If you have ever walked through a midway at a summer fair or a carnival, you will have noticed that you are constantly being invited to partake in one or more of the games available. Carnival workers refer to the process of trying to get a potential customer’s attention by shouting out to them as “working your joint.”
The concept of taking steps to promote your business and what you have to offer is not only confined to people working the fair circuit. If you don’t want the term “working writer” to be an oxymoron, you need to make some noise and let potential clients that you are here and ready to work with them.
There are many ways you can promote yourself, but today I want to focus on one of the basics: the business card. If you are serious about making money working as a freelance writer, I would suggest that you have some made up. They don’t have to be anything fancy; what you want is something with your name, your business name (if you have one or “Freelance Writer” if you don’t) and your preferred contact method. Go to a print shop or look into one of the free biz card templates available online and print them off on card stock.
Keep a supply of cards with you at all times and distribute them freely. Any time that you meet someone new, don’t just say your name, give the person your card, too. At the same time, be prepared to tell the person a little bit about yourself and what you do. Write a 30-second “elevator speech” that you can rhyme off any time you need to.
If you are not used to doing this, it may be uncomfortable at first. Over time, it will get easier. The idea here is to spread a big net out to make contacts. It may not happen overnight, but someone you gave your card to may turn out to be someone who can give you some work, or they may know someone who needs writing done.
What I want to convey here is the idea that we need to be constantly open to the possibility getting more (and better paying) jobs. I honestly believe that we have as many opportunities as we create for ourselves and if you want to get more business, you need to let the people know who you are and what you can do for them.
So get out there and start working your own joint…just stay away from the carnival games. (They can be won, but either there is a trick involved or the odds are highly slanted in the House’s favor.)