We wanted to get to know Ruth Thaler-Carter (NAIWE’s Networking Expert) better, so last month we sat down with her. Here are some things she shared.
What is one thing that you learned about your craft the hard way, and what benefits have you received from it?
The importance of having a clearcut contract/agreement that’s as complete as possible, because that’s the only way to protect oneself against problems with a project or a difficult client. It would be nice if all business interactions could be conducted on a handshake, virtual or in person, but that sadly isn’t always possible. The benefits of using even an informal agreement via email include peace of mind, control over scope creep, and reasonable assurance of receiving payment as expected.
Can these benefits be broadened to include marketing?
Providing and working to contracts could be considered a facet of positioning an independent editorial business as a professional venture, which would contribute to marketing the business as one worth working with.
What has been your most rewarding marketing avenue, and how was it rewarding? Self? Monetary? Clients?
Doing good work that leads to being referred/recommended by current clients to new ones, even though that isn’t technically or formally marketing; at least, it isn’t a conscious marketing process. More in the way of actual marketing has been active participation and visibility in professional associations and online groups such as on Facebook, which has led to inquiries from prospective clients and recommendations/referrals from colleagues. The rewards have been new projects/clients/income for myself, as well as deep gratitude toward colleagues and clients who value my efforts, whether in terms of work or networking. Clients have benefited from receiving high-quality services; colleagues have benefited from advice and resources I aim to provide through various channels.
What do you associate with marketing?
Association membership and active participation, sharing resources, providing advice, announcing services and news, supporting colleagues and causes, doing public speaking/presenting webinars/teaching classes, hosting events, sending newsletters.
You can join in this conversation on March 18, at 7 pm eastern, when NAIWE will host a one-hour discussion of growing your business through networking.
We hear about networking all the time, but what is it and why is it valuable to independent writers and editors? Networking is simply interacting with colleagues to exchange information, resources, and support. Done right, it can create credibility, provide leads to new projects and clients, and bolster an independent business in many ways. Networking is a two-way process; it goes beyond joining a professional organization.
The cost for NAIWE members is only $10! To register, send an email with your name and telephone number.