Monday, July 21, 2014

Shy about Networking?

smile (Photo credit: Sachiho)

As a writer I don't care much for networking. I've turned my nose up at it for a long time. Foolishly so because poetry needs patronage.
It’s a given in the business world that people do favors for their friends, or as Derek Sivers says, Life is like high school. It’s all about who you know, how socially charming you are, what scene you’re in, what you wear, what parties you’re at, flirting, and being cool.”
As Joanna Penn from The Creative Penn writes in Networking Tips for Authors
Start slow and adjust your expectations
Be exclusive
Use social media (especially twitter) to make connections
Go to as many readings as you can
What can you do for them
Attend writers conferences, book fairs and summer workshops
Assess where you're at as a writer
Sound advice and easy to follow.
Networking for Introverts at Cupcakes and Cashmere tells you how to do it from a natural networker. The key to networking is to be genuine, to make a connection and to follow up.
Three of the simplest suggestions are
1. Ask a lot of questions. Instinctively, people love to talk about themselves...
2. Smile. I know, seems obvious, but trust me people forget! A little crack of the lips and glimpse of teeth can really break down the unfamiliarity quickly. Plus, it will come off as kindness, which is a trait everyone seeks in a relationship.
3. Flattery will get you everywhere. This sounds contrived but it works.

Sill not convinced? Still believe you can simply write and 'be discovered'? That's unlikely in today's world and you're in for a huge disappointment unless you get off your ass and out into the real world. Networking is not a heinous crime, selfish to the core - it's simply about making human connections and staying in touch with people.
Good luck.

PS - Anyone who read this post yesterday will wonder what happened and why I'm writing another on the same topic. I accidentally deleted it while using the blogger app on my cell phone.
I couldn't believe it - a complete post, with comments and likes - just gone. Well luckily I remember what I wrote, so here it is - again!