Digital Networking Guide for Content Writers
Networking is a crucial part of any business, and it's particularly important for writers. Writing and publishing great content is usually not enough. You need to build relationships with influencers, media, and readers to expand the reach of your content and build credibility. The social component plays a key role in media consumption, and the best way to ensure your content acquires a strong social media is through networking.
The concept of networking can be overwhelming, especially if you're an introvert. Where can I find contacts? How do I approach them? Waiting for people to come to you who are interested in your work might be tempting, but it's extremely inefficient at the beginning. Limiting yourself to the inbound approach will leave you and your content behind your competition. Now, reaching out to contacts doesn't need to be a complicated ordeal. This guide will take you step-by-step on how to properly expand your contact base.
1. Define your goals
The reason why you're networking will determine your target contacts, and the approach you will take to leverage them later on. Are you looking to expand your reader base? You'll want to connect with engaged readers. A good place to find them is in the comment sections of important articles in your niche. Looking to get published by high profile media? Try to get in touch with editors. If you have trouble reaching them, start with regular writers. Looking to enhance the credibility of your content? Time to look for influencers in your niche. Reaching out to influencers can be intimidating, but don't be shy, remember that it's their job to engage with you.
2. Prepare your digital profiles
Most people will take a look at your profile before deciding to connect with you. Your profile's information should be related to, but not limited by your networking goals. Your intentions should be as clear as possible, but showing some personality will make you more relatable. As a writer, it's particularly important that your bio is free of grammar mistakes. Proofread it on Writesaver, they use native speakers and the first 500 words are free. It's better to network on platforms on which you're already a member, new profiles can make some people wary of spam. Now, if you're not sure which the right platforms are, we recommend you start with Twitter, LinkedIn, and HARO.
3. Preventive networking
At this point, you already know which kinds of contacts to target. You should start your networking campaign before even thinking about leveraging your contacts. The first approach should be about them: do some research, craft a personal message, and start a conversation. Naturally, the effort you put into each new contact should depend on your goals. If you're hoping to gain new readers, just take a quick look at their profile and feeds. If you're looking to get published in relevant media, you should take your time and make sure you craft the right message.
4. Send your pitch
After some interaction with your new contacts, it's time to start leveraging them to achieve your goals. Your pitch should be concise, don't overload them with information. Remember that attention is getting more selective, long pitches will tend to be ignored without the proper build up. Let them know that you'll be happy to tell them more if they're interested. Having to request the information will make them more receptive, it will also make your approach less intrusive.
There is a fine line between a nice pitch and annoying spam; the right introduction will keep you on the safe side. You can also support your pitch with content, your posts will be delivered to your new contacts' feeds. While direct outreach is often best, some contacts need to be nurtured. Make sure to schedule your content on your networking platforms; this will also make your profile stronger, making it easier to connect with more people.
5. Keep a contact list
It's very likely that you'll need those contacts again. You should keep track of those who respond to your pitch positively. Consider checking up on them from time to time, ask them how they are doing, or simply like their latest posts. The more familiar you become, the better responses you'll get. You can use a simple spreadsheet to keep this information. You should try to get them to subscribe to your email list, especially when looking for new readers. Email blasts will save you a lot of time distributing future content.
Following these simple steps will help you expand your contact list. Remember to set your goals, don't be shy, and keep your interactions about them before the pitch. You will be networking like a pro in no time. After you get the hang of it, you should start adding more platforms and goals to your campaign. Writing and publishing great content is usually not enough. You need to build relationships with influencers, media, and readers to expand the reach of your content and build credibility.