When it comes to business, I guess I’m somewhat of an oddball. The kind who does not mind giving kudos and reaching out to the competition.
I regularly read the blogs, check out the websites, and view the online portfolios of other copywriters, especially those in Atlanta. After all, we’re all connected somehow via social media, normally attend the same events, and know the same circle of people. It’s really hard to hide when you’re trying to build a (mostly online) empire.
Occasionally, I’ll come across a copywriter whose work speaks to me and quite frankly, kicks ass. I appreciate talent, a clever turn of phrase, insight, and wit, and when I come across a competitor whose work speaks to me, I’ll email him or her and let them know. If they’re local, I’ll even send an email invitation to have coffee and chat. I’ll follow them on Twitter, “like” their fan page, or send them an invitation to connect via LinkedIn.
Why? Because in business, I believe it’s important to surround yourself with like-minded people; if they’re smarter or more talented than you, even better. It keeps you sharp, on your game, and keeps you from becoming complacent. And helps you to know you’re not alone, that there is a market for your skills and talent, and even the best try to learn from the best.
There is no end to abundance, and there’s more than enough success to go around. I don’t have to hoard my goodies.
Most of the time, my email shout-outs and coffee invitations are warmly received and appreciated. I’ve linked up with and followed copywriters on social media and the compliments have been returned. Some have even called and asked me to help with their overflow when they’re in a lurch.
Other times, competitors have thrown flags up or run the other way. One copywriter with whom I had enjoyed an initial rapport unfollowed, unliked, and unlinked from me a week before we were scheduled to have coffee. Why? I have no clue. But it’s too bad, because I think she’s one hell of a talented writer and would’ve been a great fit for my clients who need more technical projects with which I have limited experience.
Social networking and the Internet have opened a whole world of opportunities to connect for people who might not have met or connected otherwise. At its best, it helps to break down walls and build bridges and alliances and partnerships. Collaborations. Shared experiences and insights.
Congratulating or connecting with the competition does not make you weaker or place you in a vulnerable position. For me, it’s not about stealing secrets or clients. It’s about connecting and collaborating with smart, energized, focused people who are hell-bent on changing things. Making a difference. Attaining their personal best.
When you get two or more people together on the same page like this, to really connect, how can any of us lose?