professional blogs that will give you tips. I have found regular clients through Twitter just by chatting with them.

 

Mail out a sales letter

 

Create an advertising flyer that explains what you do. You can also include testimonials from previous employers. Highlight the benefits a company will have from using your services. Mail these fliers out to every business professional that might have a need for someone in your line of work. Do not include pricing information, but be sure to include your contact information and possibly a business card if you have one.

 

 

Stay organized

 

Freelancers take on a variety of projects at the same time. The way to keep ahead is to understand your limitations and know what your calendar looks like at all times. There are different methods depending on your own style, but find one and stick with it. When I take on a new deadline, I use an online calendar and piece out mini-deadlines so I can stay on pace and am not left at the last minute with more than I can handle. Understanding what each week looks like allows me to keep track of what new projects I can take on. Always have your calendar with you and be ready to schedule new consultations. With proper networking, these could happen anywhere.

 

Dress professional and keep a schedule

 

You might have always dreamed of working in your pajamas and this might be nice on occasion, but people act how they dress. If you take the extra few moments to dress for work, you will find you work harder and accomplish more during the work day. The phone voice is more professional and you can be ready to meet a new client. Sticking to a regular schedule during the workday helps keep the balance between work and home. It is too easy for a freelancer to always feel they are on the clock and never get out of the mindset. This can lead to burnout too quickly. Keeping to a schedule and separating home and work keep you wanting to increase your profile and seek out new projects. Friends and those you network with will be able to tell if you are a burned out freelancer and might not send work your way. Keep yourself professional and wanting the work.