KOK Edit: Your favorite copyeditor since 1984(SM)
KOK Edit: your favorite copyeditor since 1984(SM) KOK Edit: your favorite copyeditor since 1984(SM) Katharine O'Moore Klopf

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

The Power of Social Media for Editorial Professionals

I'm not the only introverted editorial professional who has found social-media platforms to be a boon to her business. Periodically on one or the other of the e-mail lists of the American Medical Writers Association, my colleagues and I discuss the role of social media in building and maintaining our clienteles.

As a result of one of those discussions recently, medical writer Meg Bouvier and I began a conversation onlist that we continued offlist. I'm sharing it here with her permission. Meg wrote:

I [was] certainly born (well) before 1982 and did not grow up in the computer generation. And while I don't make extensive use of technology for personal interactions, I wouldn't have a business were it not for social media. I think it can be an extremely powerful tool for teaching and learning, and certainly for marketing a business. Almost my entire professional existence is virtual. I rarely, if ever, meet my clients—or my own 1099 writers, for that matter. Essentially the only marketing I do is with social media. I live in the middle of nowhere, so initially I thought social media was probably my best marketing option. Now I realize [that] in this day and age, it is likely the best option regardless of where you live. I have found it extremely effective at generating new work on a consistent basis. Thanks, Katharine O'Moore-Klopf, for your informative blog posts on the subject, which helped get me started with social media marketing.

I replied:

I loves me some social media. Just this morning, I received an e-mail from a woman who has written the first in a planned series of books and needs an editor. I haven't met her; she came to me because a freelance writer whom I've gotten to know through Twitter highly recommended my services. That freelance writer sees me constantly demonstrating my knowledge of editing, publishing in general, and medical publishing through all of the material I tweet.

[Now, my work schedule is jam-packed through at least the end of April, so I can't take on the editing of that book. I didn't want to leave the author stuck without an editor, so I turned to my network of colleagues. I ended up referring the author to a science-editor colleague whom I'm known several years through various profession-related e-mail lists. I've gotten a good sense of this colleague's skill and professionalism through how she presents herself and what she talks about on those e-mail lists. It's unlikely that years ago, before the advent of online networking, I would have ever known of that colleague, especially because she lives across the country from me.]

Meg replied:

I have had the most success with blogging—probably because the format suits my writing style, so that's what I gravitate to. At this point even when I am bogged down with a deadline and don't blog for weeks, I still get tons of hits every day because of the body of work I have created. I am amazed at how much work it consistently brings in.

One of my goals this year is to make better use of Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn. I have been so bogged down with work I haven't applied myself in these areas (admittedly, it's a nice problem to have!) But I am finally developing a network of colleagues and 1099 writers to whom I can turn when I have too much work, so I can dedicate myself to exploring these other platforms more fully.

I remember a post early on in this process for me in which you even broke down the way you use your time daily on each of these platforms. My business coach and I spent some time looking at your schedule and strategizing about how I might proceed with these platforms. And like you, I am by nature a very shy person, so these platforms really suit me.

I'm such a big fan of Twitter that I love helping colleagues use it to their advantage. I'll lead an hour-long webinar on March 27 called "Using Twitter to Build Your Freelancing Business." It will be hosted by the Editorial Freelancers Association. I will teach you how to present yourself on Twitter: what to say, how to network with colleagues who can provide referrals, and how to connect with prospective clients.

1 comment:

Sage said...

I agree with you, Katharine. I wasn’t fond of social media at first, but then I saw how people were drawn to it. It gave them an opportunity to talk to anyone around the world. And if you have a business, social networking could be a great platform to penetrate untapped audience and increase your client base.

Sage Aumick

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