Recently I decided to pitch some freelance articles to one of my favorite clients. I don’t have much extra time for freelance but when I do, I pick subjects that benefit my time in more than one day — I’ll interview someone I admire and would have wanted to meet anyway. So I reached out to about five of these people via LinkedIn for the article that I was writing — and to be honest, while they all had great expertise for the piece, one of them particularly is both well-known and brilliant so I thought, she’ll never bother to get back to me, I’m sure she’s too busy.
As it turned out, this person was the *only* person to respond to my query.
It got me thinking: What if she is well-known and successful because she makes herself available? She’ll be quoted in my story, so maybe that gives her name a little SEO, and perhaps some clout for the content of the piece. Her career might not need it at this point but if it’s been a longtime habit to make herself available for other people’s projects, I am sure it adds up.
So, I went through my email and responded to the three people who had reached out asking me to either moderate or participate in a panel — all peripherally relevant to what I do, but those things get my name out there and give me exposure to people and often lead to further opportunities (plus, it’s good experience for future public speaking).
I’ve long believed that you can build a good career on talent but a great career requires relationships. Helping people by participating in a Q&A, submitting a guest blog post without pay and moderating panels is not hard work, especially if it becomes a habit, and it would seem the results can be exponential.