Learning to Listen (or where ideas come from)

Everyone knows a big part of being a good freelance writer (and of networking) is learning how to listen. But sometimes we forget that we can learn to be a better freelance writer or networker by listening to our peers.

I generally think I’m pretty good about being open to new ideas. I believe that ideas come from everywhere, and that one of the differences between a good freelancer and a mediocre one (and who wants to hire a mediocre one) is the ability to connect seemingly unconnected events in a way that makes sense and that creates a space for others to think.

But, despite Marian Schembari praising the powers of linked in on a regular basis, I hadn’t given it a serious chance. Marian had mentioned several times that she’s found it a fantastic platform for finding clients. Each time my face twisted in slight disbelief. After all, Linked in has a poor user interface and is organized in a way that’s not-even-close-to intuitive. Then one day last week she posted that she had found three new clients in an hour on linked in. I thought, no way, nuh-uh.

And I decided to give it a shot.

Well, I should have listened sooner. I joined a number of discussion boards and over the last few days I have gained four potential clients – and I spend less than half an hour a day doing it. End result? In the future I’ll pursue things that people I trust recommend. I’ll listen and instead of giving in to my preconceptions I’ll give new things a shot.

And if any of you out there want to learn how to be a killer connection maker on linked in, check out Marian’s site–she is an awesome chick who teaches social media (Check out her linked in tutorial), and at the moment has up a free video guide–The #1 Reason LinkedIn STILL Isn’t Working For You and How To Fix It.

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