Ask Wendy: How Can I Partner Wisely With Others?

wendywotr.gifBy Wendy Burt

How do you partner with others to sustain your careers?

Believe it or not, some of my best clients have come from referrals from other writers. I have a close group of friends (and email buddies I’ve never met!) with whom I share leads. If I get offered a gig I can’t take, or if an editor writes to me to ask if I have reprints available on a certain topic, I’ll pass the lead along to my fellow writers.

Sometimes I see projects that I know would be perfect for a friend––like tech writing or editing, neither of which I’m qualified to do. I also pass along events––like group book signing events looking for fellow authors or local groups looking for speakers––and my friends do the same.

Graphic designers are also great partners because often writing and design go hand in hand when it comes to magazine layout or advertising. I’ve also had designers offer me writing and editing work on websites they’ve been hired to create.

Small newspaper and magazine publishers make for good partners because they’re often running a publication alone or with a bare-bones staff. This means that: 1) They often need articles to fill their pages, and 2) They can make executive decisions on the spot to trade advertising for, say, a regular column. Use the advertising to promote your services!

Remember, there is PLENTY of work to go around. Don’t worry that you’re sharing too much with your writing community. Think of it as paying it forward––kindness and generosity usually come back to benefit you, too.
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Wendy Burt is a successful full-time freelance writer and editor who has more than doubled her income since leaving her job as a newspaper editor just four years ago. With two women’s humor books for McGraw-Hill and more than 1,000 published pieces, Wendy’s work has appeared in such varied publications as Family Circle, The Writer, MSNBC.com, NewYorkTimes.com, Home Cooking Magazine and American Fitness. Wendy teaches “Breaking Into Freelance Writing” and still finds ample time to spend with her beautiful children, Gracie and Ben. Visit www.BurtCreations.com to see books by Wendy and her award-winning dad.

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