You probably see me on Twitter…a lot. The truth is, I like Twitter for many reasons. for example, it breaks up the monotony of the day when I’m home alone. There’s more to it than that, though. I find the networking to be invaluable. Twitter has enabled me to build on so many different types of relationships with clients, sponsors, community members and friends. In 2010, anyone wishing to be a success in business, needs to consider the various social networks as a way to meet others and build up buzz around a product and brand, even if the brand is a personal one. If you ever wonder why I’m on Twitter so much and not working, the truth is, I am working. I’m building community, relationships, friendships…and trust.
Why are online relationships important for freelancer writers?
1. Everyone you meet online has the potential to become a client
Every single person who is a Facebook friend, or who shares videos on YouTube or who follows on Twitter, is someone who may need a writer one day. If you’re the only writer one of these online friends know, you’re the one they will turn to for help should the need arise. Also, the people you meet online know people. They can make recommendations to others who need writers. They might also tell you about available job openings. By taking the time to know your online friends and followers, you’re letting them know you value their relationship. They’ll show their appreciation when it comes time to hire writers.
2. Online relationships build trust
There’s a reason I talk to people online, I mean, besides the fact that I truly enjoy being around people and sharing, learning and enjoying a good conversation. It’s because I like to surround myself with people I trust. It sounds silly coming from someone with almost 6,000 Twitter followers, right? How can you follow that many people and talk about trust? The truth is, I trust you until you give me a reason not to. If someone betrays my trust I don’t follow him or her anymore. I even block the people who do whatever they can to create drama or a negative experience. If I can’t trust someone, if I wouldn’t spend time with them in real life, I don’t want to spend time with that person online. I think other people feel the same. They follow the people whose advice and humor appeals to them, and who they like and can trust to steer them in the right direction. Once you have trust, everything builds from there. When you talk to the same people day in and day out, even if it has absolutely nothing to do with freelance writing, you’re building trust.
3. People who trust you are more likely to do business with you
See: potential client, above. However, once you build trust the “potential” isn’t part of the equation anymore. People DO seek you out for projects. A potential client who is also a Twitter fried contacted me recently because he saw something I wrote two years ago and wanted writing along the same vein for his website. When I quoted my rate, he told me he wasn’t prepared to pay so much. Two weeks later he came back and told me I’m the only writer he trusts for the job. After reading my work and following me on the social networks he’s sure his money will be well spent. Trust won out over the need to go cheap.
4. People who trust you are more likely to collaborate with you
There are several writers and bloggers with whom I’m collaborating on projects. We have ebooks, traditional books and speaker proposals in the works. I met all my colleagues online through the various social networks. We met in person at various events and solified the relationship. Now we have some cool stuff coming up. Would we have gravitated to each other and brainstormed ideas if we didn’t trust each other? I’m guessing no.
5. People who trust you can also be trusted
Trust isn’t a one way street. The people who follow you and trust you are also people you can trust. You can trust their information, you can trust their friendship and you can trust them to be loyal – until you do something to betray that trust. You can trust them to recommend products, services and potential clients. With a large network of trusted friends, the possibilities are endless.
Talk to me…has networking online helped you professionally? Tell us about your online relationships…