These days, entrepreneurs in general, and we editors in particular, seem inseparable from our screens. Rarely does my phone ring, but I feel obligated to check my email addresses and social media accounts several times a day, lest I miss an opportunity. Therefore, the first step I took when I was ready to launch Ann Kennedy Editorial Services to the public was raise my profile online, including LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and my own website. I joined several organizations, figuring that membership in Plain Language Association International (PLAIN), Biographers International Organization (BIO) and the Indexing Society of Canada (ISC) would help my professional standing as well as increase my network. But face-to-face meetings with people involved in these specialties and other editors who work with them is key to my strategy.
I believe there’s nothing like putting a face–and a personality–to the name when trying to build a reputation. I’m friendly and curious and genuinely want to help potential clients. After a meeting, I hand over my business card, which has my photo on it. We all exchange so many cards and despite the best of intentions, not all of the people register in our brains when we go back to review our collection. New acquaintances often comment on my big smile, so I’m counting on that visual characteristic to ring the proverbial bell!
So, whether it’s attending an Editors Canada event or volunteering at Word on the Street, offering to host the branch meeting of the Indexing Society or registering for the annual conference of Biographers International, I am also doing the “networking thing” old-school, and it has paid off in work three times in the last six months! Even as an introvert, plunking myself in the middle of a group of people with which I have an interest in common helps me meet colleagues and build connections. Combine what I know with who I know and put it all on shareable social media, where getting in touch is convenient and instant–that’s my two-part plan. Feel free to follow me!