Isn’t the Internet wonderful? You can post, like, email, chat, and tweet your way to a myriad of job opportunities! With such an array of employment prospects literally at my fingertips, it is no wonder I sometimes forget the more old school (my children might say “old fashioned”) methods of networking.
But I’ve recently had some successes going old school – interesting, well-paid copywriting jobs that came my way just by keeping my eyes open, and networking face-to-face.
You know the old saying, it’s not what you know, it’s who you know? Take that one to heart, and make sure all your friends know exactly what you do for a living. When one of my good friends started working for a prestigious private college in our city, she was able to give my name to the editor of the school magazine. I gave my friend samples of my work to pass along as well – but it helped that she knew my skill set and could give a personal recommendation when she introduced me to the editor. The college is now a steady client. Take your friends to lunch, give them a stack of your business cards, and talk about what you do!
And, speaking of business cards, don’t overlook that basic step. Professional cards are inexpensive, and a great tool to have on hand to pass out. You never know who needs your creative abilities!
Sometimes, you’ll run into clients in unexpected places. I walked into my favorite bakery/café to pick up some pastries, and noticed a tiny little cardboard sign on the counter. The owners had decided to develop a website (keep in mind, this was a recent job – sometimes our clients are a little old school themselves!), and wanted to work with customers on the job. Of course, I jumped all over it. I helped put together a team, working with a freelance graphic designer and a freelance website developer to produce a professional, polished, charming website. The client was delighted, and has passed on my name to others.
So, while I definitely do not discount the importance of social media, online job sites, and other modern ways to find jobs, I’ve learned to kick it old school, too!
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Gaye Swan is a creative copywriter based in Tennessee. She holds a BA degree in Communications from Mississippi State University, and has over twenty years of experience as a freelance writer. Her projects include web content, promotional materials, newsletters, and articles. Check out her portfolio at http://www.gayeswan.com.
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