Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Local networking options for freelance writers - Part 3

Next we'll turn our attention to luncheons.

Now, in my area, I'm really lucky because I've got Power Lunch Bunch. It's a monthly luncheon just for businesswomen. Everyone gets like 20 seconds to stand up and talk about her business. Not much time, but there are like 80 - 100 women there, so it could take forever otherwise.

There are no annual dues. You just pay for the month's lunch - $18 in this case.

What I like about it is that I've met some really amazing women there - from every business you can imagine, and some you've never even thought about. We even have a lady who owns The Fur Seasons Resort (for dogs - very posh!), some ladies who have a cupcake business, and one who makes the most amazing candy bouquets. Sure, we've got mortgage people, insurance people, chiropractors, and web designers, too. A little of everything - and all committed to doing business together whenever possible.

Even with my aversion to working with local clients and my overflowing work schedule, I have done a few jobs for clients I met through the group. They've all gone well, and it's been a nice enough experience that it could even persuade me to seek more local work. However, I really don't go there looking for work at this point. If it happens, and it's a great gig (or a super nice contact), great - but I go for another reason: relationship building.

I could easily go hermit - and know many of you are the same way. I don't think being introverted is a requirement for being a writer, but it might be close!

Yet, I'm committed to giving back to my community and to helping others succeed. So, to make that a possibility, I must build and maintain relationships.

Is all that a fancy way to say I go to socialize? Maybe. But it's a couple of hours a month, and it really is for business!

1 comment:

Hannah said...

Thanks for the posts about networking! I found out about an organization called SCORE which is association with the SBA (Small Business Administration). There are other nonprofit organizations for entrepreneurs in my area that I'm exploring--for instance, one called Womenventure, where they sponsor networking events. Plus they have their annual conference coming up in early November, where they're having workshops and lots of networking opportunities. Also Jane Seymour is the keynote speaker. They were supposed to have Sara Blakely, the founder of Spanx, but she had to cancel. Now there's a woman whose hand I'd like to shake!