Tuesday, October 7, 2014
Networking ~ Writing Workshop Series
Our last entry addressed promoting your published book. The entry today continues with that theme, but we are dealing with networking with people from a slightly different perspective. I do not want to talk to you about networking simply to get your book in the hands of people, but from a perspective of increasing your knowledge, influence and reach far beyond your one book project.
Sometimes our scope can be limited by our view to get our one project in the hands of as many people as possible. This isn't a bad thing per say, however it can limit our reach if you are not careful. I'll try to explain my thinking with this example. Let's say I have published a children's book. I would generally begin looking for people or situations that would help me promote my book to my market for children. In doing so, sometimes we overlook people we meet because they are not meeting my needs right now. For example you meet someone that host events for authors that write self-help types of books. You think, that's not my book so I'll smile nicely but I don't need their information.
That's too bad you didn't take advantage of the opportunity, because this connection could have helped you in your networking abilities later. Let's say you meet someone that is looking for this same type of event later. Had you kept that information you could have become a resource for this new person, who might have been grateful and become a possible connection for you into their networking arena, that might contain people you do need. What am I trying to say? While nothing is guaranteed, you never know how someone you meet will become a benefit to you or to someone else you meet, if not now, later.
In fact, one thing you will need to learn to do is to become a person that learns to network. Some people are better than others at that. I think my husband is the master of networking, in part, because his job requires him to continually be making connections. Sometimes he doesn't need what the person is offering, but on those occasions when need arises for that service, he is able to go back to some of those contacts and fulfill a need through his network.
Another great reason to network is these individuals also become resource providers for you. In their networks are people that may need what you have, but you wouldn't have a way in had it not been for the networking. Networking provides you resources, ideas, peer support and critique.
Now let me address the bad side of networking. What's the bad side you may ask? People don't like to be used. Therefore do not see people as only a means to get what you want. People don't want to join your FB page or your Linkedin network if every post or request is, "give me something!" What are you giving? Make sure you have support, encouragement and resources to share with others. This then becomes a "relationship". People even in business and networking are more likely to help someone they feel a connection to or they feel respected and honored by. So don't do yourself a disservice by begging for sales without stopping to see what the other person has brought to the table.
In networking you also are blessed to gain professional resources that you may not get any other way. For example if you desire to host an event you might be surprised how many people you know that are able to do so, or have done events, like parties etc. You have to be willing to ask around and seek help. When my sixteen year old daughter wanted to do a big sweet sixteen party, I had a limited budget and needed someone to help me get that moving. I didn't have the time to do the leg work or run around to get it done. I was able to find a person in my network, ZDL Event Planning that helped me do that. The event was very inexpensive, however it didn't look cheap and my daughter enjoyed herself.
When I finish all the preparation work and launch Tri-Productions Publishing, I will utilize this individual to help me prepare a launch party. Also, as I am preparing my company, Tri-Productions to go live I realize I need help in some areas I have never done before. After searching around I found some individuals in my network that were willing to invest in helping me (for FREE). What I offer to them is support and help to get in shape. Sometimes when we network we find we have things we can exchange. So in this instance we are helping each other out.
What's the goal? Your goal is to impact as many people as you can with your work. In the process you will develop some relationships along the way that may not benefit your current project, but may be beneficial in upcoming projects. For more information about publishing and promoting, keep checking back as we prepare to launch Tri-Productions Publishing. If you have questions on how to get started, e-mail us @ firstname.lastname@example.org, Happy Writing!!!!