Network=Net Worth | Offline Networking Tips for Authors

{guest post by author, Rebecca Flansburg}

A handful of years ago I had the pleasure of listening to an awesome speaker and this particular speaker is someone who I would categorize as a Master Networker. She\’s a “go to person” for information, wisdom, and guidance and she\’s someone you definitely would want in your contacts list.

It wasn\’t unusual for people to comment, “Go ask Cheryl. She knows everybody.” She was the epitome of what \”networking\” really is.

But first, what is networking? Networking is not just about cables and wires, networking is also the act of connecting with fellow humans in an eyeball-to-eyeball way.

Imagine if you had the key to attracting more readers, reaching educators or even connecting with the end users of your books/products/services while creating sustainable success in your personal and professional life.

You do. It\’s called networking.

Offline Networking Tips for Authors |What is Networking Anyway?

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Networking is the art of building relationships. It boils down to this: people do business with those they know and trust. You\’re more likely to trust the advice of a friend than believe some slick ad on TV. That\’s just the way the world works these days. In a nutshell, connecting with folks through networking is about seeking long-term connections, not short-term gains. Networking is about being authentic, unselfish, genuine and honest. It’s about opening a relationship, not closing the sale. It’s the power of connection.

In regards to the speaker that I listened to all those years ago, there were many things she said that resonated with me back then, and still do now. One of many things I walked away with after Cheryl\’s informative session on was something she called “The Three Ups of Networking.”

Offline Networking Tips for Authors | The Three Ups of Networking

The First \”Up\”: Show Up. Networking is more than joining a group and sitting back to see what happens. You need to SHOW UP. Many Networking Groups have strict by-laws that enable members to only be absent from meetings a few times a year. The philosophy behind this is, you wouldn\’t blow off your best customer or your Networking Group.

The Second \”UP\”: Ante Up. What this means is to get in the game or participate. Again don\’t just join and sit back and see what happens. Networking is based on an exchanging of leads between members. Your Aunt Milly needs a plumber, so you recommend Joe Smith from your Networking Group. In exchange, Joe will recommend you when someone he knows is looking for the next great read or someone who offers writing services. And so on.

The Third \”UP\”: Follow Up: To receive a lead from your group and not follow-up on it is a disservice to yourself AND the group. Follow up on every lead or \”referral\” to the best of your ability. You never know where the next sale or new customer may come from!

Oddly enough, this very topic came up again amongst my fellow writer friends over lunch a few days ago. Though not authors, we are all freelancers and we agree there is pretty significant value in getting away from our laptops and back out into the population (no easy task since writers are notorious introverts). Though a ton of our job leads and \”meeting\” of potential clients does indeed happen online, we also know now how important it is to practice Cheryl\’s \”3Ups\” offline.

The Pros of Offline Networking

**Investigate local business networking groups like BNI or one through your local Chamber of Commerce. Most allow visitors for free and are also looking for \”subs\” (people to fill in on short notice for regular members). Also, check into Meet-up Groups in your area and even volunteerism opportunities can lead to valuable connections later on down the road.

special side note:  A Networking group is only as good as it\’s core team. A small group of 5 people isn\’t going to be able to give you the referrals that a larger group can. Pick your Networking Group wisely based on size, reputation, and referral track record.

**Author Visits: Teachers have very packed class schedules, but many do realize the benefits

**Book signing: Again, another way to look at potential buyers in the eye, build a connection and your book\’s visibility.

**Free talks and educational classes: Not everyone loves getting in front of an audience to speak much less offer a class, but both are opportunities to not only give back to your community, but its also a way to spread your brand and expose your work/services to a whole new group of potential customers.

Don\’t Forget Your Smile

When attending any offline networking event, don\’t forget your Smile Power! A smile opens a door to friendly communications. Never leave home without it.

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\Rebecca “Becky” Flansburg is an author, freelance writer, and blogger from Minnesota who writes about parenthood topics and being a mompreneur. Her two non-fiction books on working from home, FREElance FREEdom: Creating the Work-From-Home Life You Crave and Mom Bossing: The Freedom to Create the Business You Love, are available in both physical and e-book form. Her children’s book that she co-authored with B.A. Norrgard, Sissy Goes Tiny, will be released in late July of 2019.  Becky is mom to two humans and critter mom to way too many pets. She is also a proud member of the Lakes Area Writers Alliance. Readers can also find her at BeckyFlansburg.com or on Instagram.


Speaking of Sissy Goes Tiny...are you looking for a beautiful and unconventional diverse picture book for kids? Here\’s a picture book topic you\’ve likely never seen before!

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Sissy Goes Tiny by Rebecca Flansburg and B.A. Norrgard

In Sissy Goes Tiny, eight-year-old Sissy and her parents make the bold choice to downsize their life and embark on a journey of living tiny and doing more with less. At first, Sissy struggles to get used to the idea of living in a tiny house on wheels and traveling around the U.S, but as she and her mommy and daddy learn about downsizing, repurposing, and how “stuff is just stuff,” she soon understands that a life of “living tiny” will be filled with the big adventures and learning.

This gorgeous diverse picture book will be available July of 2019 and you can read the full story of this journey here and also reserve your hardcover copy here.

\”I believe that Sissy Goes Tiny is going to open so many minds for people! A tiny house is absolutely not for everyone, but we all like to dream and step into the shoes of another lifestyle in our minds. Learning about this lifestyle I think will help people be more supportive of people who do choose to live unconventionally. Sissy and her family are a great example of that.\” Co-author, B.A. Norrgard

Join us in celebrating the idea of Tiny Living and BIG Adventures!

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