Last week we discussed the importance of freelance writers using social media tools to build online relationships. While the benefits abound, it’s important to note offline relationships are also important. In fact, taking your online relationships offline, can further solidify a working association. Don’t be afraid to join a local networking group or reach out to people in the real world.
Offline relationships are just important. No ,they’re more important than the bonds you form online.
Why Are Offline Relationships Important for Freelance Writers
1. Because everyone is a potential client
It doesn’t matter if it’s your neighbor, the Cub Scout leader or your Realtor, everyone has the potential to be a client. There are different reasons to hire writers and not all writing jobs are found online. Every single person you meet may need to hire a writer one day. When you maintain good relationships with the people in your area, you’re the one who will come to mind when it’s time to hire a freelancer. Besides, ,most people prefer to hire local anyway.
2. Because people have more faith and trust in those they meet face to face
Are you more likely to trust someone online or off? Offline we can meet someone and hit it off right off the bat. Online, it takes more time to establish that trust. We can’t tell who we want to do business with after a couple of Tweets. However, after talking with someone face to face at a networking meeting, we might have a good idea of whether or not someone is a potential client or freelancer.
3. Because everyone knows someone
All of your neighbors, friends and acquaintances know people…people who might have a need for writers. If you have established trust with others, they’ll have no hesitation when it comes to recommending you for a gig.
4. Because you can do more offline than on
When you talk with someone online they can hear the sound of your voice and see the sincerity in your eyes. They can tell by your handshake if you’re confident or going through the motions. You can show a portfolio and go through your projects in detail, and elaborate on points and issues. When we’re talking via Skype or a social network, it’s generally hurried. In person we can slow down and address everything needing to be addressed.
5. Because it’s more personal offline
Offline is more personal. Online relationships can only go so far. Offline you can attend meetings and brainstorming sessions. You can tell by your client’s face and tone which ideas are a hit and which are bombs. Anything you do in person is more, well, personal. To date, I haven’t met one client who says he prefers online relationships over offline relationships.
Start doing business in person and see what I mean.
What do you do to maintain professional relationships offline?