Tag Archives: building relationships

Freelancing and Networking For Powerful Connections


© Ragsac19 | Dreamstime.com – Networking Photo

There are many rewards to freelancing and working as a consultant. Besides the opportunity to reap financially, freelancing – when done correctly – allows great opportunity for self-development and establishing new relationships.

One of the challenges I hear from aspiring freelancers is not only how can they find clients but where can they access professional development tools to help them continue to hone their skills and learn new trends. What I have found to be beneficial is attending business networking functions and joining networking organizations and niche marketing groups. I have personally and professionally grown from the experiences and highly recommend for those seeking ways to expand their freelancing exposure.

Networking Really Does Work

At a recent networking event of The National Business Chamber (TNBC) in Gwinnett County, Georgia, I’ve had the opportunity to meet potential clients, learn about new products and services, and enrich my skills through training presentations. For example, I had never heard of Wildtree, an All-Natural and Organic Food Products company, but TNBC member Stephanie French hosted a lunch and learn session for the organization. Not only did she provide a beautiful luncheon spread featuring Wildtree products, sauces and grapeseed oils, she also shared information on healthy and clean eating and living and the difference it’s made in her family’s life.

Youth Entrepreneur Ellie Peters, Founder, Cool2SweetSoap.com

Youth Entrepreneur Ellie Peters, Founder, Cool2SweetSoaps.com

One of my favorite people at TNBC is Ellie Peters and her mom, Jen. Ellie is a 12-year-old youth entrepreneur and owner of Cool2SweetSoap.com, a natural bath and body products company. Ellie makes face and bath soaps, bath fizzies, a dog shampoo, and shaving soap. What began as a family project to cure a relative’s dry skin, has morphed into a thriving soap business for Ellie. Her products are great for sensitive and dry skin, made with the finest organic ingredients and essential oils. Her products are great as gift items and can be purchased online and in select local retail businesses. I recommended a friend to the company who was looking for a unique gift item for Father’s Day. I suggested they consider the Pokey Be Gone shaving soap and Spring Fresh (vegan) soap.

Finding Your Niche Group

There are many specialties to consider as a freelancer and one that has proven beneficial for me is the Freelance Writers Den. This organization provides insight for freelance writers on growing their income, finding clients, and training on new skills sets, like How to Write White Papers and Effectively Pitching News Stories. What is unique about this organization is it’s a membership site hosted by accomplished freelance writer Carol Tice who has years of experience writing for national publications. In The Den, Carol shares her secrets and tips for achieving a six figure freelance writing income, and act as a coach to motivate and encourage aspiring freelance writers.

freelancewritersden_300x300_badgeThe Den is a very popular network community amongst writers, and many boast of exponentially growing their income from joining the community. Each month, the site features members only special training calls with access to some of the best writers and editors. Currently there is a waiting list to join The Den, but for a limited time, the Den will be open for membership on Thursday, June 11. But to get in, you have to already be on the waiting list. If you are serious about growing your income, you don’t want to miss out on joining the Den.

Being involved with TNBC and The Freelance Writers Den are just two of the organizations that have been instrumental in growing my freelance and consulting business. While many believe that this is an easy opportunity to pursue, it requires a lot of work to get the right combination of resources and leads. Growing a freelance business is really about exposure and visibility. And sometimes the best opportunities become available just from being present.

Did You Know That Your Story Matters?


© Yuryz | Dreamstime.com

For entrepreneurs and small business owners working to establish their professional network, visibility and influence, it is important to consider how you want to project your image and company brand as an expert or niche specialist.  You have probably heard or read repeatedly about creating your elevator pitch, networking, getting a mentor, doing local speaking gigs and putting yourself out there as an expert.  These are all great suggestions and ones that really should be followed.  However, taking the initiative to accomplish these things does not always come naturally.  So where do you really start?

Start with making sure you are relatable. Why?  Because people make connections with people, not obscure objects and things.  When you think of someone who inspires you, it was probably because you connected with them on some level.  And one way you probably connected was through a story that showed humanness, shared a similar experience, or piqued an emotion of empathy.   Have you ever had an experience where you did not quite care for someone but then you learned of a story in which they overcame some adversity, and then you saw the person in a different light and they actually became tolerable or you began to like them?  For me, I like to hear people’s stories.  I like to know what motivates, inspires and encourages them towards success because those stories serve as motivation for me to stay the course and never give up.

The good thing about considering this type of strategy is that we all have a story or aspects of a personal story that can be appropriately shared in a professional manner without over sharing.  Doing so with sincerity can help to build your influence while promoting and growing your business and personal and professional brands.  To provide some context for my point, consider reading this article by Rebecca Goldsmith of C-Level Stories who provides a six-step do-it-yourself process for preparing to share your story.

Remember, you are your first best brand ambassador.  No one can market you better than you can.  Get comfortable with your story of courage, conviction, hustle or failure.  It will be the the little things in your story that show character and humility and that will draw people closer to you.

Branding Yourself Through Your Bio

Photo credit:  prettylivingpr.com

Photo credit: prettylivingpr.com

If you have an online presence and trying to grow your business, a well written bio is a great way to connect with your followers.  Here’s why:

  1. Makes you relatable. If you put out a product or service, people often want to know the brains behind the idea. A connection is made if they feel you are trustworthy and have something in common with them. Building your business is about building relationships through connections.
  2. Shows your uniqueness.  No two people are alike so your personal bio allows you to share your distinctive individuality and how you stand apart from the crowd.
  3. Tells your story.  You get to frame the context of who you are and what you represent in life through your values and experiences.

4 Handy Tips To Consider

When drafting a bio, keep these handy tips in mind:

1)     Short and concise is better.  You do not have to tell your entire life history; only career or accomplished high points.  Example: Sally Goodgirl is an award winning performer and songwriter best known for her hit single, You Did That Girl.  When not creating music, Sally spends quality time with her husband and twin daughters building tiny houses.  

2)     Be uniquely authentic and write from your heart.  Represent who you feel best as; people have a tendency to write about their representative not the real person. Example: When not making award winning music, Sally Goodgirl pays her success forward through her family-run nonprofit, Tiny Houses, which uses donated supplies to build small houses for the homeless.  

3)     Proofread.  Use good grammar and spell words correctly. It can be distracting to the reader and you may lose their interest. When in doubt, look the word up, please!  

4)     Revisit and revise.  You may have to modify your bio depending on the audience, especially if it’s related to a field in which you are an expert. Sally as an artist speaking to music students:  Sally Goodgirl writes, records and produces inspirational music with hip hop influence through her record company, Goodgirl Sounds. An honors graduate of The School of Music, Sally is an award-winning music professional with the current top hit single, You Did That Girl.

In conclusion, your bio is the best way to represent the best of who you are to your audiences. Use it to your advantage to sell your talents, gifts, products and services. Write from your heart and the words will flow.  If you need assistance, please don’t hesitate to contact me for a complimentary review and feedback of your bio at divaninawrites@gmail.com.