Monday, January 23, 2017

Every Writer Needs the Right Connections

According to Malcolm Gladwell's book, The Tipping Point, there are three basic types of people: Connectors, Mavens and Salesmen. I believe each of us have characteristics of each of these types. If you don't have these characteristics, then you can learn and acquire them as a writer. In this article, I want to emphasize the importance of connections and talk about how you get connections in the first place.

For writers to succeed and get published, they need to send the right material at the right time to the right place and the right person.  You are searching for a champion to communicate with you and guide you to that right place. Admittedly you have to take action to find this place and experience some mis-steps and rejection in the process. The persistent search for the right connection is a key part of the writing life.

Whether you've been in publishing for many years or are just getting started you have connections. For each relationship, you need to collect information and preserve this information in a format which you can use. For example, I have an email list and for each email, it includes my mailing address and phone along with my email address. The information makes me easy to reach. A week ago, when I spoke at a writer's group, I brought business cards and made sure each person who attended, got one of my cards to reach me if needed.

As a writer you want to exchange information with others and carefully put this information where you can easily access it. I put much of it into my iPhone because the contact information is backed up automatically and preserved. I also collect it through my email account and online address book. I do not use the information carelessly—i.e. calling people and wasting time chatting on the phone.  I call or email when important to reach the other person—admittedly a judgement call on your part.

Last weekend, one of the websites that I use went down for the first time. The website is a critical piece in a teleseminar event. This particular site collects the questions from the participants in a teleseminar. I've been using this site for years and it has never gone down—until this weekend. I tried sending email messages for help to their support address and anything else that I could think of to reach the site. The bill that I get each month had a phone number attached to it—so I called that phone number—yet it was no longer a valid number.I was stuck. My event was stalled because of this missing piece. No one could register for the event because the site was down. What else could I do? As typical, this situation happened on the weekend and not during the week.

I recalled that the owner of this site was good friends with another one of my contacts. For this particular contact, I had his cell number in my phone. I sent a short text to this friend about the situation and asked if he knew how to reach the owner. It turns out this friend was in North Carolina in a mastermind meeting with the owner of the downed website. 

Since they were in a face to face meeting, they were away fro m their email and computers. Because I reached them, the owner immediately looked into his down website and in a short amount of time it was back up and running. My event can go forward since everything is working now.In fact, if you want to hear the event (which is now on replay), you can have immediate access to it—just follow this link.

I'm certain there were many others who were stuck with this down website. Yet through my contacts, I was able to creatively reach the right person and get it resolved. There are several action points from this story:

1. Always be working on increasing your connections with different types of people.

2. Keep their information in a format that you can easily access—on your phone or on your computer. I'm using tools which are internet based and can be accessed any place. If it only on a printed business card, then that information doesn't help you away from your office. You want the information in a format you can access any many different situations.

Last week I met with one of my new authors at Morgan James Publishing. He was in Colorado since his son was in a hockey tournament. Even though on the weekend, I drove up to his hotel and we spent some time together, talked and exchanged business cards.  As a writer, you always need to be working on your connections and relationships. You never know when a particular relationship will be important to you.

Writers Need Connections. Here's Tips on How to Get Them & Keep Them. (ClickToTweet)
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