From the office window at my new short-term gig at Harvard Divinity School.
Like many freelancers, I am not a huge fan of the sales process. My least favorite part of the job is finding new work. I’m very good at what I do, but I’m less effective when it comes to telling people that I’m good. But I love my job, and I want to keep it, and that occasionally means reaching out to new people and finding out how I can help them.
A few months ago I had talked to a potential client about a writing gig, but someone had already reached out to him and he had just hired this other freelancer. Nevertheless, I enjoyed the conversation we had, and was glad to have “met” him (via phone, anyway). Lo and behold, three months later, this contact reached out to me for a new project, and now I get to work with him.
The lesson is that you never know what conversation, what email, or what tweet is going to lead to a connection that will later turn into an opportunity. Weeks or months after you’ve put in these efforts, you may still see unexpected results.
And an extra little tip for my fellow introverts out there: focus your conversation on how you can help your client rather than just what your experience is. Making the other person the focus of the conversation is not only good business, it’s also more comfortable for the introvert.