I’m a bit old-fashioned.
I don’t like coffee (but oddly, I love coffee cake). Hand me a cup of sweet tea with a deep Majorca tan three times a day and I’ll do anything for you. Takeaway coffee cups make me very sad. Why can’t coffee aficionados drink their stinky brew the Italian way? You know, in a tiny cup in a coffee shop with no chairs. Two sips at a chest-high table, then they’re off to work. No waste; all of the caffeine. Does anyone actually like the taste of coffee? Answers on a postcard.
My thirteen year-old car is filled with CD’s. I regularly play the fun game of ‘what CD is in the case’ before scattering said cases all over the front passenger seat and sticking on the radio. My other half streams Spotify from his phone and I peer at him like he’s from the future.
Anyway, what was I getting at? I dunno. This is turning into a Joycean stream of consciousness, so bear with me.
I’m finding it difficult to haul myself into the modern age. I know that in order to be a successful freelance copywriter I need to leave CD’s in the nineties where they belong and I have to learn to conduct my working and personal life online. But I like meeting people over an iced ginger shortbread and getting to know them a little before embarking on a working relationship. That’s why I quickly confined freelance work sites to the far reaches of my mind because I wasn’t prepared to work with people who cared little for who I was and as a result were determined to pay me as little as possible.
Cultivating and nurturing relationships is absolutely vital in this modern age. Your story is important. What drives you? Japanese horror? Crochet? I’ll never find that out from an email template you’ve signed off. You’ll never learn of my passion for 1940’s matinee idols or how, as a result, I thought people only ever kissed with their lips closed in the days of black and white.
And of course, after the niceties, we’ll talk business.
Many freelancers and small business owners spend a disproportionate amount of time alone. We scrabble to create content as a reminder to the business community that we are still alive and kicking. And I’m doing it, myself. Literally, at this moment in time.
But my message is this fellow workers: get out there and press the flesh, exchange business cards, and sip lukewarm coffee (yuck). There are some mighty fine people that make this easy for us by running networking groups over and above managing a business. I’ve been incredibly lucky and met some wonderful people who have freely offered support and work in exchange for my odd banter and lukewarm writing skills. To name but a few:
There’ll be groups in your area and it’ll only take you a minute to look them up on your search engine of choice.
Posting online is something I have to come to terms with. It’s how the world works and any attempt to deny the fact will lead to the slow death of my business. However, online platforms should be used wisely.
Definitely not for ranting about takeaway coffee cups.
I enjoy web banter, it’s nearly as good as the real thing. Just make sure it’s honest, useful and timely.
Now, go outside and touch a tree.