Tell Them What You Do!
Well, that was embarrassing. I shake my head as I contemplate my failed attempt at describing my writing business. I had just bumped into a long-lost friend at the mall and she asked what I what I was doing these days.
“I’m a freelance writer,” I replied with confidence.
“Really, so what do you write?”
Here’s where I dropped the ball. “I um, write articles . . . and blog posts.”
“Oh,” she said. “What’s a blog?” (I know; my friend needs to get out more.)
Don’t Miss Opportunities
Luckily, in this case, my lackluster response wasn’t a big deal, but it could have been. What if my acquaintance had been a potential employer, or the friend of someone who was looking for a freelancer. I’d have missed the boat. Here’s the thing about being a writer – word of mouth is important. And that day, my mouth wasn’t working.
So why did I stumble over my job description? Because I usually rely on my resume – that perfectly choreographed depiction of my best writing self. Ideally, I don’t have to describe what I do, I simply link potential clients to my website, and shining examples of my craft pop up on the screen.
Unfortunately, we can’t always rely on a remote interaction, or a written version of our abilities. Occasionally, even in this high-tech world, we need to talk to real people and promote ourselves face to face. Fortunately, this is not as frightening as it sounds if you give it some thought ahead of time.
Write the Script
I once attended a writing conference where novice writers could sign up to pitch their book ideas to an agent. We were advised to come up with a brief summation of the plot, along with an explanation of why this book would change the world. We each had two minutes to sell our idea. In retrospect, this seems like good advice for freelance writers as well.
If you had one minute to describe what you do and how you stand out in a crowd, what would you say? Do you write novels or business plans, maybe you host a website on bit coin? Are you a technical writer or a home and family blogger? Take a few minutes to think of a short and snappy answer, then commit it to memory.
Here’s How it Works
Needless to say, I’ve done some repenting for my previous lack of preparation, and the next time someone asks me what kind of writing I do, I’ll say something like this.
“I write web content for personal blogs and businesses. I also do product descriptions and newsletters, but I specialize in real estate copy.”
“Well since you ask, I‘m currently working on a neighborhood review for a real estate agent, I’m creating web content for a friend’s business blog, I’m writing a travel article for a vacation site and I also host a couple of blogs of my own.”
“Wow, you stay pretty busy.”
“I know, I like it that way. If you know anyone who needs a writer send them my way.”
And there you have it. The next time anyone asks what you’re up to, you’ll know exactly what to say. Promoting your business is a snap when you’re prepared, and now you have another way to get the word out – face to face.