I know it sounds like a contradiction: give more to get more business. Really, it’s not. If you want to build a successful business, as a freelance writer or in any other capacity, you need to take the time to build relationships with other people.
These include your current and former clients, potential clients, and colleagues. You won’t always know who you are communicating with will become a client or be able to refer you to a new one. Some of the best job leads are the ones that come from word of mouth, and if you ignore this way of finding work, you may be missing out on some great opportunities.
How do you develop these kinds of relationships with other people? You start very simply. Develop an interest in your clients’ business and what they do. Not only will it help you give them better service because you have a better understanding of their needs, but you can take this information and use it as a platform to keep in touch after you have finished your assignment.
If you come across a news story, article, or other tidbit of information that someone you know might be interested in, do you share it? You should! It only takes a minute to forward something along by e-mail. The person may not choose to act on the information, but you can bet that they will appreciate the fact that you thought to send it.
The next time that person has writing work they need to assign or is asked whether they know someone who can take on a project, I’d be willing to bet that your name is more likely to come up than if you didn’t do these little things. Being known as someone who is generous with what they know and willing to help their clients be successful will help you build your business, too.