On Networking & Newsletters

When I was working on my Masters in Publishing at Pace University I made a handful of good friends. Among them is Diana, who happened to do her thesis on a topic similar to mine and who I talked to on Facebook while pulling almost-all-nighters several nights in a row trying to finish that same thesis. I’ve posted before – many many times – about the importance of networking and collaborating with both other freelancers and, specifically, with other writers.

Well, completely out of the blue today I receive a Linked In message from Diana–she found a writing opportunity she thinks I should follow up on and has personally recommended me to the woman I need to email in order to apply. I haven’t talked to Diana in a few months – I graduated in December and I’ve been pretty swamped since then, but she knows the goals I am pursuing and when she saw an opportunity for a freelance writer she passed it along.

This is exactly the chain of events you want to set up for potential clients. You want them to know what you do and who you are, so that when they have an opportunity to hire someone who does what you do, they call you.

Which is why I’ve decided when I launch my company’s website, I’ll also be launching a newsletter. That’s right, not another blog, a newsletter. I’ll probably make archives available on the site (though I’ll have to figure out how to make them easy to navigate – I hate archives where you can’t find anything) and I’ll need to learn how to set up and send out a newsletter, but I’ve decided this is a good decision for a number of reasons.

In today’s marketplace, selling yourself is all about proving what you can provide to your customers and information is a big part of that. As a writer, providing clients with well written content that also positions yourself (or myself) as an expert on the types of services you want to provide for them is a great way to prove your qualified. Now, that can be done a number of ways: a free ebook, a blog, informative articles on your site or with a newsletter. So, why did I choose a newsletter?

A monthly newsletter will allow me to stay in touch on a regular basis while providing real value but without the drain on my time and energies that it would take to creating and maintain a second blog. I may, at some point, do an ebook but since readers are only likely to download a book once, I feel that newsletters (which arrive in their inbox on a regular basis) are a better first choice. Furthermore, it will allow me to build up leads – companies interested in learning more about the types of things I do (ex. write press releases) and give me contact info for those leads. One or two articles once a month should be just enough to prove my expertise and keep me in mind for when they have a project (at least that’s my hope).

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