You read all over the internet about creating value first then someone will hire you. I'm the unconventional example of what happens when you operate from that space. I use my writing talent and curious nature to reach out and find stories about people. I care about the ideas people come up with, and telling those stories has led to a fantastic opportunity.
In previous posts, I talked about using social media to get noticed, and using LinkedIn as a free blogging platform on which you can find and develop your voice into a clear consistent message. With enough time and energy, you'll grow your audience and reach into something of which you can be proud.
Don't discount that effort. In the year since I've been doing this, I graduated from LinkedIn, to my personal blog here, and to Tech.co. The work posted on Tech.co has reached more people than I could know. Several times people retweet my posts, and some even mention my work they see in their daily lives.
A great example is the piece on Lee Ngo for Tech.co going into Seattle StartUp Week. That was back in October. Last week, Lee tweeted me when he noticed the post I did printed out at the Bellevue Public Library. Proof my work is actually being read and printed out by someone.
That work for Tech.co in Seattle led to Kara Gibson reaching out to me on behalf of her client. I did a piece for that PR firm about Michelle Forsythe and her mobile app NoteStream. That post was well received and reposted many times.
When I wrote about NoteStream, David Gardner reached out to me to write for another app called WingIt. David is in charge of special book projects for NoteStream through his own boutique PR firm David Gardner Media.
My work there led to another organic contact from a friend of Kara's at another PR firm to write about Keith Kotchner and Live Streaming Fitness. That post went live a few days ago and is gaining momentum.
The Results Of Giving
After all that work and all those connections, what have I gained? A chance to be creative on a national platform. I approached David with an idea for a serial novel similar to one he's working on for NoteStream. He liked my previous work and writing style and asked for an outline and draft.
I typed up an idea which had been floating around in my head for over 20 years. Now seemed like the time to put it to paper. David read it, loved it, and passed it along to Michelle. Michelle loved it, and now it's scheduled for publication March 2016.
Does any of this pay? Not yet, but right now that doesn't matter for me. I worked for 13 months grinding against a huge wall trying to find space to do something I love, and now I'm doing it. I get to write fiction on a national stage with the backing of people who believe in me. Along with that, they are using my content to build their platform. Not only am I getting published for the first time, but I'm helping build someone else's dream.
Stop and think about that for a minute: I'm doing EXACTLY what I want, and that is helping someone do EXACTLY what they want. Business professionals constantly seek the win-win scenario. I just figured it out for myself by using my abilities to give first and create value.
This is just the latest win. There are many more to come. Rarely do things work out like you think they will. Doors will open in places you'd least likely believe.