LinkedIn

My business goal for today has been to organize my office and start some form of business networking. A little research online led me to the LinkedIn Web site as an obvious place to start. I signed up for the free membership and filled in my online profile. It was really easy, and I’m interested to see how it all works. I’m not expecting a river of freelance jobs to magically flow my way, but if it turns up a few good leads in the coming months, it will be well worth the time ti took me to set up a profile. 

I’m new to the whole “social media” thing as a way to drum up business. I’ve heard of using tools such as SEO (Search Engine Optimization) and social networking sites like Twitter and Facebook, but I must admit I’m a novice at all of these things. I’m slowly getting out of the dark ages (when being a writer meant writing things that were actually printed on paper) and stepping into the future. Some people may lament the fact that the written word is not as valued as it once was, I have to disagree. Never before has it been easier to network, publish, and distribute your work on a large scale. This is true for so many different home-based businesses. (A friend of mine makes and distributes crocheted animal dolls. They are selling very well in the Ukraine…that wouldn’t have happened if she hadn’t been able to post them online.)

Now, it’s true that since everyone is posting their writing online, the quality of the written word can be lacking at times (i.e., there’s a lot of crap out there). However, the opportunities for making a living as a writer has never been greater. The catch is this: you have to learn how to market yourself and to become business savvy. That’s something most writers (and creative people in general) aren’t too comfortable with—myself included. My dream job would be to happily write what I want and hire an agent to market for me while an accountant handles my finances. Then I could spend all my time writing and enjoying my success. Ah….sounds great. But that isn’t the reality.

To be a successful work-at-home entrepreneur, and that’s what I’m calling myself these days, I have to be able to do more than just write and edit. It takes me out of my comfort zone, but I hear that’s good for me. (Learning new skills helps build brain power if the creators of Brain Age are to be believed.) So, here I am learning a new skill….social networking.

In my search for networking opportunities and business knowledge in general, I’m finding many interesting and insightful Web sites and blogs. As I stumble across these, I’ll post them here. If you find any helpful work-from-home tidbits, please leave me a comment with the information. I need all the help I can get in this journey to financial solvency as a home-based business owner.

With any luck, in a few years I’ll be able to afford that financial advisor…and maybe even a housekeeper. (But I’m not going to hold my breath.)

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