One Simple Step To Landing More Work

As mentioned previously, December always leaves me with a nasty case of Holiday Brain. I’m easily distracted. By twinkle lights. And Christmas cookies. And the DVR. My work output? Not optimal.

January 1 always has me eager to get back to work. At the same time, I’m so damn used to being lazy, I need to ease my way back in. Cautiously dip a toe into the water. In slow motion.

This past couple of weeks, I’ve definitely been working in slow motion. I’ve been sitting with stacks of magazines, flipping through for story idea inspiration. I’ve done up a couple of Freelancedom posts. I sat down with a directory of literary agents and planned my next moves for pitching my book proposal. I sang a funeral.

But the one low-key thing that’s led to tangible progress?

Reconnecting with others.

A casual, how-about-we email to a blogger-buddy led to a collaborative lecture proposal for an upcoming conference.

Another email landed me my next smart cookie for January’s forthcoming edition of Word Nerd News.

A followup email to someone who had been considering career coaching in late November / early December has gotten me that much closer to a new coaching relationship.

Combination holiday/thank you cards led to a well-paying assignment just before Christmas, an update (and promise of forthcoming work) from another client, and the galley for a book I’d been eyeing.

A quick check-in with my fabulous writing partner gave me a strong lead on a possible designer for my e-workbook.

And query followups with two publications had editors asking me for more pitches.

I’m not suddenly rolling around in money, laughing maniacally as my cats look on, slightly alarmed. But it’s still not too shabby for January 4.

How can you easily reconnect with those in your network, leading to the possibility of future collaboration?

  • send a “what’s up?” email
  • suggest getting together for coffee… or for several glasses of pinot noir
  • send along a link to an interesting article or silly video that made you think of them
  • brainstorm fun-and-possibly-ridiculous ventures for the new year and ask your contacts to get involved
  • shoot an editor or client a thank you e-card (or opt for snail mail to give it an extra punch) to let them know how much you appreciate the opportunity to work with them
  • touch base with editors and clients about what they might need in the new year
  • send query followups
  • have a Skype powwow with your fellow freelancers to discuss plans for the new year

And… you know… whatever. This list is just a starting point.

Of course, reunions like these go smoother if you’ve been good about maintaining these relationships. Emailing someone you haven’t spoken to in 11 years? A little weird. (Though I’ve totally done it, mostly out of nostalgia. I have no shame.)

But you guys already knew that.

So. First action step for 2012? Reach out and touch someone.

But not in a creepy way.

Related: How To Build Your Network Without Having a Panic Attack, Inch by Inch: How Small Steps Can Lead To Big Success, Bring In New Projects Without Lifting a Finger