Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Don't Be Shy, Market Yourself ...


 Social Networking: The 21st Century Way to Find New Clients

In Your Everyday Life Too.
Especially When Serendipity 
Makes a Surprise Visit.
Be Ready for Your Holy Set-up.


Wouldn't it be great if jobs came to you at a snap of the fingers?  In these dog days of recession, diversity has inched its way up the popularity ladder and now hangs out with specialization, but at any moment will leap to the next rung.  

Many writers and small businesses have their hands in several different markets or fields. There's the baker who designs eye-catching wedding cakes and desserts for celebrations, but this dog lover also bakes delicious treats for the four-legged kind.  


How about the dance school owner who between pliés and 
arabesques runs a successful touring dance company and sells her own line of dance wear over the Internet. 
(The Shop on Blossom Street by Debbie Macomber)

 Knit Along with Debbie Macomber - The Shop on Blossom Street (Leisure Arts #4132)

A growing number of daring fiction writers churn out page-turning novels in more than one genres:  Walter Mosley, Anne Rice, Nora Roberts,  John Updike, Meg Cabot, Joyce Carol Oates, Dan Simmons, etc.  Bestselling romance novelist, Debbie Macomber, has even opened a knitting store, Debbie Macomber's A Good Yarn Shop, inspired by her book series:  "The Shop on Blossom Street."  

Now let's move into the advertising/marketing circle.  Quite a few copywriters writing for print and web have fearlessly jumped into creating e-books and are now reaping those financial gains.  


Social Networking: The 21st Century Way to Find New Clients

The Gift 
The Gift 

A prolific scriptwriter fades into interactive writing for video games and branches even further into writing and producing a web show.


And then there's the teaching circuit many wise self-starters have already added to their list of credentials.  Most adults want to learn a new skill that can put more cash in their pockets.  There you go!


You never know where an opportunity blessing will land your way.  You want to be ready for that chance meeting.  You don't know who you may be standing behind the next time you're in a Starbucks or Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf line.  Always give a good first impression.  Your face won't crack if you smile and say hello, even if you're having a crappy day.
 (Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf)

You might find yourself behind a programmer for an upstart video game company.  They're a staff of two and need a writer to work with them on a game's storyline.

The scenario can go something like this.  You notice the twenty-something man behind you fidgeting, he seems to be in a hurry.  What gave it away are the constant glances at his watch, his foot tapping, the blowing air on your neck. You offer up your place in line and strike up a conversation.   In the time he gets his Non-fat Pumpkin Latte with medium foam, you've already snatched his business card and an appointment for next week. 


Now let's say the woman sweating next to you on the cross-trainer is a licensed contractor who just started her own contracting business.  After a few minutes of complaining about the ten pounds you both gained over the summer, you find out she's in desperate need of a website and search engine optimization (SEO).  She doesn't want a cookie-cutter electronic kind, her competition uses.  You're an SEO savvy web designer who innovates ... not imitates -- it's a match made in heaven.  

Always be ready for your holy set-up ... your serendipitous moment.


Here's what you do:
1)Always have business cards readily available.  If you're in a creative field like writing, music, art, food, etc. make it visually appealing -- an attention grabber. 

2)If you have a cell phone with internet capabilities show the person a website or two you've designed.

3)If she or he talks about a problem at work that's in your field, offer a viable solution, or at least solid food for thought. 


4)Perhaps you're a handbag or jewelry designer, make sure you're wearing your wares.  There's nothing better than wearing your own striking jewelry, a head-turning handbag or unusual shoes that can start a conversation.

5)Volunteer for a good cause.  Giving to others will definitely send the blessings your way.  

6)Small businesses, especially storefront ones, often ask for feedback and suggestions from regular customers.  This could also lead to an opportunity.

Our daily lives can present a plethora of opportunities to market yourself and find a hidden gem that boosts your career.

 Another case in point, Vera Wang, bridal and evening gown designer for the stars, and (starting February 2011 at David's Bridal) us Average Joans with normal budgets -- also has a designer mattress line from Serta.  Remember this, where the innovation goes business follows.

Sure, we Average Joans and Average Joes know how to promote our writing businesses professionally, but do we underestimate the power of a chance meeting at a bookstore, a friend's birthday party, a farmer's market ... a local spa?

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