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50+ Tips to Network and Build Relationships in Your Business Or Career

Connect-and-Conquer-cover-375If you’ve been struggling for new ways to get business or are simply interested in adding a new technique to your mix, then check out my new book, Connect and Conquer: Grow Your Business, Organization, and Career Through Online and Offline Relationships. Relationships have been a key to my own business success, and I believe they can help you, also.

This is the reality: Your next job probably won’t come from the job boards. But it very well may come from your relationships. Your next business deal may not come from the ad you placed. But it very well may come from the relationships you are growing. If relationships hold so many opportunities, shouldn’t you be working on yours?

Relationships can be the difference between failure and success. If you don’t take care of your relationships, think you can only show up when you want something, or approach networking with a me, me, me attitude, then you won’t get very far. Contrast that with respecting relationships, consistent communication, and an attitude of giving, and you can reap huge benefits.

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10 Keys to Finding Your Dream Clients

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When you’re running a freelance writing business, or actually any type of service business, you will get to a point where you want to be a bit more discerning in the type of clients you take on. Sure, when you’re just starting out, you might scramble to get any client who comes your way. But as you gain more experience, confidence, and success, you will realize there are certain types of work you prefer.

One of the reasons you launched your freelance writing business may have had to do with the freedom to choose. Well, this is one area where you absolutely can choose!  Yep. You don’t have to take every piece of business that comes your way. Instead, you can focus on doing your best work for clients you enjoy, and on projects that excite you. When you focus your marketing efforts on the clients you do want, you can build a better, stronger — and more enjoyable freelance writing business.

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5 Reasons Your Personal Story Matters to Your Clients and Customers

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When you’re growing a small business, you’re looking for any way you can stand out and draw more people to you.

But many people forget one very compelling way to attract clients.

Their personal stories.

Your personal story can help you attract your target clients, give you something in common with those you want to do business with, and relate to those around you. In today’s world of increasing interest in the lives of others — as displayed by the popularity of reality television and social media profiles — you could be missing an opportunity if you ignore your personal story. This isn’t to say you need to blab all your personal business to your customers — that would just be weird — but do consider being more open about who you are as a person and how that influences the work you can do for them.

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8 Types of Content You Can Create to Help Your Business Grow

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So you know you need to create content to grow your writing business. But what kind? Determining the right kind of content to create can help you reach your business growth goals. Good content can bring new customers and clients your way, as well as open the door to new opportunities as you become known for your content.

As a business book ghostwriter, I naturally believe anyone in business needs a book. A book (or ebook) is a great piece of content because it allows you to share your perspective and to educate your potential customers and clients at their own pace. But books aren’t the only type of content. Let’s look at several, starting with books:

1. Books and ebooks: Books and ebooks have several benefits. They immediately set their authors up as experts or authorities. Even though publishing has become easier than it has ever been before, readers still hold authors in high esteem. So if you have a business, cause, or idea you want to get more attention, then a book or ebook must definitely be seriously considered. You can write the book or ebook, have it edited and designed, and publish it on your schedule. Today, you can self-publish a book or ebook, with complete creative control over the product, so you get it the way you want it. If you’re not sure how to publish your book or aren’t in a position to write it yourself, then hire a business book ghostwriter or an editor.

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6 Reasons Content Creation Must Be a Part of Your Marketing Strategy

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You know by now that marketing your business is a must. If you don’t tell people you exist, they won’t know and they won’t come to you. It’s that simple. Yet marketing continues to be one of the business practices that too many solopreneurs and small business owners dread — or even avoid. They do good work, but are at a loss for how to get the word out about it. When it comes to us writers, this can certainly hamper the ability to make a living writing.

Well, creating and distributing content is one smart way to get the word out about what you do. In fact, it has to be a key part of your marketing mix if you want to succeed in this information economy. Whether you are in the business of writing for a living or anything else, good content is important. This is true whether you sell a product or a service. You need to create educational, inspirational, or entertaining content related to whatever it is you sell. This is why:

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Connect Beat 101: Seven Ways to Make Your Next Networking Event Work for You

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So you’ve pulled out your best — or, er, only — suit and spruced up for a networking event. You’ve avoided face-to-face networking for a while, as you can’t stand small talk and the idea of being in a room full of a bunch of strangers makes your eyes cross. Yet, here you are, at this networking event, looking for your next client.

Now what?

If you’re like a lot of writers, you enjoy working online because it means you can meet people and network from the comfort and safety of your home, just you in your pajamas in front of your computer. You can comment on blog posts, Tweet those whose work you like, and send Facebook friend requests in a nonthreatening way that doesn’t make you feel weird.

But you’ve now realized that, as great as the online world is, it doesn’t hurt to get out into the real world every now and then and meet people face-to-face.

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Why Your Story Can Connect You With Those You Most Want to Reach

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As writers, we are quite comfortable helping others with their stories. We help individuals, churches, nonprofits, businesses, governmental agencies, and others share their information and stories in a way that gets them noticed.

But what about our own?

Whether you weave stories for others to enjoy through novels and other fiction or you bang out short stories through ads, client bios, and other corporate pieces, make sure you are using those same skills to capture your story. You see, whether you run a writing business, a consultancy, or any other kind of business or organization where you want to connect with your audience, your story is important.

It’s not enough to just offer a service or a product. The marketplace is full of individuals, businesses, and organizations that have stuff to sell. What can make your business or organization stand out is the story you tell.

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5 Poverty Traps of Good Writers

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So you’re a good writer. That’s great. Is that earning you any money? Being able to write well and earning money from it are two entirely different things. It would be nice if fortune followed the talent or hard work, but alas. Fortune follows the smarts and execution. You can be a so-so writer who has marketing smarts and you can make a very good living. Or you can be a hugely talented writer who never can quite close the sale. Unfortunately, it happens.

Make sure you’re not falling into these poverty traps and robbing yourself of the writer’s living you crave.

#1 You’ve Bought Into the Idea That Selling Is Dirty or Not Artistic

Many writers loathe selling. They feel it demeans their work or somehow makes them less creative or artistic if they actively engage in sales behavior. Do they want to sell their work? Of course, but not at the risk of “looking” too much like a salesperson. If this is you, you need to check that attitude. Selling is what you do every day, whether you know it or not. You’re selling someone on your talent, your ability, even your credibility. Every sentence you write, every word you utter is about selling something. Sometimes it’s about selling your truth — you are sincere in your speech and strive not to say anything false. In doing so, you are selling to the person listening that you are trustworthy. If you audition for a part or go to a meeting to land a new project or client, you are selling to the other person that you can fulfill the requirements set forth. If you date someone and hope it moves toward marriage, you are selling the idea that you are the right one. If you threaten your kids within an inch of their lives, you are selling that you mean business. You don’t have a problem selling then, do you? So why do you have a problem selling your work?

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5 Ways to Get Better Freelance Writing Clients

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You don’t have to be the best writer to make a living writing, but you do have to get paid for what you do write. Even a great writer can starve, if she doesn’t know how to land paying work. Earning more money can be as simple as changing how you go about getting work.

Why Taking Control of Your Writing Career Earns You More Money

There are two ways to make a living writing: You can do a lot of work for a low rate. Or you can do less work but for a better rate. The first way often involves working on projects where you accept whatever pay the client sets. This is often the route of writers who let others do their marketing for them. They prefer to go to job boards and sites like elance.com and guru.com, and cull through tons of listings. They are happy to do that because the job listings are all right there, on a platter, as it were. Getting work this way means they don’t have to market themselves. They just show up on the boards and pick out the jobs they want to bid on and bid away, often bidding themselves right out of decent pay.They can take on a lot of projects this way, as long as they are willing to accept poor pay.

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Turn Any Book Into Multiple Income-Producing Products

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Many authors write a book and expect an audience to find it. As a result, their sales are disappointing — most likely, dismal. You can’t think book writing is a Field of Dreams and all you have to do is build it and they will come. They won’t know it’s there. They won’t know what it’s about. They won’t know where to get it.

So you’ve got to identify who they are and get the word out to them. With book writing, you’ve got to market the book. That means telling readers about the book, how it can help them, and how they can get it. We’ve talked quite a bit about book marketing in this space. But there is another side to marketing your book and building your brand. It’s about productifying your book.

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