The Laid-Back Method That Grows Your Freelance Business

Editor

A freelance writer grows their business like a thriving plantBy Daryl George

Have you ever labored over writing the perfect guest post or pitch, only to be greeted by silence or rejection?

Or maybe you’ve hit a roadblock, with your freelance writing business spinning its wheels while the mud splatters in your face as you desperately try and fail to get things moving.

Guess what? There’s an easy way to solve these problems.

It’s something that’s even more important than great writing. Something more important than a strong idea, killer headlines, or a perfectly SEO’d website.

What is this secret?

It’s who you know

The power of relationships to boost personal and business success is often understated. In fact, career experts say up to 80 percent of jobs are found through personal relationships.

The benefits of relationships, however, extend far beyond a paycheck. For example, relationships with Jon Morrow and Derek Halpern have helped Carol learn more about blogging and connecting with readers.

However, for many new freelance writers, there’s still a problem: How do you go about establishing relationships with people you’ve never met before?

Thankfully, there ways to develop new relationships that will help your freelance business grow without having to make expensive investments.

Here are four easy ways for freelance writers to establish new relationships:

1. Leave comments

Commenting on other blogs is one great way to establish relationships with new people. The truth is, even the most popular of bloggers love it when people comment on their blogs and enjoy engaging with those who take the time to post thoughtful comments.

Don’t just comment for commenting’s sake, but make sure every comment is valuable and adds something to the discussion.

2. Offer help

Maybe you’re knowledgeable in WordPress, and you see a fellow blogger with a design flaw that can be easily fixed. Or you could be an SEO expert and you see someone whose content would benefit with a few minor changes.

By offering just a bit of help or advice, you can quickly form an immediate and long-lasting bond with the person you’re advising.

Of course, nobody’s telling you to offer a full package of services for free — but a few words of advice can go a long way in initiating a new relationship.

3. Be authentic

It’s easy to see when someone is trying to develop a relationship with an ulterior motive, such as just to secure a writing gig. Instead of trying to establish relationships purely to make a dollar, understand that connecting with others who share a similar experience to you is in itself a reward.

When you become authentic in your interactions, you will notice that opportunities begin to present themselves as you develop a deeper connection with your new friends.

4. Build your own community

Don’t always let someone else form a group — instead, build the community you want to be a part of. This could take the shape of a LinkedIn group, a mastermind group, or anywhere else people can engage with each other easily and quickly.

Developing new relationships can provide powerful benefits for any freelance writer. By building relationships with new people, you are developing a critical resource which can launch your freelance writing businesses to higher heights of success.

How do you network? Leave a comment and tell us your approach.

Daryl George is a writer and freelance blogger for hire who specializes in using the written word and psychology to help small- and medium-sized businesses connect with customers and increase profits. He tells his own freelance story at freelancewriterstartup.com.

 

42 Comments

  1. Rob

    I get the bulk of my new work from referrals. Most are current or past clients, but some referrals come from other freelance writers I’ve worked with in the past. The key for me is having a relationship built on a foundation of mutual support. I really don’t know how to establish such a relationship when my underlying motive is to get gigs, so I don’t even try.

  2. Yael Eylat-Tanaka

    Regarding your article about relationships and how to develop them, I very much enjoyed the article, and agree that all business is based on relationship. Posting comments and feedback is one way to do that. As a card-carrying Toastmaster, I am often in a position to provide feedback to speakers at the club, but those evaluations are short, usually limited to 2 minutes of impromptu speaking. I typically follow that up with a personal email to the speaker, going into deeper detail about the speech. I have found that speakers like that personal touch, that is not only privately given (although that is not a necessity), but also goes into much more detail. I am currently mentoring a new member who happens to be a superb speaker, yet she disagreed with her evaluator’s feedback of her last speech, and asked my opinion. I was happy to share what I thought, bolstering (and explaining) her evaluator’s feedback, as well as giving her my own.

    It is the same when commenting or reviewing a blog. With honesty – and tact – you are promoting yourself, as well as establishing relationships with the writer of the blog, as well as with the readers of the blog. Offer your views willingly, graciously, and above all, sincerely.

  3. Tanya Adams

    I really enjoyed this piece, Daryl. I’m new to social media and commenting on blogs. I will comment if something moves me and not just for comment sake. I love your #s 1-3. I would hope that I’m always authentic. The #4 building a community is hard for an introvert like myself, but I do agree with the previous commenter about joining a community. I’ve gotten so much out of being a part of the Den. I hung back a bit and just read and learned and am now commenting more. I feel I have met a lot of new friends in the 3 months of my joining. And, now with my website and my info am ready to venture out into business. All this in 3 months. I have a long way to go as far as guest blogging I think, but I will keep your comments in mind when the time comes. Thanks for such an informative piece.

    • Daryl

      Glad you enjoyed it Tanya! And yes, the Den is definitely a great community to connect with other freelance writers

  4. Emelia

    So true Daryl, I think freelance writers have to think out of the box in regard to marketing and growing their businesses. Social networks are getting overcrowded and one cannot entirely depend on it as a marketing tool. I have a heart for helping anyone new in the industry and your last point gave me an idea of where I could start.

    Great post, Daryl!

    • Daryl

      Thanks Emilia, much appreciated! Helping others is definitely a great way to make a name for yourself.

  5. Cindi Kerr

    Daryl – Well said! Building relationships is necessary for building a freelance business and you’ve shared some great tips for doing that. I would add introductions. When you introduce two people you know who would benefit from knowing each other, they begin to think of you as helpful and are more likely to think of you the next time they need help.

    I clicked over to your website, http://www.darylgeorge.com, and noticed your Sept 4 post, “Free Guest Post or Article From Me!” This is a wonderful idea. I hope you don’t mind if I use it.

    I look forward to hearing more from you.

    • Daryl

      Haha Cindi – The free guest post was meant to be a September only deal, but I’d be happy to extend it to you! Shoot me an email and we’ll talk.

      And definitely – introducing people is another great way to build relationships!

    • Carol Tice

      You know, Danny Iny is always introducing me to new people and I think it’s so cool! I need to think more about who in my circle would benefit from meeting each other. Referring people is always a good thing.

    • Lorraine Reguly

      I have used Twitter to introduce several people to one another (not using the #FF either). I’ve connected freelancers with one another, and to you and Linda, and most recently, have connected the two guys for whom I wrote my two recent guest posts for to one another. Now the three of us are collaborating on a giveaway!

      It’s great when people agree with the slogan: “Cooperation, not competition!” which is a favourite of mine ever since Indie Author Melissa Bowersock said it to me months ago.

    • Carol Tice

      Yeah, too many writers think of other writers as the competition, instead of realizing they are your network and could be referring you business! I have a friend who was referred a print book contract by a writer in his network. Seriously, folks — get to know the other writers in your niche in your town!

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