Freelance writing appeals to my shy side. I can sit at home and deal with everything via email or Skype, or I can network online and not even have to use the phone if I don’t want to. It doesn’t get better than that, right?
My freelance writing business started out slow, like most writers, and picked up slowly throughout the years. I enjoyed not having to commute every day or have to talk to anyone. The lifestyle was perfect for me. Four years ago something interesting happened that changed the game. My career took off like a rocket.
Why did this happen?
Because I got out from behind my laptop and attended a conference.
Going to an event was a big step for me. I’d never been anywhere alone, and here I was flying off by myself across the country. I wouldn’t know anyone there and I never approached potential clients on a face to face level before. To say I was scared is an understatement. I forced myself to come out of my shell. I began talking to people and they liked me. They were interested in learning more about what I do. I left that conference with a new client and a few new leads.
I also went home with a new burst of confidence.
After that I began attending local business meetings, networking events and more conferences away from home. I met clients for lunch or in their offices and spoke with them on the phone. My business doubled and then tripled.
Yes, it’s comfortable to work at home and not have to deal with clients beyond the basic email correspondence, but face to face is so much better. Your clients and contacts have more faith in you and your ability when they can discuss their concerns with you in person.
Working at home doesn’t have to mean staying at home.
It doesn’t have to mean never picking up the phone. Clients are more comfortable when they can hear a voice or grasp a handshake. They want to make sure you’re not hiding behind your laptop for a reason.
If you’re happy with your career the way it is, and never having to leave your home office, that’s fine. I wonder, though…how much more your freelance writing business would pick up if you got out behind your laptop?
How many of you meet clients outside the home? Has face to face taken your business to a whole new level?