Freelance writers are always encouraged to hone their skills by joining creative writing workshops and conventions that gather wordsmiths from different parts of the country.
You shouldn’t miss opportunities like that, but attending non-writing conferences can also give your career new twists. You may experience being surrounded by strangers and hear unfamiliar jargon and expressions, but consider these as steps that will lead you to better discoveries.
Here are five ways how non-writing conferences can bring wonders to your writing career:
1. You’re exposed to potential clients
You get to know them better: their pains, current needs, what keeps them busy, the nature of their work, trends in their industry, the tools they use, the places they go to, their plans, the policies they deal with, the future challenges they are preparing for, and so much more.
What this means for you: You get new ideas on how to position yourself as the freelance writer they are looking for.
After hearing them talk during the conference:
- What kind of content do they need today?
- What new writing services would they be interested in?
- What would be your new tagline to attract them?
- How would you match your pitch or proposal and their needs?
- What other types of writing do you need to learn to become the go-to writer in the field?
2. You get strategies for your own freelance writing business
When I attended a business-oriented seminar a few years ago, the speaker recounted the days when he was just starting as a public relations consultant. He talked about how he approached his first clients and his high-paying ones.
He emphasized the value of face-to-face meetings. He encouraged his audience to never stop learning new skills.
He also left lines that stuck with me: “You are the one who decides on what happens to your career. You can be anything you want if you will want it badly.”
His discussion gave me so many ideas for my freelance writing services, the different types of clients I can approach, and how I can reach out to them.
3. Network = net worth
During conferences like this, you do not just meet the giants. You meet people you can collaborate with, such as those who are empowering your target market.
For example, if it is a food business convention, you will likely encounter companies from the industries of packaging, refrigerator, and kitchen appliances and even marketing agencies catering to the food industry.
You can also meet aspiring entrepreneurs during the conference. They are potential clients too because they would surely need someone to help them with their marketing plans.
4. New content and ideas
You will surely take home new ideas for your future articles and blog posts. These are topics that will also attract your target market. This way, you remain relevant to them. You are positioning yourself as someone who truly understands the nature of their business, what their needs are, and what can help them develop their strategies.
5. A sense of community
Being a freelance writer doesn’t mean you have to isolate yourself from the rest of the world. Interacting with your community, especially people who are also into individual or structured business ventures, can liven up your spirit. Surrounding yourself with people who have the same values as yours can inspire you to do better and give you a deeper purpose as a writer.
Here are some tips to maximize your attendance in a conference:
- Bring your calling cards.
- Prepare a sincere introduction about yourself and what you do.
- If you’re an introvert and afraid that you might run out of things to say, create a mental list of topics you can raise or ask during a conversation.
- Take down notes so you can blog about the event and make your other potential clients know that you exert effort to understand the industry you’re writing for.
- Note the names of people you will meet because you might run into them in the future.
- Take pictures of the speakers and the audience, and write engaging captions. Post them online because you might just get a hello from those you didn’t get a chance to talk to.
- Lastly, just enjoy the whole experience!
About the author:
Len Cristobal, a freelance writer and editor from the Philippines, enjoys working with clients worldwide, from New York to Singapore. She writes for business, finance, and lifestyle publications and develops content for websites and blogs. She is also co-heading a local group of writers and conducting freelance writing workshops and coaching sessions for aspiring scribes. She shares her thoughts on business, writing, and life on Twitter: @lencristobal86
Also by Len Cristobal:
1. How to Find Your Unique Writing Voice (article)
2. Words Work: 7 Ways to Get Results in Business Writing (article)
3. How to Get Clients in Less than an Hour for Your Writing Business (article)
4. How to Write a Poem and Wake Up the World (article)