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You’re a writer, so the last thing you want to do is “get out there” and “meet people.” Ugh. The very thought of networking feels so anti-writer, so shallow, so transactional. As a card-carrying introvert (yep, we’re assuming), you want to instead steal away to your laptop and get to typing. You want to do what you do best: focus and produce. We absolutely hear you.
Here’s where it gets complicated, though: these days (and by this, we mean the digital age), everybody seems to call themselves a writer. Of course, you know better (how many more times are you going to see “writers” misuse the apostrophe?) The reality is, with all this swirling trash online, it’s completely on you to rise to the top, to make yourself heard—and your work seen—as an exceptional producer of content. Yet you can’t write in a vacuum. You need to connect with the people who will give you the jobs, or at least recommend you to the right people. The Shapr app was created specifically with you in mind—easy networking for people who hate to network (but must network).
First, know that being a skilled writer is rarer—and more sought after—than you might think. And because you’re a writer, you’re used to facing hard truths. Here’s one of the hardest hard truths of all (and one we hate to acknowledge) when it comes to a successful writing career: it’s who you know. And that takes networking.
You can join all the online communities you can, but there is one old-school networking routine that still has that beat, hands down: one-on-one meetings. Coffee. In person. Shapr users know that tweeting and Likes are no match for the connection you make when meeting someone in a public place (diners and coffee shops are good), making with the eye contact and the hand shaking and the active listening.
In fact, active listening is super key to your business success. Listen to your coffee partner’s story and see how you, as a writer, can help them tell it. When meeting face to face, the eyes help the ears understand better. Remember the brilliant words of Dale Carnegie: “You can make more friends in two months by becoming interested in other people than you can in two years by trying to get other people interested in you.”
Emails and social media posts will never take the place of a good conversation. That’s when you drill down to the common ground, the bonding and the real. When people get to know you as more than merely an email or a voicemail, the dimension deepens; it becomes more meaningful. You do too.
Nothing builds trust and credibility like meeting someone personally, showing them who you really are, and displaying only the best and genuine intentions.
You may want to approach this networking goal in small doses. Meeting other writers is a good place to start. You’ll want to move on to editors, publishers and agents, and even beyond that: people who can use your writing skills for marketing, publicity and other content.
Feeling shy? Awkward? Don’t. You’re a writer. With that alone, you’re more interesting than 99 percent of any those alleged social media influencers out there. You have thoughts and feelings and outlooks and perspectives that go way beyond 144 characters.
How to get started: you’ve heard of writer’s block? What’s even more universal is networking block. Here’s how to turn your networking block into a block party.
Shapr—the free business networking app that helps you meet the right people—pulls together the professionals you need to get with, using your geographic proximity, goals, and your most relevant interests. The result: a daily, extremely personalized selection of ten-to-fifteen driven people who may help you get to 2.0 and beyond.
To tap into a vibrant community of movers and shakers, simply set up your profile for iOS or Android, plug in your Linkedin profile or email and add up to 12 interests hashtags (#editors, #agents, #publicrelations, #marketers, #bloggers, for starters—whatever is important to you and your future). Signing up will take you 2 minutes; the effects may last for years as you will discover networking on your terms can be your new lifestyle.
If we do say so, we think Shapr CEO Ludovic Huraux nailed the networking benefit when he said: “Networking should be a joyful experience, because it's about meeting new people. It's not just a trick to generate more sales or find some humdrum job – we see it as a lifestyle. Connecting regularly with inspiring individuals is the key to a more meaningful, fulfilling, healthy existence. And that's why we made an app.”
Consider this: one Shapr user named Konrad is working a blockchain project that matches investors with investment products. He was looking for someone to help write and check copy for the project’s website. On Shapr, Konrad found a writer who made his drafts more reader-focused and had a clearer purpose. Nice!
Another Shapr user, Amber, recently connected with a fellow writer; now, the two of them are sharing each other’s work (as you know, for a writer, that’s something that requires a high level of trust). They also may be collaborating on a project soon. That’s called finding a kindred spirit, and that is often the greatest reward of networking.
So what are you waiting for? Download Shapr today to get started!