Dear Copy Bitch: Happy New Year. I hope your business is going well. I saw “Rent My Noggin” on your website a few weeks back…hope it is generating lots of business.
While things picked up for me in December, business is slow right now and I am working on a networking plan. I remember when we spoke last summer that you belonged to a networking group that you highly recommended. I’m wondering if you could share information on the group you belong to, and if you could forward a link to the website? Any insight you have with regard to the benefits of joining would be appreciated.
—Liza, Cohasset, Mass.
Answer: Welcome to the ebbs and flows of full-time freelancing. The group is Business Networking International (BNI). It’s a referral group–when you join a chapter, the purpose is for chapter members to generate legit referrals for one another. The main benefit is that you would be the only copywriter in the group. I recommend finding a group that has a strong marketing sphere in it: a web person, a marketing person, a graphic design person, a printer, etc. Massachusetts has a ton of chapters, and you’re allowed to visit a group twice as a guest before you need to decide if you want to join. The meetings are weekly at 7:00 a.m. This really jumpstarted my business. Here’s the website for the Massachusetts branch of BNI: http://www.bnimass.com/ I recommend visiting a few chapters that are near you (that don’t have the copywriter “seat” filled) so that you get a feel for the group–every chapter is a little different. Let me know if you have any specific questions–always happy to help!