Whether youre trying to find an editor for your book, or a producer to pitch your story to, sometimes its all about networking. If you still have 999 of the 1,000 business cards you ordered, youre not getting out there enough. Its time to step out from behind that computer and strike networking gold.
One of the first laws of networking is that you want to get to know the people youre networking with. If youre at a writers conference or networking luncheon, dont just pass out business cards, take the time to get to know people. When you meet industry partners, jot down a few notes on the back of their business cards so you dont lost this potentially valuable information.
When youre building your network, be generous with your help and information. The people youre networking with will remember and appreciate your generosity. Next, youll want to stay on their radar screen. If I dont regularly dialog with a particular contact, I try to send them a note or set up a lunch at least once every six months (more when I can). When youre staying in touch with people, let them know if youre offering a new service or product and always remember to send thank you notes whenever you get a referral from them.
If your objective is to join some networking groups, remember that these are not all created equal. Some groups and events are better than others and some are just straight out time wasters. When you first start pursuing networking events, youll find that many are just luncheons meaning that a few entrepreneurs get together and hash out their difficulties/ideas/challenges over lunch. If this is what youre after, great! But more than likely youll want to attend events that can sell you books, get you new business or a combination of both. Keep in mind also that some networking events cost money to join, weigh the benefits of membership before you plunk down some cash, the better organizations dont always need to cost a lot, often you can find networking organizations that only charge a small fee at the door to cover room expenses, etc.
The next thing youll want to look at when attending a networking meeting is supply and demand. If youre promoting your business and looking for leads, you probably wont want to go to a meeting where there are a number of people doing the same thing you are. Unless its an association (which are great too) youll want to look for meetings that have a good balance in attendees.
The other obvious choice for writers is writers conferences. But much like networking meetings they are not all created equal. Once you determine that you want to attend a conference, start shopping for the right one to attend. Youll need to find a conference that fits your writing needs right now. For example if youre still in the throes of getting into the craft of writing, perhaps a writing retreat is more suited to your needs. If youve already written a book and are deciding what to do with it, then a more advanced conference will work better for you. In either case, peruse their web sites carefully. Recommendations are great but remember, attending the wrong conference can be a waste of your time and money. Spend both of these commodities wisely!
Whether youre meeting a producer for coffee, attending a networking event or going to your first writers conference there are a few tips that youll want to keep in mind. First, whenever you collect business cards, take a few minutes to jot down some notes on the back before proceeding onto your next prospect. You can note some of the discussion you had or what your follow up action might be. Next, youll want to follow up while the contact is still fresh. Especially if youre at a writers conference or some other big event where theres a lot of networking.
Theres nothing like networking to build your business or sell books, remember that much like marketing networking is all about relationships. Building them, supporting them, and, ultimately, benefiting from them. Like anything, becoming a good networker takes time and effort, but when done correctly, its worth all the work you put into it because you never know, networking gold today might mean a spot on Oprah tomorrow.
About the author:
Penny C. Sansevieri
The Cliffhanger was published in June of 2000. After a strategic marketing campaign it quickly climbed
the ranks at Amazon.com to the ##1 best selling book in San Diego. Her most recent book: From Book to Bestseller was released in 2005 to rave reviews and is being called the roadmap to publishing success. Penny is a book marketing and media relations specialist. She also coaches authors on projects, manuscripts and marketing plans and instructs a variety of coursing on publishing and promotion. To learn more about her books or her promotional services, you can visit her web site at www.amarketingexpert.comTo subscribe to her free ezine, send a blank email to: mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org
Copyright ã 2005 Penny C. Sansevieri