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#WritingBiz: The Dos and Don’ts of Networking | #amwriting

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

A high percentage of writers are introverts, and our natural instinct is to just sit at home and write. But while some authors can parlay that into book sales without ever leaving their comfort zone, in this modern age of branding and name-marketing, selling our books is much harder to do without networking and marketing ourselves. You have to learn how to talk to people!

Whether introverted or extroverted, there are going to be some stumbling blocks you’ll need to get over and etiquette you’ll need to learn. From my experience, networking takes years to learn, so don’t expect to become an expert overnight. Practice, practice, practice!

As you practice networking, here are some dos and don’ts to keep in mind:

  • Don’t give up!
  • Do have confidence in yourself!
  • Don’t wait for opportunities to come to you! Do go out and make your own opportunities!
  • Don’t be afraid!
  • Do make eye contact!
  • Do plan what you’re going to say ahead of time!
  • Don’t go into every situation with an agenda!
  • Do collect business cards! Don’t just let them sit in a drawer! Do follow up with those contacts!
  • Do start conversations! Do ask people about themselves!
  • Don’t wait for networking opportunities to come to you. Do get out there—find new people to network with—a great source is http://www.meetup.com to find groups meeting in your area!
  • Do ask for advice!
  • Don’t retreat to a corner!
  • Do watch others as they network. Pick up pointers of other dos and don’ts through observation!
  • Don’t assume when someone doesn’t respond to you or doesn’t let you have that seat that you’re being rejected. Don’t get discouraged.
  • Do refresh yourself with time alone or time with your supporting group of friends/family.
  • Don’t put off networking. Building your network of contacts now will lead to more success in the future.
  • Don’t talk someone’s ear off. Do know when to shut-up.
  • Don’t stalk the person you’re trying to network with. Do know when to walk away.
  • Do learn how to write good letters and e-mails.
  • Do practice speaking to business contacts on the phone.
  • Do treat everyone you come in contact with as you would like to be treated if you were in his or her shoes.

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