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Support, suggestions & socializing

EFA’s Long Island branch meets

776px-Long_Island_statehood_map with clear background and EFA logoThe Long Island branch of the Editorial Freelancers Association met on Wednesday night in New Hyde Park to talk about freelance business goals and about freelancing in general. I had brought some board games to play—I love playing board games and I thought that it might be fun for after the “business” part of the meeting. But once we got to talking, no one wanted to interrupt the lively and positive discussion we were having.

That’s the whole point of having the regional meetings, to get support and feedback from fellow freelancers. “The purpose of the Editorial Freelancers Association is to further a wider understanding of the crucial role of the independent editorial professional in the modern publishing and communication industries, and to enhance the performance and improve the skills of those professionals,” according to the EFA’s Regional Chapters Mission Statement.

I had attended a editorial freelance conference in Rochester at the end of September (the Communication Central Conference) and came home feeling strongly that I was on the right track with my business. I’d also been inspired with ideas about new directions I’d like to take. For instance, I’d like to get some more blogging and social media clients, and I’d like to write more.

Wednesday’s EFA meeting was like a much-needed booster shot one month after the conference. All of those who attended had a different specialty and different ideas about where they wanted to go in the near future. One member said she had no real “goals,” but she was planning on changing the focus of her business to concentrate more on developmental editing. Another wanted to find more—and better paying—proofreading work. I told the group my goal was to write more. So over the next week I’ll be working on a spec piece to submit to a blog or magazine, while looking for social media and/or proofreading clients.

Good suggestions for finding new clients were discussed at the meeting, too, including:

  • Joining your local chamber of commerce
  • Joining Toastmasters
  • Getting to know people in your exercise class or any place you go on a regular basis
  • Joining a writers group
  • Pitching your services to independent publishers (one woman suggested finding indie publishers at NewPages.com)

I left the meeting feeling upbeat, and was glad to have met some new colleagues. When you work mainly from home, that’s important (at least it is to me). Stay tuned for an announcement of the next meeting, which I’m scheduling for after Thanksgiving.

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